|Kimberly Meuse: Artist, Analyst, Citizen|
Read it into the Congressional Record. Read it on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Recite it whole whenever Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly or Mitch McConnell or the Koch brothers surrogates utter the word, "Benghazi." Kimberly Meuse has so thoroughly demolished the whole absurd Right Wing blow hard narrative about the Benghazi debacle it is amazing nobody has done what she has done sooner.
An artist in Portsmouth, N.H. has somehow done what all the yammering would be pundits have failed to do: She simply places the deaths of an ambassador and other Americans in historical context and along the way she shames (if it were possible for Republicans to fee shame) Kelly Ayotte for her pandering the the worst excesses of the Republican conspiracy.
Read the Portsmouth Herald's letters to the editor for May 14, 2014, and there it is, all laid out.
Starting with the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beruit which killed 16, and moving on to the bombing, just 6 months later, of the U.S. marine compound in Beruit early in the Reagan administration, with the deaths of 241 Americans, Ms. Meuse recalls how very differently a Democratic Speaker of the House responded, with a single, thoughtful, bipartisan effort to analyze what went wrong and to prevent another disaster. After the first attack, the Congressional investigators laid down plans to protect foreign missions from similar attacks, but the Reagan administration failed to implement them in time to prevent the second attack on the marines or a third attack in which the CIA station chief in Beruit was kidnapped and yet another attack killed more Americans. When President Reagan was asked how he could have allowed the subsequent attacks to occur without implementing any of the safeguards and walls of protection the Congressional committee had recommended, he famously shrugged and replied, "Anyone who's ever had their kitchen done over knows that it never gets done as soon as you wish it would."
Ms. Meuse remarks, "Imagine the Republican response today if President Obama made this quote. Would Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., have declared Reagan's words 'didn't pass the laugh test?'"
Along the way, Meuse builds the case that in the Democratic response to the deaths of Americans in Lebanon was the clear intention to avoid scoring political points but to honor the deaths of those who served by trying to ensure no more of their colleagues would suffer the same fate, while in the Republican response, years later, all that counts is politics and point scoring. Buried in Senator Ayotte's indignation is the plain fact that the Republicans in Congress have gutted protection for our foreign service officers overseas by cutting funds through sequestration. For Republicans, money is more important than the lives of American foreign service officers.
But, then again, in the eyes of the Tea Party Republican Congress, foreign service officers are just part of the problem, because they are part of government.
And you know, as Reagan chanted so often: Government is not the solution. Government is the problem."
When government is run by Republicans, the Mad Dog must agree this is true.
|Joseph Welch: "Senator, At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"|