Published DateTo the editor,
In politics, we are all aware of deception, lies, spinning the truth etc., but Mr. Meade, in his most recent column, introduces us to the use of "paraphrasing". It seems that in "paraphrasing" you don't have to report an accurate account of what happened — you only have to narrate whatever information serves your political interests, no matter how blatantly misleading.
Mr. Meade, in his inimitable way, fails to give us all the facts of Secretary of State Clinton's response to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He conveniently paraphrased her comments to read, "What difference does it make if it was in response to the video or if it was some guys out for a walk who decided to attack the consulate and kill four Americans." Clinton's actual reply was, "But with all due respect, the fact is that we had four dead Americans. What difference, AT THIS POINT, does it make? IT IS OUR JOB TO FIGURE OUT WHAT HAPPENDED AND DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO PREVENT IT FROM EVER HAPPENING AGAIN." These points, made by Clinton, were left out of Mead's column under the pretext of "paraphrasing".
In essence, what Clinton was emphasizing to the hearing committee was that conflicting reports of the cause of the attack were not the critical (or even significant) issue. The loss of American lives and analyzing what happened and preventing it from happening again, were the critical points in question.
Mead's depictions of Clinton as being "insensitive" and "callous" are politically motivated. She had the temerity to face down a political witch hunt in which she was being asked the same leading questions over and over again by partisan senators who demanded she confirm their accusations instead of providing unwelcoming truthful testimony. The most egregious, was Republican Senator Ron Johnson who, while performing his political theatrics, embarrassed himself, his constituents, and the Republican Party. He admitted to not having reviewed tapes or information provided to the committee regarding the attack. If he had taken the time, he would have been provided with a complete and detailed description of the events as they unfolded. His admitted lack of knowledge and information of the attack make it clear he was more interested in securing political points rather than obtaining the information being sought during the hearings.
Perhaps, in his next editorial, Mr. Meade will elaborate on the 12 attacks, the 56 killed and the 74 injured at United States facilities abroad during the previous administration; more than any administration in our history. Whereas, the present administration has experienced three such attacks, and one of those was in a war zone.
L. J. Siden