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Analysis, discussion and opinions by members of Newsday's editorial board.

Up on the Board: Benghazi cover-up and Suffolk County jails

From right to left, Eric Nordstrom, the State

From right to left, Eric Nordstrom, the State Department's former regional security officer in Libya, Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of mission in Libya, and Mark Thompson, the State Department's acting deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism, testify at a House Oversight Committee hearing about last year's deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (May 8, 2013) (Credit: AP )

The editorial board had a long discussion today about what’s coming out of Congressional hearings about the Benghazi, Libya, attack last Sept. 11, where four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed.

At first, we wondered if we have anything new to say. In past editorials, we've condemned efforts by the Obama administration to cover its mistakes, and we’ve supported the 29 recommendations of an independent review board to harden security at high-risk facilities around the world.

Also, we don’t think it’s particularly helpful to keep focusing on why UN Ambassador Susan Rice said in the first days after that attack that it grew out of a spontaneous protest. “It's been clear for some time now that it didn't,” Newsday said in January. “Rice and President Barack Obama should have been more candid in those first days that it was a premeditated terrorist attack, and that the lack of warning was a failure of intelligence.”


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However, there are new allegations by veteran diplomat Gregory Hicks that he was demoted for raising questions about Rice’s version of events. And House Speaker John Boehner is calling for the release of email that he says show the White House and State Department were involved in rewriting CIA talking points. We decided to reiterate our position about the cover-up and call for the release of the email.

This issue has become so politicized as an effort to smear Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The editorial board is loath to buy into that effort. However, full disclosure of what happened in Libya is essential.

Other topics are Suffolk County’s jail capacity, which we're most likely taking up on Sunday, Suffolk’s land preservation program and driving while texting. Are there sufficient legal punishments for distracted driving?

If you have an opinion on any of the above, simply fill in a comment in the section below, or email letters@newsday.com.

 

Up on the Board is the editorial board's blog about what we just discussed at our weekday morning meeting. These meetings are where we talk about the news of the day and hash out our positions for the opinion sections of Newsday, Newsday Westchester and amNew York.

Tags: Benghazi , suffolk county jail , up on the board

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