The issuance of the final Benghazi report has caused me to think of one word, “Transparency.” This is what those who issue the report were saying they wanted to achieve. However, it is of interest that another report was issued by oppositional voices to preempt this final report, because it was considered that the findings of this report would be biased.
I have no interest in debating the report or the one offered to preempt the latter, but let me use the desire for transparency to raise questions concerning motivations. I make the questions redundant to underline my point:
- Was the report issued to give clarity to the facts?
- Was it issued to beguile?
- Was it issued to falsify?
- Was it issued to hide the facts?
- Was it issued to vilify?
- Was it issued to help the country or to hurt an individual?
- Was it issued to gratify various persons’ vanity?
- Did it seriously penetrate to the depth or was it just the repetition of superficial facts or factoids?
- Was it an honest report?
- Was it intended to enlighten or create confusion, especially for those who are most naive?
I will allow the issuers of the report to answer the questions. What I have concluded is that within the present political culture it is most difficult to get at transparency. Even if one were to make the effort, the suspicions are so great that the effort fails, before it begins, because people are imputing motives of all sorts.
Of course, I still think it necessary to have transparency in whatever we do, because transparency seeks to get at truth and helps to build trust. It is a known fact that truth that is hidden will surface sooner of later. We are also never to forget that Providence is holding us to account. God is seeing through all of our motivations and he knows when we seek to speak truth or offer lies. He knows what we do not know about ourselves. Like the prophet Jeremiah tells, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV). No wonder that David should ask God, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23, 24, NKJV). The prophet Jeremiah says of the Lord, “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (17:10 NKJV).
Do I need to present any further rationalization for making sure that our focus on transparency needs to be without duplicity? In the ultimate all of us need to be reminded that there is an eternal judgment when all things will be revealed. I am not just appealing to political leaders, but to all of us in positions of trust. Everyone.