By Taylor Armerding
The Hendricks County Flyer
Thu May 23, 2013, 02:42 PM EDT
It is worth mentioning that more Americans were killed by the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last Sept. 11, than were killed by the recent terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon.
Not because the lives of one group of victims is more or less valuable than another. One can even make the argument that while the loss of life in both cases is tragic, those who sign up to serve in hostile foreign lands know they are putting themselves at risk, while those at the marathon didn’t sign up for anything but a nice time at an athletic event.
But with congressional hearings finally under way on the attack in Libya, it is worth noting the difference between the Obama administration’s response to an event carrying little threat of political consequences with one that carries a lot.
In the case of the marathon bombing, the president got to play the role of Comforter in Chief. He got to tell Boston residents how courageous and strong they are. He got to curry more support from public safety unions by constantly calling them “heroic.” He promised that the perpetrators would be found and brought to justice, and thanks in part to a Lord & Taylor security camera, that is happening.
Benghazi, by contrast, had political risk all over it. To admit that it was a pre-planned, organized attack deeply undercut Obama’s campaign narrative that terrorism was fading away — that Islamist fanatics were either on the run or didn’t hate us so much anymore, since he is so much better a representative of America than George W. Bush.
So instead of confronting the truth, the next day the president took off for a fundraiser and left his surrogates to tell a fairytale.
Try to imagine — it shouldn’t be that difficult — what the reaction from the mainstream media would have been if President Bush had done the same thing. We would have been be reminded, again and again, that America’s U.N. ambassador was sent on the Sunday morning talk shows with an absurd claim that a spontaneous demonstration against a “heinous and offensive … reprehensible and disgusting” movie trailer that insulted the Muslim prophet got out of hand when it was suddenly hijacked by extremists, who just happened to have brought heavy weapons.
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Mine? Laughter, as the shout-down was the most entertaining thing I saw all day.
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An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
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Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
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