The Benghazi scandal feels awfully familiar to Jackson Diehl; it's a mirror image of the "16 words" fracas that dogged the George W. Bush administration, he writes in the Washington Post. To recap: In 2003, ex-ambassador Joseph Wilson accused Bush of, among other things, knowingly including a 16-word-long false accusation against Saddam Hussein in his State of the Union address. Almost everything Wilson said "proved to be grossly exaggerated, or simply false," Diehl recalls, but it still haunted Bush's team for years.
Now, Democrats are getting a taste of their own medicine, with Gregory Hicks playing Wilson's role when he claimed to have been punished after questioning Susan Rice's initial statement about the Benghazi attack. In both cases we have "the diversion of what should be serious, bipartisan discussion about government failings." Instead of diving into why US intelligence misread Iraq, Wilson had everyone arguing over 16 words. Now, we're debating who said what about the consulate attack, instead of the US' tenuous position in post-revolution Benghazi. "A constructive discussion is there to be had. Instead, we have more bickering over words." Click for Diehl's full column.