See if this sounds applicable to the events at the U.S. Capitol last week:
“First, the [current] administration misled the American public.… Second, security [on site] was inadequate given the risk to the facility, and [the key official] had missed the last clear chance to protect” the people there. “Third, when things went badly, America did not move heaven and earth to rescue our people.” Finally: “It is our belief that many of these failures were the result of the administration’s obsession with preserving a political narrative.”
That third point was especially important. Once the assault on a government facility had begun, the administration rejected “multiple requests for help” for several critical hours. It was a massive dereliction of duty. The congressmen wrote that “it is also the story of [an administration] seemingly more concerned with politics and [the top official’s] legacy than with protecting its people.” At least four people died in that assault, even as the administration denied responsibility for putting and leaving its personnel in harm’s way.
You may have figured it out — the above refers not to recent events (although it quite easily fits them), but to the Obama administration’s handling of the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya. The report in question was signed by Reps. Mike Pompeo — now President Trump’s secretary of state — and Rep. Jim Jordan R-Ohio, currently on the House floor defending another president and another attack on another U.S. government facility.
Four hours after the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol had begun, Trump offered only excuses for the insurrectionist rioters via Twitter — “these are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated.”
Jordan back then was outraged by Obama’s neglect. He approvingly cited presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the time, in words that could apply directly to Trump’s Tweet above.
“I’m outraged by the attacks on the American [facility]… and by the death of a [security] official,” Romney had said. “It’s disgraceful that the… administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks” on our government building, “but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
Now Jordan is defending Trump’s encouragement of rioters. How things change.
Jordan and Pompeo were right to blast President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Benghazi fiasco. The Obama team’s actions helped precipitate the deadly situation. Their failure to react was responsible, arguably, for American casualties. And their lies, based on political considerations, were appalling.
Yet if Benghazi was bad, last Wednesday was worse – and it was more easily avoidable. Trump spent weeks inviting a mob to show up and feeding them lies about a stolen election – lies amplified by Jordan. Trump incited the mob, if not directly to violence, at least to extreme anger. And he repeatedly refused even to denounce, much less take action against, the attackers.
This attack wasn’t half a world away, with conflicting, confusing information coming in. This attack was right down the street from President Trump, on live TV – and it was against the most sacred civic structure in all of the nation, namely the U.S. Capitol.
Pompeo now serves this oaf of a president without a single criticism. Worse, Jordan vociferously defends Trump – and now he is leading an attempt to strip from party power the one leader, Liz Cheney, who calls for a “vote of conscience” against the president.
Clearly, Jordan doesn’t understand what a conscience is. Obviously, he doesn’t mind being a hypocrite. It is Jordan, not Cheney, who is unfit for further authority in the Republican Party, or indeed as a member of the very Congress that was assaulted in part because of his own lies.