No matter how many times official investigations, including a Republican-led inquiry, have debunked the claim that the military or the Obama administration issued a “stand down” order or denied support during the 2012 Benghazi attack, GOP politicians continue to push the discredited talking point.
Take, for example, Ben Carson, who has continued writing a weekly column for the far-right outlet WorldNetDaily even after announcing his campaign for president. Writing in WND today, Carson claims that the military will not be able to continue its proud tradition because leaders “abandon[ed] them as they did in Benghazi and [said] it was too dangerous and too late to risk rescue efforts.”
“Why would soldiers in the future take on heroic risks for a nation that would be willing to abandon them when the going gets tough?” Carson writes. “These kinds of dishonest and cowardly decisions will have deleterious effects on the future of our nation.”
Carson also criticizes Harry Reid, whose last name he misspells at times as “Reed,” to claim that his attacks on Mitt Romney during the 2012 election represented “inappropriate internal warfare” and were likely “met with glee by the jihadists and others wishing to destroy our nation and our culture.”
In the end, Carson writes, “we must learn to stop fighting each other and recognize that many of the issues over which we constantly squabble are not Republican or Democratic issues, but rather are pro-American and anti-American issues.”
I have heard many people say that the level of dishonesty and corruption in our society is no worse today than it has been in the past. I have done a great deal of reading about American history, and I take issue with this assessment. I believe there has been a significant moral decline in our society based on the fact that many people now conclude that they themselves are the final arbiter of right and wrong.
By way of example, Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader, was recently being interviewed on one of the cable networks, and he was asked about his claim during the previous election cycle that Mitt Romney had failed to pay income taxes for several years. That was proven false, but the damage had already been done to Mr. Romney. Mr. Reed’s [sic] response was: “Well, he didn’t win, did he?” It was a blatant and unsubstantiated claim made in a politically protected environment. The worst part of this story is that not a single one of Mr. Reed’s [sic] congressional Democratic colleagues condemned this prevarication, and other than Fox news, the story was largely ignored. It is extremely alarming that so many people are more loyal to their political party than they are to the reputation and moral standing of their nation.
When party loyalty trumps a sense of morality, as a nation we are in great trouble. Such attitudes lead to bitter divisions and in many cases outright hatred, which causes people to viciously attempt to harm their perceived opponents. Such inappropriate internal warfare can only be met with glee by the jihadists and others wishing to destroy our nation and our culture. If we are trying to destroy each other, we are obviously making their jobs much easier. Because we are involved in a global struggle for survival, even though many of our leaders refuse to admit that, we must learn to stop fighting each other and recognize that many of the issues over which we constantly squabble are not Republican or Democratic issues, but rather are pro-American and anti-American issues – and we should be on the same side.
How can people be expected to work for the good of a society whose leadership cannot be trusted? How can our military with its proud history of selfless courage be expected to continue such a tradition when our leadership abandons them as they did in Benghazi and says it was too dangerous and too late to risk rescue efforts? Why would soldiers in the future take on heroic risks for a nation that would be willing to abandon them when the going gets tough? These kinds of dishonest and cowardly decisions will have deleterious effects on the future of our nation. When we sacrifice our principles for political expediency, we end up in a very bad place. We must teach our kids the benefits of honesty and integrity. The concept of a clear conscience is worthy of discussion once again. The ability to concentrate on what one is doing because you’re not constantly worried about skeletons in the closet is a topic worthy of in-depth conversation both for us and for the next generation.