That is unacceptable.
But why, then, are the Republican Senators McCain and Lindsay Graham continuing to attack Susan Rice, an Obama insider and US ambassador to the United Nations?
At yesterday's press conference, President Obama was right to be angry. How many times does it need to be repeated: Ambassador Rice was not in the chain of command and was acting at the direction of the White House.
Americans understand how the right wing message machine, like Fox News, tried to make Benghazi a defining issue in the recent presidential election. Fox, Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch, and the panoply of faux news hosts and commentators, failed.
The Republican Congress has legitimate reasons to question the performance of the State Department, but the point has been driven into dust.
On Benghazi and Ambassador Rice's comments to the media after the tragedy, it is clear that the Administration was struggling to ascertain facts on the ground, in an extraordinarily difficult Libyan environment, and also meet the public's right to know.
But for Republicans to continue to fan the flames on Benghazi invites the observation that John McCain and the GOP are fighting the last political war with President Obama, or the war before that. This "escalating" controversy shows the Republican leadership in Congress at its worst: picking at a scab to inflame the infection of conspiracies and anger. If this is setting the tone for the new relationship between the Republican Congress and President Obama, the message that sends is that Ambassador Rice is being tied to the political stake to be burned in the public square like the witches of Eastwick in puritan times.
Perhaps it is time for former UN Ambassador Colin Powell to speak out. There is no one more qualified that General Powell to defend Ambassador Rice, by explaining the difference between repeating a lie that led to a trillion dollar war and trying to explain a tragedy in hindsight -- four American deaths -- that happened under murky circumstances.