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The Boston Globe

Opinion

opinion | Andrew J. Bacevich

Benghazi, Bowe Bergdahl, and manufactured brouhaha

The verdict appears to be in: President Barack Obama is incompetent and irresponsible, if not altogether wicked, a) because he didn’t do all that he could possibly do to save Ambassador Chris Stevens, killed in a 2012 terrorist attack at Benghazi, and b) because he did all that he could possibly do to free an American soldier, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, until last week held captive by the Taliban for five years. But two molehills do not a mountain make.

What these two episodes share in common is this: The attention they have generated, verging on the hysterical, illustrates the ever-advancing trivialization of American political life. Before our very eyes, the ability to distinguish between minutiae and substance, between the story that deserves 15 minutes of attention and the issue of genuine importance, is vanishing.

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