As a proud, patriotic American, I am embarrassed by the calls that are being made for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice to resign. Not even a month after the murder of our ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans, many are politicizing their deaths rather than honoring their service—hardly the behavior that one would or should expect from the citizens of the nation that leads the free world.
No doubt, there are difficult questions that need to be answered—and will be answered. But it’s absurd for casual observers to claim that they know exactly what happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. For heaven’s sake, our own intelligence community is still trying to piece together a definitive account! As veteran intelligence analyst Paul Pillar observed this week, Secretary Clinton “has, per standard procedures, appointed an accountability review board (led by a highly respected and experienced retired diplomat, Thomas Pickering) to assess what happened in Benghazi. Let the board do its job.”
We—politicians, policymakers, citizens—constantly complain about the lack of civility in Washington, but we don’t seem to follow some basic guidelines for making the situation better. So here’s a quick memo to all Americans, no matter your ideology: stop calling those who disagree with you Nazis. Stop calling them your enemies. Stop calling them anti-American. When tragedies befall our nation, don’t exploit them to score political points. You get the idea. We dishonor the sacrifice of Ambassador Stevens and his colleagues by turning a time of mourning into a pretext for recrimination.