CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, Republicans are expected to accuse her of "lying" to Americans about the confusing attack on the U.S. Embassy at Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.
In that chaotic event, Ambassador Christopher Stevens and an aide died of smoke inhalation. Hours later, an attack on a nearby CIA compound killed two security contractors.
At first, most observers assumed the attackers were a mob of Muslims enraged by a low-grade American video that mocked the Prophet. Later, it was determined that some Islamic militia members had been involved. This discovery spurred Washington Republicans to declare that the State Department had "lied" about the attack.
Reporter Lara Logan of the CBS "60 Minutes" show joined the clamor. Soon after the attack, she told a foreign policy group: "I knew that we were being lied to, and I knew that the American people were being misled."
In October, she delivered a "60 Minutes" segment, repeatedly saying al-Qaida terrorists staged the attack -- although no reliable evidence has found an al-Qaida connection. Her star witness was a security consultant called "Morgan Jones," whose real name is Dylan Davies. He claimed he scaled a 12-foot wall, struck a terrorist with his rifle butt, and saw the ambassador's body.
The show spurred Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to announce that he would block all of President Obama's appointees unless the FBI revealed hidden reports about Benghazi.
Later, The Washington Post and The New York Times revealed that Davies gave contradictory reports to the FBI and his employer, declaring that he didn't go to the embassy or the compound during the attack.
Later, it was learned that Davies has written a book, about to be published by a CBS division that prints works by right-wing authors like Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and Glenn Beck.
When it was learned that Davies had lied in the "lies" show, CBS erased all traces of the segment from the Internet, and its publishing branch canceled the Davies book. Logan and her producer both were suspended by "60 Minutes."
Three years remain until the 2016 election -- but hateful political accusations and smears never cease. No wonder so many Americans turn their backs on politics and don't vote. Meanwhile, people who care about the nation's leadership must endure the endless barrage of political attacks and try to reach intelligent conclusions on their own.