In a 1941 novella called Logic of Empire, the science-fiction writer Robert Heinlein has one character say to another, “You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.” The quote has entered the lexicon as “Heinlein’s razor.”
Heinlein’s razor is surely on the minds of some who watched the Benghazi hearing in the House on Wednesday, at which America’s former top diplomat in Libya, Gregory Hicks, gave a disturbing insider’s account of the September 11, 2012, attacks, as well as of the parade of mistakes that constituted their prologue and aftermath.
What I find most disturbing about the tragedy in Benghazi is the willingness of so many Americans to simply ignore a catastrophe for American foreign policy; we send these guys into harm’s way, and they willingly go because they believe that the United States will bend every effort to save them if they get into trouble…and they now know this is not true. We have destroyed a bond of trust and far fewer of our best and brightest will risk their lives to save the political career of those who don’t care.
The sad fact is that the press of today will spend much more time trying to discredit the witnesses and victims than actually trying to find out what happened.