Peggy Noonan for The Wall Street Journal: The Inconvenient Truth About Benghazi

May 10th, 2013

The Wall Street Journal
By Peggy Noonan
May 10, 2013

The Benghazi story until now has been a jumble of factoids that didn’t quite cohere, didn’t produce a story that people could absorb and hold in their minds. This week that changed. Three State Department officials testifying under oath to a House committee changed it, by adding information that gave form to a growing picture. Gregory Hicks, Mark Thompson and Eric Nordstrom were authoritative and credible. You knew you were hearing the truth as they saw and experienced it. Not one of them seemed political. You had no sense of how they voted. They were professionals. They’d seen a bad thing. They came forward to tell the story. They put the lie to the idea that all questioning of Obama administration actions in Benghazi are partisan and low.

What happened in Benghazi last Sept. 11 and 12 was terrible in every way. The genesis of the scandal? It looks to me like this:

The Obama White House sees every event as a political event. Really, every event, even an attack on a consulate and the killing of an ambassador.

Because of that, it could not tolerate the idea that the armed assault on the Benghazi consulate was a premeditated act of Islamist terrorism. That would carry a whole world of unhappy political implications, and demand certain actions. And the American presidential election was only eight weeks away. They wanted this problem to go away, or at least to bleed the meaning from it.

Read More