Benghazigate is three scandals for the very heavy price of two. The first concerns the fact that the diplomatic staff in Libya called for extra security and didn't get it. The only defense the Administration has on that one is to say that embassies and consulates are always calling for more security. That defense deconstructs itself. The administration's job is to decide when such requests should be granted and when not. If you fail to grant such a request and an ambassador is murdered by a terrorist attack, then you blew it big time. VP in charge of sighs and sneers, Joe Biden, assures us that neither he nor the President new of the requests. I believe him. Without attending his national security meetings, how would the President know anything about it?
The Administration is wisely withholding comment until an investigation is concluded, since the results will not be released until after the election.
The second scandal concerns the Administration's full court press to convince all of us that the blame for the attack falls on the infamous film. Ambassador Rice's words aside, President Obama and his staff spent weeks talking about an anti-Islam film clip when it was clear from day two that the wave of protests had nothing to do with the attack on the Benghazi Consulate. Either the Administration was lying or the Administration was incompetent. These aren't mutually exclusive.
The third scandal, more important and therefore largely neglected, is what Benghazigate says about the President's Libya policy. Destroying the Gaddafi regime from the air may be regime change on the cheap, but it left us with precious little influence on the ground. Libya is now crawling with heavily armed militias over which the government, such as it is, has no control. Apparently some of these militias are Al Qaeda. Meanwhile, blowback from the collapse of Gaddafi's regime has destabilized nearby Mali.
The Administration's war in Libya has left the region in rather worse shape than before, not to mention killing the War Powers Act dead. The President launched that war while on spring break in South America. Whatever he was doing back then, he wasn't spending much time in foreign policy briefings and he wasn't thinking his Libya policy through. Ambassador Stevens has paid with his life for the President's policy. That might not be the biggest price that will come due.