Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What difference does it make?

Isn't it amazing when a single quote can be used to prove completely opposite propositions? When a simple statement can serve to confirm whatever pre-conceived views you might already have had about the situation? When one video clip proves that people in the same country actually inhabit different universes? Today, Secretary Clinton lost her patience with some of the questions she was asked at a senate hearing on Benghazi. She said the following:
“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans! Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again.”
If you are a supporter of the administration, and Hillary supporter, here is proof positive of the ridiculousness of the questions being asked at the hearing. The fact is that we had incomplete information at the time of the attacks, and we still have incomplete information. And at the time, we had more pressing concerns than figuring out exactly what lay behind the attacks. But we will do whatever we can to find out and bring the attackers to justice.

 If you are are a critic, on the other hand, Secretary Clinton's statements are proof positive that the administration doesn't get it. Of course it makes all the difference in the world whether this was a spontaneous uprising, or a planned terrorist attack, and Secretary Clinton's confession that she didn't care at that time to sort out all of the causes probably implies that she had no problem handing out misleading information.

So if you watch Fox News, they are undoubtedly going to be crowing about how some of the tough GOP senators really nailed Secretary Clinton by getting her to admit that she doesn't care about the truth. And if you watch MSNBC, they are going to be crowing about how Secretary Clinton bravely stood up to the obtuse attacks of these clueless GOP senators, and put them in their place.

If you go on twitter, and see what people are doing with the new catch phrase of the moment, well, don't even bother, it's so disheartening.

And if you are seriously interested in the truth of what happened in Benghazi, and open-minded to all possibilities, you are just going to have to wait awhile, and you will undoubtedly find that the truth is somewhat elusive, but is more nuanced and complicated than anything that is being talked about right now. As for today's performance, it is fair to ask, with all due respect, what difference does it make? And by that I mean, did today's hearing shed any new light on the situation? Did we learn anything? Did anybody's mind change? Or did the hearing merely confirm what we already knew? What we already knew of course, depending on which world view we subscribe to, were completely inconsistent things. 

1 comment:

  1. Regardless of your politics, it was a very poor choice of words.

    It DOES make a difference, even if you figure out WHY something happened and prevent it from happening again.