Eleanor Clift is doubling down on her statement made on the McLaughlin Group when she said Ambassador Chris Stevens wasn’t murdered because he died of smoke inhalation. According to Clift, who attempts to “put into context” her remarks in a column today, Stevens “wasn’t murdered in the sense that word is normally used.”
It is one thing to make an inaccurate remark without thinking through on live television. It is quite another, upon reflection and with time, to repeat that remark days later. Clift’s response to the criticisms coming at her should be to acknowledge that her comments, at least with respect to the definition of murder, were inaccurate. Instead, ignoring the first law of holes, she continues to dig.
I would have to imagine Ms. Clift has never watched an episode of Law & Order. If she had, she would know that murder in the second degree in New York (which is similar to many, if not most, jurisdictions in the United States) includes when a person:
[u]nder circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life… recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes the death of another person; or acting either alone or with one or more other persons, he commits or attempts to commit robbery, burglary, kidnapping, arson, rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, sexual abuse in the first degree, aggravated sexual abuse, escape in the first degree, or escape in the second degree, and, in the course of and in furtherance of such crime or of immediate flight therefrom, he, or another participant, if there be any, causes the death of a person other than one of the participants
So there you have it. Eleanor Clift was wrong on Sunday when she made an ignorant comment and was then wrong, again, on Thursday when she had the time to look up the information. If Benghazi had occurred in the United States, under our criminal law, the perpetrators would be guilty of murder in the second degree for causing the death of Ambassador Stevens by acting with a depraved indifference to human life. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.