I think to understand Bengazi, you have to break it down into four completely different and in large part separate issues.
Issue I. Background: What we now know is that the Bengazi attack was a preplanned al Qaeda attack timed to coincide with the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Bengazi was known to be an extremely dangerous place. Ambassador Stevens had sent cables stating his fear that the security situation was highly dangerous and eroding. Both the British and the Red Cross viewed the city as too dangerous to operate in and pulled out. There is some evidence that intelligence caught wind of something being planned--the information might not have been complete enough to be actionable, but it was enough to raise the threat-level. In light of all of this, instead of increasing the security forces in Bengazi and the protection details around the embassy, and instead of following the Brits and the Red Cross and pulling US personnel out, the State Department ordered the security of the embassy handed over to local Libyan forces and removed much of the US-based protective forces. This reduced the security of the embassy and put its protection into the uncertain hands of local Libyan forces. The attack followed.
The Issue: Here, the issue is how the attack came to happen, and how the embassy was so poorly protected in the first place. Why were Ambassador Steven's warnings ignored? Why was the security so poor in a place that everyone seemed to agree was highly dangerous? Why was the embassy served up for attack on a silver platter? What in the &^$$ was the State Department thinking? And who was the highest level State Department official who as in on that bone-headed decision--a decision which got our ambassador and three others killed.
Issue II. Background: On the night of 9/11/2012, our embassy came under a prolonged attack over the course of many hours. During the lengthy
battle, which ebbed and flowed and moved to a second location, no help was ordered for the embassy
personnel--they were completely on their own. This despite the fact that there were forces nearby which could have been on site within a few hours.
The Issue: Why did help never come? Was sending help ever debated? If so by whom? If not, why not? Was there anyone advocating for helping? Was there someone advocating letting our embassy burn and exposing our embassy personnel to a high risk of death. Who was the highest ranking official in on that decision?
Issue III. Background: Once the embassy fell, there was the apparent coverup by the White House. Instead of admitting this was an al Qaeda operation timed to coincide with the 9/11 anniversary, they blamed a video and its maker.
The Issue: How was that decision made? Who made it? Who knew the talking points were bogus and yet went in front of the American people to push their version of the story.
As a corollary to this one is the fact that Hilary told a father of one of the fallen at Bengazi that they'd take care of it by throwing the filmmaker in jail. That on its own is a serious issue. They scapegoated the movie maker and threw him in jail to provide cover for the real story.
Issue IV. Background: For the last year and a half, the media has allowed themselves to be played by the White House. Instead of pressing for answers, they tried to suppress and ridicule anyone who actually felt that there was a real issue here. I'm sure everyone in Washington and in the Washington press corps knew exactly what had happened and knew how the White House was spinning. They weren't being fooled, they were willingly playing along.
The Issue: How corrupt is the national media? And how can democracy survive such a pet and tame news corps?
Those these four issues overlap and interlock, they each need to be considered independently and in depth.