Paul Greenberg

Now we know. Or at least we know more than we did about what happened at Benghazi, and, even more telling, what happened afterward. And there's doubtless more to come. With each congressional hearing, with each appearance by another whistleblower, the picture becomes more complete. And it's not pretty. It's more like that Portrait of Dorian Gray hidden away in the attic that, when it is finally uncovered, shows every dirty deception, every scabrous half-truth that is even worse than a lie, all of it detailed in those emails that are today's equivalent of the Nixon Tapes. It could be the 1970s again.

The Portrait of Benghazi painted by this administration now begins to reveal every crack and flaw, every rhetorical sleight-of-word used to cover, first, its feckless incompetence when it came to protecting our diplomats and then, much worse, its attempts to cover its tracks even as the true heroes of Benghazi were being brought home in coffins.

As was said during Watergate, it's not the original scandal that disgraces a politician, even on the presidential level, but the cover-up, the tissue of fabrications a president -- and in this case a secretary of state, too -- kept weaving. Only to see it unravel at an ever faster pace.

The truth about what happened at Benghazi -- and afterward -- continues to out. But we the (ever-gullible) people are supposed to believe that all last week's sworn testimony was just part of a Republican plot to smear our leaders. But that dog won't hunt, as we say in these latitudes. Because, to quote a Republican who in his time was also denounced as just troublemaker seeking only partisan advantage, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time. And time is running out for those still defending the administration's execrable handling of Benghazi -- before, during and after the slaughter there.

Like the layers of an onion, all the administration's misleading statements about Benghazi are now being peeled away one by one, perhaps not as fast as it can change them but fast enough so that anyone who still cares about the truth can go back and see what they were -- only cover stories. One after the other:

--Even as she stood by as the remains of the four dead Americans as they were brought home, our secretary of state blamed the assault that killed them on a "mob" inflamed by a sacrilegious video that, we find out, had nothing to do with it.

Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.