Perhaps I spoke to soon in criticizing CNN's John King for focusing so much of his Benghazi analysis on Republicans exploiting -- or thinking of exploiting -- the scandal for political purposes. In a segment that aired as part of the network's special report on the terrorist attack, King was harshly critical of the administration's handling of the massacre and its aftermath:
"There is no disputing this: The explanations have at times been inconsistent, conflicting, and inaccurate ... [Carney soundbyte on single minor change to talking points]. That's just not true. We now know the National Security Council staff was behind several edits and the State Department pushed others."
Nearly a year later, Benghazi remains a flashpoint in Washington for two very different reasons: indefensible pre-attack policy decisions and irresistible post-attack politics. The Obama White House, from the president on down, complains of "phony" Republican-led congressional investigations. Yet the administration's own reluctant, and at times inaccurate, responses to congressional inquiries have contributed to the GOP charge that the administration, at a minimum, has been less than transparent. "We need to get to the bottom of what happened that terrible night, why it happened, and how we can prevent similar tragedies in the future," House Speaker John Boehner said last week in serving notice the House Benghazi investigations would continue into the fall, and include new subpoenas for documents and testimony if necessary. There are legitimate questions about why repeated and specific warnings about the Benghazi security situation were undervalued or ignored.
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