Benghazi , binders and birthers
With any luck, last night’s town-hall presidential debate will quell some unseemly attempts to exploit the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya. It will not end the topic, since the perpetrators have not been caught yet. When they are caught, that will be the point at which right-wingers of the Koch-brothers persuasion quit mentioning Benghazi. We will then hear no more from them about ‘Benghazi’ than we now hear from them about Osama bin Laden. Almost the only times the right/GOP mention bin Laden are to tongue-twist his name with that of President Obama.
A dead bin Laden generates no contracts.
Here is the White House transcript of the president’s address in the Rose Garden, the day after the attacks. Here is the president’s explicit reference to terrorism:
“As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it. Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.
No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.”
It should be noted that the entire address comprised a tribute to the heroic American victims, a pledge to fight back, and repeated characterization of the attacks as what they were–attacks. Obama referred to “attack” and “attackers” throughout the Rose Garden address.
Obama’s entire address was dignified. The right can’t stand that. The segment of the right that jokes about turning the Rose Garden into a watermelon patch especially can’t stand it. Furthermore, every tumult in the Middle East occurs in the global context of an improved image for America, because of the switch from George W. Bush to Barack Obama. The right really can’t stand that.
Thus the spiteful glee with which some congressional Republicans have pounced on the Benghazi attacks. It’s we’ll-show-you-where-your-peace-gets-you. Falsely, Romney’s smarmy comments in last night’s debate suggest that the Obama administration has been characterizing the killing of four Americans as some kind of ‘spontaneous demonstration’. Basically, this kind of accusation is the petty revenge of worse against better, Romney behaving like a petty character in an old Brian de Palma movie instead of boosting the dignity and unity of the U.S. for global viewers.
But wait; there’s more. The gold-selling anti-Obama crowd is trying to refute even the fact that the president did indeed refer to the attacks as terror. How? By drawing an artificial distinction between the words terror and terrorism. An example:
“In tonight’s presidential debate President Obama maintains that he called the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi a “act of terror”, which turns out to be accurate. However, the President is using a play on words. The full transcript below supports that assertion, which the moderator, Candy Crowley vehemently confirmed the President did do. However, the legal term of “act of terrorism” is never used.”
These are the people who claim that President Obama’s birth certificate is phony because it is titled (by the state of Hawaii) CERTIFICATE OF LIVE BIRTH rather than “Birth Certificate.”