Seeds: On the evening of September 11, 2012, the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by a group of militants, ultimately ending the lives of four Americans, including US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
Core: In the aftermath of the attacks, the State Department released a comprehensive report on the happenings in Benghazi. The report revealed the State Department’s failure to provide apt security for the consulate given Libya’s dangerous climate. Many Republican congressmen blamed the Obama Administration and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, for the attacks, claiming that they failed to equip the U.S. diplomats with proper precautions-- to the extent of being criminally negligent. As a result, the attacks in Benghazi have been investigated over and over… and over again, especially since Clinton is running for President this year.
Skin: The news media has played a key role in stirring up the outrage sparked by the Benghazi attacks. In the days following the attacks, the UN ambassador, Susan Rice, stated that the attacks were a result of impromptu protests triggered by an anti-Islam movie that had recently been released. This statement was later found to be false and the attacks were confirmed to be premeditated which only increased the Republican’s suspicions of the Obama Administration’s fault. As it turns out, Rice’s misinformation was a result of the CIA’s incorrect initial evaluation of the attacks, not an intentional attempt to downplay the events. The second bout of outrage was sparked when Republican House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, essentially admitted that additional Benghazi investigations were a political move by Republicans to hurt Hillary Clinton’s approval ratings.
Leaves: The September 11, 2012 attacks have become a cornerstone of debate in the 2016 presidential election, and gave rise to Hillary Clinton’s recent email controversy, increasing the public’s general distrust of Clinton. “Benghazi” has become somewhat of a buzzword in the world of politics and therefore is a word that has been repeated so many times that it has lost all meaning in the eyes of the American people. However, whether you believe the happenings in Benghazi were a result of criminal negligence, or an unintentional oversight by the State Department, what can be agreed upon is that the loss of four American lives is an American tragedy.
Food For Thought: What do you think of the Benghazi attacks? Do you think the State Department should have done more to prevent them? Do you believe the additional investigations were only motivated by political gain?
Still Hungry? Vox (1), Vox (2), Benghazi: Explained (Video), NPR, State Department Benghazi Report
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