Sigh. Benghazi Again?

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

 

I watched Lara Logan’s 60 Minutes report on Benghazi last night, and when it was over I had two thoughts:

  • That took a year of reporting?
  • Did you just outsource the whole script to the Republican National Committee?

Honestly, there was just nothing there. Andy Wood and Gregory Hicks have been peddling their stories for a long time, and Hicks in particular has some obvious credibility issues that Logan didn’t so much as hint at. Beyond those two interviews, there was one new thing: an interview with a British security officer who’s just written a book and said….pretty much nothing. Basically, he told Logan that when he first got there in 2012, he quickly figured out that Benghazi was dangerous and that al-Qaeda-affiliated groups were active in the area. But we learned this long ago. Nobody even remotely argues about it.

I’m stumped about what we were supposed to have learned from this report. Was security in Benghazi inadequate? Probably. But the State Department’s own report was scathing on that issue many months ago. Was the military response on the night of the attacks incompetent? That’s possible too, though considerably less clear cut. Logan acted as if this were a brand new question she was raising, but in fact the military has explained and defended its actions repeatedly in response to the endlessly evolving charges that they were ordered to “stand down” on the night of the attacks.

Finally, was there a scandal in the Obama administration’s response to Benghazi after the fact? Again, Logan tried to imply there might have been, but was content with making a couple of perfunctory drive-by potshots instead of actually addressing the controversy. There was absolutely nothing new on this score, and since it’s the only part of the story that remains controversial, it’s not at all clear what the point of the whole segment was. I learned nothing except for a very few details that color in what we already know. I don’t get it.

 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate