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Nate Jackson / Jun. 28, 2016

Democrats Circle the Wagons on Benghazi

They absolve Obama and Clinton for failures and lies.

House Democrats released their own 339-page Benghazi prebuttal ahead of the final bipartisan report from the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which was released Tuesday. Naturally, Democrats absolved Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton of all responsibility and declared that Republicans are on a partisan witch-hunt. “We have been hampered in our work by the ongoing Republican obsession with conspiracy theories that have no basis in reality,” they write. “Rather than reject these conspiracy theories in the absence of evidence — or in the face of hard facts — Select Committee Republicans embraced them and turned them into a political crusade.”

There’s plenty of blame to go around for security failures before and during the attack. But as readers of these pages recall all too well, the most important point regarding this fiasco is the Obama-Clinton political narrative. It’s about what decisions were based on the political implications.

Four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed by al-Qaida jihadis in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012 — a rather key date. They were abandoned by their superiors in a chaotic state created by foreign policy failure in Libya. Yet Obama and Clinton publicly insisted the attack was a spontaneous protest caused by a YouTube video — even though Clinton admitted privately it was al-Qaida. They told this political fable because Obama was running for re-election on the narrative of having killed Osama bin Laden and having decimated al-Qaida. Those shenanigans are the hard facts of the Obama-Clinton political crusade. And indeed, Clinton is still lying as she too seeks the White House.

In the Democrats’ report about Benghazi, the word “Republican” is mentioned 200 times. Even more bafflingly, “Trump” is in there 23 times. “Clinton” is named the most at 334, but that’s almost entirely defensive. The bottom line is that Democrats are circling the wagons for their presumptive nominee. And no one — not the terrorists and not the administration that failed, lied and obstructed — has been held to account.

(Updated.)

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