The end of election season has done little to tamp down members of Congress -- and particularly Republicans' -- quest for answers concerning the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in September. But the reality is the parameters of the attack are largely known at this point, thanks to a raft of briefings and explanations in the press.
Sure, there are questions about which specific U.S. officials knew which piece of intelligence about the assault when and why they characterized it one way as opposed to another in their public comments. But if lawmakers are really serious about "preventing another Benghazi," a goal they repeatedly invoke, then those are not the right questions to be asking.
The deeper issues are related to the level of risk the U.S. ought to subjects its diplomats, soldiers and spies to, and how best to deploy them in unstable parts of the globe. The United States is also due for a reassessment of its overall footprint and engagement strategy for the MENA region -- the Middle East and North Africa -- home to many of those unstable, and strategically important, locales.
Thus far those questions have been relegated largely to the sidelines, both by politicians and the mainstream press. It will be a test of their intentions to see if members of Congress take them up.