When the American ambassador to Libya was killed in Benghazi, half way around the world, in a foreign land, in a far from friendly place, Susan Rice made a statement on behalf of the Obama administration based on information provided to her by the intelligence community.
It later proved to be inaccurate, and because of whining by the Republican side of Congress, she is no longer being considered as a possible replacement for Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state.
Yet, Friday, in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, 28 people died, and the facts that were in Saturday’s papers were inaccurate and misleading, despite being on friendly soil, with our legions of journalists, police and probably even school security cameras (nothing has been mentioned about if the school had them or not- yet every Dayton Public School does).
Reports yesterday had the shooter, Adam Lanza, son of a teacher at the school, being let in because he was known to the people in the office, and using a Sig and a Glock to do the shooting. Today, we learn that Ms. Lanza’s occupation is unknown, that Adam used the Bushmaster assault rifle and that he shot his way in. Yesterday, much was blamed on Adam being mentally unfit- yet, even today, the closest thing we hear is he may have Asperger’s syndrome, a high functioning version of autism- hardly a psychotic diagnosis, or grounds for being denied the ability to purchase a gun (not that he needed to- he used his momma’s).
Conspiracy theories were in overdrive after Benghazi, about what we knew, if it could have been avoided, that Rice was purposefully misleading the public and that the Petraeus affair was exposed to stop the CIA director from testifying about what the spooks knew in advance. Speculation about what could have been done to stop the deaths of a diplomat and some former Navy Seals on private contract was rampant.
Yesterday, I watched typically normal friends on Facebook turn into irrational asses as they discussed their views on the 1st grade massacre. The gun nuts argued that the shooter had to be mentally ill to use a gun to kill and the others argue that that’s what guns are for. The argument that “if only the teachers were packing heat” those kids would be OK doesn’t fly, considering that I’m pretty sure the former Navy Seals in Benghazi were not only packing- but trained better than any grade school teacher with a pistol would be. And, from a former professional soldier’s observation, your pop gun in your pocket won’t help much against a guy with a death wish and a .223 caliber carbine.
While the process of solving our gun problem (and yes, it’s a problem when innocent children are getting executed) may not be something that can happen quickly, it’s time for the President to push back against the Republican argument about Susan Rice and say you can’t have it both ways and nominate Susan Rice as secretary of state.
When it comes to war, be it half way around the world, or in a quiet bedroom community in Connecticut, first reports are almost always wrong and making important decisions based on them can have disastrous consequences and make fools out of wise men.
One thing is for sure, no journalists will be investigated for spreading untruths about Sandy Hook, nor will they be held accountable for publishing falsehoods.