"If some people on this committee want to call this tragedy the worst since 9/11, it misunderstands the nature of 4,000-plus Americans lost in the War in Iraq under false pretenses."
-- Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut moments after Rand Paul told Hillary Clinton, during her Capitol Hill testimony on Benghazi, that were he president he would've fired her for her "culpability" in the "worst tragedy since 9/11"
There are a lot of great quotes coming out of Clinton's testimony today, most coming from Clinton herself being that she's not the type to suffer fools lightly and Lord knows most of those trying to milk this bullshit for political gain are fools of the highest order. But Murphy's is the most pointed for cutting right to the core of what this nonsense is really all about.
Benghazi isn't the worst tragedy since 9/11. It's barely even the worst tragedy since the last eleven deadly attacks on one of our embassies in the Middle East, West Asia and North Africa in the past decade. Not to dismiss the deaths of four people, including a U.S. ambassador, but there's something that needs to be said over and over again as the Republicans continue this ridiculous farce in search of a legitimate scandal: While absolutely tragic, what happened in Benghazi is a relatively by-the-numbers incident. The United States has made the choice to attempt to undertake diplomacy in some very, very dangerous places, and violence against the dedicated men and women stationed in those areas is, as callous as this sounds, the cost of doing business.
Every single question that can be asked about Benghazi should be asked in an effort to determine what happened and to help ensure that it doesn't happen again. But to forcefully suggest that the Benghazi attack and its aftermath were the result of institutional incompetence or that there's some kind of cover-up afoot at the highest levels of government is nothing more than the nihilistic politics of a desperate opposition party.
If a Republican had been in the White House when Benghazi happened -- and this attack and the immediate administration response to it would've been largely the same regardless -- none of this would be going on right now. Fox News would be shouting down anyone who dared to ask questions and calling that person a traitor guilty of giving aid and comfort to the enemy during a time of war.
Guys like Rand Paul didn't deserve to be taken the least bit seriously going into this dumb-ass dog and pony show on the Hill today, and they're only making themselves look more ridiculous as the day goes by.
Adding: A bonus Quote of the Day from Joan Walsh over at Salon:
"The stature gap between Clinton and those possible 2016 rivals – OK, nobody’s announced they’re running, but I couldn’t help thinking about it – was enormous. When Rand Paul huffed 'had I been President at the time and I found that you did not read the cables (from Benghazi) I would have relieved you of your duties,' it wasn’t intimidating but funny. President Rand Paul? Try to say that without laughing."