No, the New Benghazi Emails Don’t Demonstrate a White House Cover-Up

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Wait a second. Is a National Review editor allowed to say this about Benghazi?

On the totality of the evidence we have so far, the White House took the intelligence community and diplomatic community’s estimate, which was relatively uncertain, bereft of much detail, and turned out days later to be quite wrong, and played up certain parts of it to avoid questions about their counterterror strategy and the situation in Libya. That isn’t being as straightforward with the American public as they could or probably should have been; it’s also not a lie or a cover-up.

This is a response to Charles Krauthammer’s bombastic insistence yesterday that newly released Benghazi emails had revealed “a classic cover-up of a cover-up.” But as Patrick Brennan says, they show no such thing.

You know, if conservatives had stuck to a reasonable line like this one in the first place, they could have caused President Obama a lot more damage. Did the White House “play up certain parts” of the Benghazi story in order to “avoid questions about their counterterror strategy”? I’d quibble over some of the details here, but that’s fair enough. And there are certainly legitimate questions—although they cut a bipartisan swath—about how security was handled in Libya before the attacks.

Stick to that stuff and you have a story that resonates—and not in a good way for Obama. Take the Krauthammer route, and you get cheers from the Fox News faithful but not much else. That’s why no one but a hard core of loons and fanatics cares about Benghazi anymore.

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