Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s statement that she bears responsibility for security at U.S. embassies, Blake Hounshell makes a few salient points. Here’s #1:

It’s a bit rich for all these people to suddenly be arguing that Libya is the most important story in the world after ignoring it for months. It reeks of political opportunism. Did Darrell Issa show any sign that he cared one iota about Libya before the morning of Sept. 12, 2012? Did Mitt Romney?

Nope. I happen to agree with Adam Serwer that Republican investigations into the Benghazi attack are legitimate even if they’re politically inspired, but I also agree with him that these particular investigations have been ineffective precisely because they’re so transparently partisan. There’s just no evidence that Republicans really care about embassy security, only that they want to score some points in the runup to an election.

And here’s point #8:

The United States can’t turn its diplomatic installations into armed camps. U.S. diplomats are going to need to take risks from time to time, and many of them are fully prepared to so. That said, it seems inevitable that this tragedy is going to have precisely the effect the State Department fears: more restrictions on diplomats’ movements, more fortress-like facilities, and less interaction with the locals. American diplomacy will be the worse for it — and that will ultimately make us less safe.

I hope this point gets wide attention. Sometimes stuff happens, but that doesn’t inevitably mean that a huge flurry of new rules have to be put in place. Unfortunately, that’s usually what happens, and it’s usually exactly the wrong thing to do.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate