A liberal’s quibble: Benghazi wasn’t ‘terrorism’ at all

This is how liberals cloud their minds.

For the second time this week, liberal writer Paul Waldman graces the pages of the American Prospect about the Benghazi scandal.

benghaziattackfoxPompously sweeping aside even the folks on his side of the sanity divide (the wrong side), Waldman argues that the whole dispute about whether President Obama called the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the American outpost “a terrorist attack” or an “act of terror” is really irrelevant.

His point is summed up neatly in the headline: “Benghazi was neither a terrorist attack nor an act of terror.”

To make it, he cites “a nice succinct definition of terrorism” under federal law.

Section 2656f(d) of Title 22 of the United States Code, Waldman writes with precious punctiliousness, defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”

“So why wasn’t Benghazi terrorism?” Waldman asks. “Because the people targeted weren’t civilians.”

The U.S. station in Benghazi was a CIA operation, he says. So the attack wasn’t on “civilians.”

Cute, really. Clever.

And wrong in any way that matters. The code Waldman quotes doesn’t say “civilians.” It says “non-combatant” targets. Christopher Stevens was the American ambassador to Libya, a diplomat. The consulate was a diplomatic outpost. And by definition, a diplomat – going back to the days when diplomats were invented – is nothing if not a non-combatant.

Someone who makes a living with words — even lying with them — should know they mean things.

Now, this kind of supercilious semantics isn’t particularly important. No Democrat with real power – not even Hillary Clinton on her worst “what difference does it make” kind of day would try something so blatantly misdirectional – but it does shed a little light onto the way liberals think.

It might even give you a look at the interminable “prosecution” of U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan,  the Islamist who shouted “Allahu Akbahr,” while murdering 12 soldiers and one civilian at Fort Hood, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2009.

Conservatives and the victims’ survivors were incensed when the administration classified that crime as “workplace violence” rather than terrorism, but Waldman’s piece gives us a clue as to their thinking. As any act of violence is permissible to a terrorist for the desired end, any distortion of reality is permissible to a liberal for political purposes.

Although he never gets around to coming up with his own preferred tag for the Benghazi attack, Waldman uses his piece in part to describe the dispute over the president’s words immediately after Benghazi (“act of terror” versus the more accurate “terrorist attack”) as like an argument over “saying ‘steaming pile of bulls***t’ when you ought to say ‘steaming bulls***t pile.’”

If you read his piece, you’ll know what he means.

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