Congressional Republicans have been working hard lately at something we all should care about — talking to the Benghazi survivors. Sen. Lindsay Graham has been making it something of a personal crusade. As far as he’s concerned, there’s a cover-up going on:
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, in an extensive interview with Fox News, alleged that the injured survivors of the Benghazi terror attack have been “told to be quiet” and feel they can’t come forward to tell their stories — as he urged the House to subpoena the administration for details if necessary.
The South Carolina senator said he’s “had contact” with some of the survivors, calling their story “chilling.” He told Fox News that “the bottom line is they feel that they can’t come forth, they’ve been told to be quiet.”
I have no doubt but that this is true. I mean, this is the same administration that lied for weeks about what happened in Benghazi. If they’d lied a a ruse to lure the attackers out from cover to kill them, that would be one thing. But the administration, from Obama on down, seems to have lied solely to hide two facts: (a) contrary to Obama boasts, al Qaeda is not dead, and (b) Hillary is incompetent.
Hillary is also hiding what went on. When she appeared before the Senate to testify about Benghazi, and was asked about the fact that four men died on her watch, her response was the equivalent of “Come on! Stop crying over spilled milk.”
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?
To answer Hillary’s question (not that she wanted an answer), it makes a big difference. It makes a difference because we should weed out incompetents before it happens again; it makes a difference because the dead deserve justice; and it makes a difference because the living deserve justice.
If this seems like I’m rehashing an old issue . . . well, maybe I am. But it’s back in the news because of Sen. Graham’s push for info. It’s also back in my mind for a funny reason.
My kids love the TV show Psych, which they watch on Netflix. Every kid in the neighborhood loves Psych. It’s a cute show about a flaky, extremely observant young man (James Roday) who pretends to be psychic to help solve crimes, and his knowledgeable eccentric sidekick (Dulé Hill). The kids especially love Hill’s character, and it’s no wonder that they do. He’s a charming comedic presence, and he and Roday work well together.
If Dulé Hill’s name seems familiar to you, you might remember him as the president’s personal assistant in the Aaron Sorkin TV Show The West Wing. That show, of course, was about the perfect Democrat president. As far as Sorkin was concerned, President Bartlet was Bill Clinton without the character flaws and with all of his past mistakes corrected.
My kids wanted to see a young Hill, so we managed to find (again on Netflix) the episode in which Hill first appeared. He did a nice job, but what really captured my attention was a bit of dialogue that Sorkin put in the mouth of the “perfect Democrat president.” The episode is entitled “A proportional response” and one of its plot points revolves around the fact that Bartlett is figuring out how to respond to a terrorist attack in the Middle East that brought down a plane on which his personal physician was flying:
President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) is furious about a plane carrying his personal physician being downed in the Middle East. After initially requesting a retaliatory attack that would kill a great many people, Bartlet’s military advisors try to convince him to take a more cautionary maneuver.
So, keep that in mind — one American dead in an attack against an American plane. Here is what Sorkin would have the perfect Democrat president do under those circumstances (emphasis mine):
- Bartlet: What’s the virtue of the proportional response?
- Admiral Fitzwallace: I’m sorry?
- Bartlet: What is the virtue of a proportional response? Why’s it good? They hit an airplane, so we hit a transmitter, right? That’s a proportional response.
- Admiral Fitzwallace: Sir, in the case of Pericles 1 –
- Bartlet: [talking over him] They hit a barracks, so we hit two transmitters.
- Admiral Fitzwallace: That’s roughly it, yes, sir.
- Bartlet: This is what we do. I mean, this is what we do.
- Leo: Yes, sir, it’s what we do. It’s what we’ve always done.
- Bartlet: Well, if it’s what we do, if it’s what we’ve always done, don’t they know we’re going to do it?
- Leo: Sir, if you’d turn your attention to Pericles 1 –
- Bartlet: I have turned my attention to Pericles 1. It’s two ammo dumps, an abandoned railroad bridge and a Syrian intelligence agency.
- Admiral Fitzwallace: Those are four highly-rated targets, sir.
- Bartlet: But they know we’re gonna do that. They know we’re gonna do that! Those areas have been abandoned for three days now. We know that from the satellite, right? We have the intelligence. [over Leo's attempt to speak up] They did that, so we did this. It’s the cost of doing business. It’s been factored in, right?
- Leo: Mr. President –
- Bartlet: Am I right, or am I missing something here?
- Admiral Fitzwallace: No, sir. You’re right, sir.
- Bartlet: Then I ask again, what is the virtue of a proportional response?
- Admiral Fitzwallace: It isn’t virtuous, Mr. President. It’s all there is, sir.
- Bartlet: It is not all there is.
- Leo: Sir, Admiral Fitzwallace –
- Admiral Fitzwallace: Excuse me, Leo…pardon me, Mr. President, just what else is there?
- Bartlet: The disproportional response. Let the word ring forth, from this time and this place, gentlemen, you kill an American, any American, we don’t come back with a proportional response. We come back with total disaster! [He bangs the table]
- General: Are you suggesting that we carpet-bomb Damascus?
- Bartlet: I am suggesting, General, that you, and Admiral Fitzwallace, and Secretary Hutchinson, and the rest of the National Security Team take the next sixty minutes and put together an American response scenario that doesn’t make me think we’re just docking somebody’s damn allowance!
President Obama might want to start studying a few old episodes of The West Wing. Maybe if he familiarizes himself with it, he’ll figure out that it’s no response at all, let alone a “proportional one” to let the deaths of four Americans, including an Ambassador, get buried in order to hide the President’s (and his team’s) lies and mistakes.
By the way, if you have followed Sorkin’s career, you’ll know that he’s a drug-fueled genius with a true gift for words and a passion for using TV and movies to convince people of the Democrat Party’s virtues. He also runs to the well a few too many times: