This Sunday’s edition of The McLaughlin Group had a very odd twist of logic emit from the mouth of panelist-regular Eleanor Clift: “I’d like to point out that Ambassador Stevens was not ‘murdered,’” Clift said, using air quotes, “but died of smoke inhalation in a CIA safe room.”
While I have admitted previously I am no lawyer, like Senator Al Franken (D-MN) I learned a great deal about the law from watching Perry Mason re-runs, along with Matlock, Barnaby Jones, The Streets of San Francisco, the whole QM Productions line-up in fact. If I may be so bold as to offer this calculation to Ms. Clift:
Terrorist attack/setting the diplomatic compound on fire & creating smoke + Ambassador Stevens trapped in a now smoke-filled safe room in which he asphyxiates = Homicide.
Truth be told, Christopher Stevens was not murdered, killed, and he didn’t simply “die” in a terrorist attack that night. The al Qaeda-linked terrorists had already been successful in getting Great Britain and the Red Cross to remove their presence from the area. According to the ambassador’s personal diary, his notations written, his cables sent to the State Department requesting additional security, and comments he made to his deputy Gregory Hicks, Stevens was politically targeted and then deprived of his life, the very definition of assassination. I have been stressing this point in my articles on the events of September 11, 2012 in Benghazi; while the murders of diplomat Sean Smith and Navy SEALS/CIA contract employees Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty make them no less deserving of our honor and remembrance, their deaths are indeed a separate classification from that of Mr. Stevens.
At the time he was a United States Ambassador, the personal representative of the President of the United States of America to Libya, the country of appointment. For some reason, the importance of this seems to fly over the heads of too many, most especially high-ranking Democrats in Congress. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) once again denigrated the special committee Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has appointed to do a more thorough investigation of what happened that night; on Friday she called it a “political stunt.” Is she truly so wholly ignorant of the position of U.S. Ambassador, that it is, in a manner of speaking, Barack Obama’s shadow? Who is it that is playing politics over that horrific event, those who seek the truth on behalf of the American people for whom they represent or those who block, delay, obfuscate, and mock every attempt being made by serious-minded Members of Congress?
Back to Eleanor Clift and her misguided (to put it kindly) remarks on Sunday. In her usual manner of attempting to shout down those who oppose her opinion, she continued to expose her own lack of knowledge or understanding of the situation in Benghazi.
“It was still a CIA [outpost],” Clift said. “If you’re going to put somebody on trial, put David Petraeus on trial, not Hillary Clinton.”
No, Ms. Clift, the diplomatic compound was not a CIA outpost. Then-Secretary of State Clinton did indeed task the ambassador on some mission she has yet to reveal, nor explain why the very presence of the ambassador was required to be in residence in so dangerous a spot. It was not the CIA who renewed the lease on the property for another year but in fact the State Department. Either Ms. Clift does not pay attention to the details of an event before spouting her opinion or she believes if she just utters it loudly enough, somehow that will make it correct. Neither looks well for one who claims the title of journalist.