Washington is gripped with Benghazi Fever. It is a tricky and treacherous disease.
On the surface, it manifests itself as a deep and seemingly patriotic concern about the deaths of US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans — two of whom worked for the CIA.
These symptoms, however, are extremely misleading.
In essence, Benghazi Fever resembles a personality disorder. Its symptoms: impulsive irresponsibility and extreme cold-heartedness. Late-stage Benghazi Fever is characterized by profoundly superficial explosions of egocentricity.
Some experts even suggest that this parasitic urge to exploit public misfortune for personal gratification may have a strangely sexual element. It is a way, the thinking goes, to release the daemons that linger after a miserably humiliating public failure.
Republican Senator John McCain is currently in the midst of a full-blown attack. To make matters worse, McCain is a carrier. He has infected Republican colleague Lindsey Graham, who has previously proven himself to be susceptible to a wide range of other political perversions.
The only known antidote to Benghazi Fever is truth — of which there is a chronic shortage in Washington.
So in the days to come, as America watches the sick and twisted psyches of McCain and Graham writhe in outraged ecstasy on cable and network news, remember these facts:
1. UN Ambassador Susan Rice was not involved in any way, shape, or form with Benghazi — other than to act as a glorified talking head in the absence of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was abroad on business at the time.
2. Because Clinton is too formidable and popular a political figure to attack with pathetic conspiracy theories, Rice is the surrogate victim. (If fake conspiracies didn't doom Clinton during the trumped-up Whitewater scandal, they wouldn't work now. McCain knows this.)
3. It's convenient that Rice is President Obama's pick to succeed Clinton. By attacking Rice, the moral midgets are really attacking Obama, who is relatively impervious to assault these days because of his recent re-election victory. Attempting to hurt a weaker target in order to vicariously injure a more powerful one is a pretty good definition of cowardice. It's also an example of what the Nixon White House called "ratfucking."
4. There is a reasonable chance that the Senate Benghazi hearings will find a degree of error or unpreparedness leading up to the attack. That is what boy toy and former CIA director David Petraeus was testifying about the episode when the Phoenix went to press. The fact that congressional Republicans cut requests for State Department security funds will likely also come into play.
5. Four people died in the Benghazi attack, and that tragic fact can not be undone. Nearly five thousand American service members died in Iraq, along with upwards of 100,000 Iraqi civilians. All died because public officials like McCain and Graham bought the lies of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction and building an atomic bomb. Why haven't McCain and Graham investigated this?
Your witness, America. Gobble, gobble.