For all the mystery surrounding what exactly happened in Libya on September 11, the basic facts are not in question: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the nearby CIA annex was assaulted and the American ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed. The Obama administration has been less than forthcoming about events, and critics have rightly pressed for answers. The net effect of all this, though, has been to create first and foremost a political battle over whether someone lied to the press or to the American people.

And so, writes Ed Krayewski, despite whoever wins Tuesday’s election, the response to the murder of an American ambassador and three others may well be the sort of action that will “be a gift to jihadists.” What won’t be questioned is the sort of intervention—unilaterally decided by the president and then passively accepted by a pliant Congress—that dropped American diplomats into an unstable situation that no one had a handle on.