Important!This letter was published in the July 9, 2018 Sentinel Record, in response to the response to “A Funk of Fundamentalists” a few days earlier. You can read that erudite brevity in the comments that followed. I await, with breathless anticipation, the next volley of Trump adoration…
Monsieur d’Nalgar, Mardi 9 juillet 2018, ère commune
On September 11, 2012, four Americans died in Benghazi, Libya. Ever since, their fog-of-war deaths have been fodder for a macabre, puppet-theater burlesque of right-wing propaganda. Contrarians may wax poetic with fanciful exaggerations, but the dead did not “come home in wooden boxes.” As it has been for decades, their remains were respectfully returned to Dover Air Force Base in flag-draped metal containers.
President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton were there when the plane landed. Here is part of what Obama said on that sad occasion.
“Four Americans, four patriots, they loved their country and chose to serve it and serve it well. They had a mission and they believed in it, and they knew the danger and they accepted it. They didn’t simply embrace the American ideal, they lived it, they embodied it: the courage, the hope and, yes, the idealism.”
Clinton also spoke, saying the four were “at the heart of what makes America great and good.” She added, “America must keep leading the world. We owe it to these four men to continue the long, hard work of diplomacy. We will wipe our tears and stiffen our spines and face the future undaunted.”
Hardly what we hear from the usual Benghazi! screamers, is it? Last October, when four American Green Berets were killed in Niger and one of them, Sergeant La David Johnson, was abandoned for nearly 48 hours, where were the rabid exhortations to “Lock him up!?” Was Trump on hand at Dover when their remains came home? Of course not! He was golfing in Florida and tweeting about “fake news.”
In fact, he was completely silent about what happened in Niger for 12 long days. Finally, he whined that Obama had never called families of Americans killed on his watch, so why should he? It was a blatant lie, but not unexpected. Trump and mendacity are dear old friends. Eventually, his huge, magnificent eloquence did burst forth when he called Sgt. Johnson’s widow. “He knew what he was signing up for, but I guess it hurts anyway.”
She cried. Our Comforter-in-Chief made a soldier’s widow cry. Think about that the next time you resurrect the same tired canards about Benghazi. You dishonor America’s dead and their service to our country when you cherry-pick your facts. Context matters. Four months after Benghazi, Secretary Clinton faced an inquisition led by Republican Ron Johnson (coincidentally, Wisconsin also spawned Joseph McCarthy). This was her response:
“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 that 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, Senator.”
Truth. It’s never as sexy as the stuff you make up. Is it?
Hot Springs, Arkansas