I thought last week that the talk radio crowd was running out of gas on Scandalgate, but the holiday appears to have rejuvenated them. It was all scandal, all day long.
The Limbaugh clone, apparently Doug Urbanski, made the boldest claim. He labelled as a “hoax” the theory that a video sparked protests in the Middle East that ultimately led to the attack in Benghazi. The notion that the video had nothing to do with what happened in Benghazi has become an article of faith on the right, as deeply held as the belief that climate change is a hoax.
But why? The theory is that the Obama administration concocted the story to help his re-election chances, but it seems almost inconceivable to me that even one vote hinged on what exactly sparked those attacks. Did yours?
Moreover, it’s clear that the story came not from Obama but from the CIA. It was one aspect of the infamous talking points that never changed, from start to finish. The Daily Howler has written extensively about this question; look here, for starters.
Hannity was bubbling over with Benghazi curiosity, too. In response to a caller, he launched one of his trademark series of rhetorical questions about all of the things he wants to know but doesn’t know about Benghazi.
All I kept thinking was, if I had been part of that attack, I would want all of those questions answered, too. I would be thinking, that attack worked pretty well. I’d like to try it again, but first I want to know: How long would it take the U.S. to launch a military response? Who gives those orders? What factors do they consider? How much security is there?
I would be thinking, go get ‘em, Hannity! But I admit I’m a little conflicted about this. As a journalist, I want as much information as possible as soon as possible. As a military history buff, I want the full story to emerge at some point, even if not right away. As a loyal American, I want the military to carefully evaluate and critique its response so that it does better next time. But I don’t necessarily want to hear that evaluation on talk radio, especially while the criminals are still wandering around freely.
Hannity was particularly focused on the whereabouts of Obama during the fatal attack. He seemed to be appalled that Obama might have been sleeping while American lives were at risk in dangerous places overseas.
But American lives have been at risk in dangerous places overseas ever since the first day Obama took office. Hannity used to understand this, back when a Republican was president. I don’t know what Obama did that night, but here’s what I hope he did: Put the best possible military person in charge, gave him full authority to do what could be done, and then got some sleep.