Why Benghazi Matters: Part 3 ~ An Open Letter to President Obama

Dear Mr. President,

I had intended to write you yesterday but felt tired. I am still tired, and becoming more so, even as I write you today. I can only imagine how tired you must be.

First, let me say, I am not a registered Republican and I am troubled by your assumption that concerns about Benghazi arise only from “the Republicans.” Regardless of party affiliation, or lack thereof, I remain alarmed by what I see happening and not happening at the highest levels of government under your administration regarding this and (now) other scandals. Over the months in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack, I wrote Senators on both sides of the aisle about this — the Senator from my state of Massachusetts (Elizabeth Warren-D) and Senator Lindsey Graham (SC-R), asking them to pursue answers. (Interestingly, though I am a resident of Massachusetts, my own Senator did not respond, while Senator Graham acknowledged my correspondence within 24 hours.) I hope I have made myself clear that this letter is not partisan or politically motivated.

I felt offended by your comments during the press conference with P.M. Cameron, when you dismissed ongoing concerns about Benghazi, suggesting they were a sideshow of a kind that defies logic. I, as a citizen, possess many logical questions about this incident, and, as I see it, it is the equivocations about the answers to these questions that defy logic.

I cannot get out of my mind the picture of you on the couch on the television show The View on September 25, 2012, two weeks after the attack. Host Barbara Walters joked with First Lady Michelle Obama, thanking her for bringing along “her date.” You, our President, smiled and said, “I’m just supposed to be the eye candy here.” Your jocular repartee in the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi attack was stunning, laughing, sharing White House M&Ms, etc., even while the charred buildings of what had once been a U.S. diplomatic facility lay in ruins, looted and overrun. The FBI itself had not yet been to the cite.

You knew then, sitting on that couch, that the story had been intentionally misrepresented to the families of the victims, the American people and to the world.

Libya’s President was humiliated by the redacted version of events as outlined by UN Ambassador Susan Rice on 16 Sept. His on-the-ground-assessment called this a “terrorist attack” and during the crisis he stood with the Americans at great personal and political risk. When the White House and the State Department changed the story, Libya’s President was shamed and embarrassed and seemed to have lost trust with the American government for which he had risked his presidency.

It is becoming painfully obvious that the American people, too, are being hard-pressed to continue to trust this government. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton posed the rhetorical question, “What does it matter who did this?” I hope you and she are beginning to perceive that this event does matter and that we all would be well-served to get honest answers to logical  questions.

As a person of faith, I would be remiss not to conclude with a final thought. I understand that we all are trying to do the best we can to live with nobility and dignity in this volatile  world. To this end, I want extend to you a prayer:

O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment and light rises up in the darkness, grant our President,  in all his doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what You would have him to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save him from false choices, and that in Your light, he might see light, and in Your straight path, he may not stumble. Amen.


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About Wendy Murray

Wendy Murray is a veteran and award-winning journalist. She served as associate editor and Senior Writer at Christianity Today magazine and has written extensively for other publications such as Books & Culture and The Christian Century. She has written 11 books.