Benghazi is the Conspiracy Theory That Just Won’t Go Away

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When Republicans get hold of a pet rock these days, they just can’t give it up. Yes, I’m talking about Benghazi:

James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma said his panel would focus on the military’s response to the assault. But, he said, “as bad as everything that I’ve stated is, what I think is worse is the cover-up.”

“It was obvious from the information we had on Sept. 11 that the second wave … of attacks on the annex was unequivocally a terrorist attack, and we knew it right at the time,” he said, accusing the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan E. Rice, of lying to the American people.

Here’s what I don’t get: what exactly does Inhofe think Obama gained from this nefarious plot to wait a week before admitting Benghazi was a terrorist attack? The best explanation I’ve gotten when I asked this before revolves around the weird idea that Obama’s reelection chances all hinged on the public believing that he was the guy who won the war on terror once and for all. So if he admitted that Benghazi was a terrorist attack, then poof—Mitt Romney is the 45th president of the United States.

This makes even less sense than the claim that Susan Rice lied in the first place. What’s more, it’s obviously a political loser regardless of whether or not it’s true. In fact, it’s been a loser ever since Obama pwned Romney in the second debate last year. Outside the tea party fever swamp, where everything Obama does is automatically part of a cunning plot to accomplish….something, no one cares. And it’s not as if Inhofe is up for reelection next year and needs to polish up his crackpot bona fides.

What the hell is up with this?

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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