The front page of this morning's Intelligencer carried about 80% of the AP article on the likelihood that Hillary Clinton would win the Democratic Party's nomination.
On the editorial page, however, it was business as usual as we got Patrick Buchanan's anti-Hillary column from last Thursday. I'm sometimes amazed that the Intelligencer prints neo-isolationist Patrick Buchanan's columns when he attacks the foreign policy positions the Intelligencer clearly favored and currently support. Today, for instance, he attacks Clinton for supporting the Iraq War calling it "the worst blunder in U.S. history." Was there a newspaper more gung-ho for that war than the Intelligencer? I didn't see any. Today, he tells us what Americans don't want:
They do not want any more Middle East wars. They do not want to fight Russians in the Baltic or Ukraine, or the Chinese over some rocks in the South China Sea.
They understand that, as Truman had to deal with Stalin, and Ike with Khrushchev, and Nixon with Brezhnev, and Reagan with Gorbachev, a U.S. president should sit down with a Vladimir Putin to avoid a clash neither country wants, and from which neither country would benefit.
I do not have any evidence that is not anecdotal to support this but my hunch is that most Trump supporters would not agree with Buchanan's assessment of them. I may be wrong but I don't see a majority of his supporters favoring the "let's sit down and talk about this" school of diplomacy.
Finally, I doubt that very few readers, beyond Buchanan fans and bloggers (both very small in actual numbers), read his entire column. Why publish him, then? Because most will read only the headline and
'America First' Not for Hillary"
fits nicely into the locals' ongoing narrative about Hillary.
And then there is today's editorial, "Clinton's Character Still in Question," which is yet another attack on her. Why should we question her character? The editorial's answer is simple: there's the emails and Benghazi. Taking its cue from Fox News' ongoing coverage of the now four-year-old attack in Benghazi, the editorial raises the same already-been-answered-a-thousand-times questions:
And despite Clinton's claims there is nothing more to learn about the 2012 terrorist attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, questions remain there, too. Clinton was secretary of state at the time. Why were warning signs about terrorist activity in Benghazi ignored? Why was help not sent sooner to the beleaguered Americans there?
Perhaps most unsettling, why did Clinton and others in President Barack Obama's administration continue to insist the attack was a spontaneous one caused by an anti-Muslim video - when they knew full well that was not the case?
Hey, maybe Congress should investigate! Except that they have again and again. And again. And again. According to the Benghazi Research Center: As of last month, the estimated cost to taxpayers is $22 million. 10 congressional committees have conducted 7 investigations and held 33 hearings taking up 62 hours. There have been 244 witnesses and 11 reports issued. (Check out the research center's web page -- they have a great deal of information.)
And what did these investigations find out about Benghazi? Here is what fact-checker Politifact concluded:
Clinton said, "There have been seven investigations (of Benghazi) led mostly by Republicans in the Congress" that concluded "nobody did anything wrong, but there were changes we could make."
Clinton’s number is correct: there were seven previous congressional probes into the Benghazi attack. Saying these committees were led "mostly by Republicans" is also a fair assertion: the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs were the only two committees not led by Republicans. As for her comment that there was no overt wrongdoing, just room for improvement, that’s a rosy assessment. But it is also largely accurate. We rate this claim Mostly True.
More importantly, the Republican committee chair's top staffer last month agreed with that assessment:
According to the letter, that staffer, former Gen. Dana Chipman, said in interviews with former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and former Defense Department Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash that the department did all it could on that night when Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
“I think you ordered exactly the right forces to move out and to head toward a position where they could reinforce what was occurring in Benghazi or in Tripoli or elsewhere in the region,” Chipman told Panetta in the committee’s January interview with the former defense secretary, according to transcribed excerpts. “And, sir, I don’t disagree with the actions you took, the recommendations you made, and the decisions you directed.”
Of course, as Fox and our "newspapers" see it, Benghazi must be kept alive for political purposes and so they disregard any evidence to the contrary and keep coming back to it. As even some Republican congressmen have admitted:
A second House Republican has now conceded that the overarching purpose of the House Select Committee on Benghazi has been to attack former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. . . .
“This may not be politically correct, but I think that there was a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual, Hillary Clinton,” Hanna said.
"The truth sets you free"
How far has Fox News gone to promote this scandal? Two years ago they asked the noted foreign affairs expert and Fox football commentator, Terry Bradshaw, about Benghazi. (Yes, that Terry Bradshaw.)
To it's credit, the Intelligencer has not yet quoted Terry about Benghazi.