Are Republicans beating Benghazi to death at the cost of a substantive argument?
Juan Zarate, who was a counterterrorism adviser to President George W. Bush, says people could be asking meaty questions about the nature of the evolving terrorist threat, but they're not.
"I think it's been substance that's lost amidst the debate about talking points and the way that the administration portrayed the incidents in the early days after the attacks," Zarate says.
There was a substantive investigation into the attacks. Retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering co-chaired the independent commission. The State Department accepted all of his recommendations and fired four people. That was two months ago.
Now, Pickering says, the Benghazi debate is in a new chapter.
"The political questions will obviously continue as long as people feel there's political mileage to be made of them," Pickering says.
When asked if that's par for the course in Washington, Pickering says, "I think this is quite unusual. This is the first time that this kind of a review has been so politicized."
One reason for the politicization is that the attack took place in the final weeks of a presidential campaign. But the election was three months ago. And still the Benghazi drumbeat continues, after 10 Congressional hearings and many more staff briefings.
Tad Devine, a Democratic political consultant, points out that for the first time in decades, Republicans trail in polls on foreign policy and national security. "And I think they see an opportunity here to try to diminish the president on one of his strongest suits."