There has not been a single week I’ve failed to receive an email message from a reader questioning or demanding why I’ve not written about the so-called Benghazi scandal.
Sometimes messages are long and linked to external content. I’ve also received messages with a single word in all capitals: “BENGHAZI” (correct spelling optional).
My best guess is the number of exclamation points following the word is indicative of the writer’s current frustration level.
One punctuation banger denotes reading of Facebook headlines. Two bangers indicates a recent twitter hashtag search mission. Three or more are evidence of recent consumption of Fox News, the national leader in Benghazi propaganda distribution.
The last time I received an email referring to Benghazi was Thursday, about 24 hours before a Republican-led U.S. House report debunked every conspiracy theory related to the violence that claimed four American lives.
The attacks took place Sept. 11, 2012 — more than two years ago. Since that time the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence “exhaustively investigated … spent thousands of hours asking questions, poring over documents, reviewing intelligent assessments, reading cables and emails, and held a total of 20 committee events and hearings.”
The investigation found no intelligence failure before the attacks, no evidence the Obama administration told the military to stand down or delayed rescue forces and no evidence the CIA was involved in arms shipments.
The worst to come out of the report? There was not adequate security at the diplomatic facility.
The White House and its appointees were fully vindicated. Verbal mistakes were made in the wake of the violence, yes, but none of it was found to be a malicious attempt to mislead or spin the events.
More importantly, perhaps now the four slain Americans — U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty — and their families can find some peace. The conspiracy theories have been rejected.
Not surprisingly, however, U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., continued to beat his chest, the table and presumably whatever else he could reach while describing the two-years of work by his fellow Republicans as “full of crap” and “a bunch of garbage.” Graham, who hinged his South Carolina approval ratings to Benghazi skepticism and is well-known for dire predictions on the political stump, has long been proclaiming Benghazi a smoking gun that would soon be revealed.
Any day now the American public will have proof that the Obama administration is lying in an attempt to cover the ugly and shocking truth, Graham said. Just wait and see. It’s coming. Any day now.
That’s why I expect more single-word email messages and absurd charges that I’m “obviously in on it” and cashing in with secret government or partisan “hush money.” The messages will continue until those donning tinfoil hats get brave enough to take them off or move on to the next partisan-spun conspiracy theory.
This column by Lynda Waddington originally published in The Gazette on Nov. 29, 2014. Photo credit: Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters