There’s a scene in “Bananas” in which Woody Allen’s character is discussing the economy of his new, adopted country, and when he’s told that bananas are its greatest export, he cries, “Bananas, bananas!” in a tone that conveys that he’s heard enough about that particular fruit. (I tried to find a video clip of that, but couldn’t. And is it my imagination that that movie used to be available on Netflix, but is not now?)
There were times in recent months when many of us would have a similar reaction to Lindsey Graham’s (and John McCain’s, and Kelly Ayotte’s) repetition of the word, “Benghazi.”
Subsequent events have indicated that further inquiry into what happened there last Sept. 11 is at least worth further investigation. There should be bipartisan agreement on that much. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that any investigation that involves the Congress will be tainted by consideration of the 2016 presidential election, and the anticipated candidacy of Hilary Clinton.
For that reason, I though it particularly unfortunate that Lindsey Graham should say, just as everyone is finally paying attention, the following:
If it had been known by the American people seven weeks before the election the truth about Benghazi, I think it would have made a difference in the election…
No, it wouldn’t have. You still would have had Barack Obama going up against Mitt Romney, and the outcome would have been the same. It’s hard to imagine any sort of statement that might have been made about Benghazi. I mean, really, what would it have been? Are you saying the president should have said, “I’ve done a rotten job of protecting the American people, because I just don’t care. I could have saved the ambassador, but I personally decided not to, because I just didn’t like him. And I’ll do it the same way next time…”
It was a terrorist attack in a politically unstable place where there are tremendous numbers of weapons circulating, and it ended tragically. It should cause us to review consulate security across the globe. That’s the “truth about Benghazi,” and if the administration had said that on day one, and continued to say it through the election, I see no way it would have affected the election outcome.
Anyway, you and your fellow senators were being heard as you cried in the wilderness about this topic, before the election. But you were being dismissed by some as Republicans who were trying to wring electoral advantage from the tragedy. So… why would you want to give credence to that by saying something like this?