It has been said that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.
Many a Member of Congress has made quite a sustained living by adhering to this false maxim and the putative candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016 is no exception.
The all-but-declared candidate is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the attempts to rewrite history and deflect criticism surround the continued fallout from the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack.
The Benghazi scandal, related to the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya that claimed the lives of four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, continues to roil the Obama Administration and leading Democrat officials.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Getty Images)
Without question, the Obama administration considered Benghazi to be a significant threat to its re-election efforts in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election. Administration officials quickly moved to downplay the incident, referring to it as the byproduct of spontaneous mayhem incited by the distribution of a low-budget, anti-Islamic movie on YouTube.
A terrorist attack on the scale of Benghazi did not comport with the Obama campaign's narrative of having put terrorists "on the run," and any such deviation from the preferred storyline promoting President Obama's wholesale emasculation of al-Qaeda was seen as incompatible with campaign re-election efforts.
Only after public outcry and a congressional investigation led by House Republicans were the terrorist attacks in Benghazi transformed into an outright scandal as it was discovered that many of the presumptions and talking points promoted by Obama Administration officials were dubious at best.
Although the suggestion that the Benghazi attack was primarily motivated by anger directed toward an obscure low-budget movie has long since been rebuffed, some former and current members of the Obama Administration continue to cling to this narrative in the hope that it will absolve them of criticisms about their public response in the wake of the attack.
Anticipating a continuation of these criticisms, and no doubt hoping to defuse the potency of the issue prior to an expected run for president in 2016, an excerpt from Hillary Clinton's upcoming memoir appears to double down on the misleading assertion that the Benghazi attack was fueled by an angry mob seething over the now infamous YouTube video.
This file photo taken on September 11, 2012 shows a vehicle and the surrounding area engulfed in flames after it was set on fire inside the US mission compound in Benghazi. A long-awaited inquiry into a deadly militant attack on the US mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi late on December 18, 2012 slammed State Department security arrangements there as 'grossly inadequate.' But the months-long probe also found there had been 'no immediate, specific' intelligence of a threat against the mission, which was overrun on September 11 by dozens of heavily armed militants who killed four Americans. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Clinton's forthcoming memoir, dubbed "Hard Choices," including a chapter detailing her account of the Benghazi attack, is due to be released June 10 and should be particularly informative given that Clinton was leading the State Department during the time of the 2012 attack.
But the small tidbits released to the public on May 30 seem to offer little by way of revelations.
"There were scores of attackers that night, almost certainly with differing motives. It is inaccurate to state that every single one of them was influenced by this hateful video. It is equally inaccurate to state that none of them were. Both assertions defy not only the evidence but logic as well."
This claim, however, appears to contradict the essence of what Former Deputy Chief of Mission Greg Hicks testified to when he appeared before investigators under jurisdiction of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Hicks, then a 22-year veteran foreign diplomat and the highest ranking U.S. official in Libya after the attack, stated, "I think everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning."
Refuting the notion that it was instead a demonstration turned violent, Hicks testified:
"For there to have been a demonstration on Chris Stevens's front door and him not to have reported it is unbelievable...Chris's last report, if you want to say his final report - is, 'Greg, we are under attack.'"
[sharequote align="center"]"Chris's last report, if you want to say his final report - is, 'Greg, we are under attack.'"[/sharequote]
The desire to transform the locus of attention in the Benghazi assault from one of a coordinated terrorist attack into that of spontaneous and unforseen mob violence is rooted in a desperate attempt to deflect criticism and shed accountability.
A terrorist attack, planned and coordinated under the nose of an administration eager to tout its national security bona fides, opens a Pandora's box of questions surrounding intelligence gathering, threat assessments, and myriad other issues.
These weren't issues the Obama administration was eager to discuss in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election and they are equally unappealing topics for Clinton to absorb in the build up to 2016.
As such, the public continues to be fed a steady stream of misdirection and opacity. As the preordained successor to President Obama, Hillary Clinton will not likely deviate from the narrative of misdirection surrounding Benghazi unless forced to do so by a public demanding accountability and answers.
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