Julie McDonald-Smith’s recent column (“The Right View: Obama’s lawlessness shocking on its face”) was a spectacular exercise in propaganda, paranoia and generally poor writing. It should be shared with Maine students as an exercise in rhetoric: spot the fallacy.

The factual inaccuracies and unfounded conclusions of McDonald-Smith’s column are too numerous to fully address, so I take issue here with only her most offensive comment. Regarding the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, she wrote “Four Americans died that night under Obama’s ‘leadership,’ and his whereabouts the night of that attack are still unknown.”

Read that again: the former chairwoman of the Cape Elizabeth Republican Committee is seriously suggesting that as she has no knowledge of the President’s whereabouts on the night of the Benghazi attack, President Obama should therefore be considered a suspect in the murder of Ambassador Stevens.

By that brilliant logic, until McDonald-Smith comes forward with a full accounting of her whereabouts on the night of the Benghazi attack, she should probably be considered a suspect as well.

This brings me to my main point. The Forecaster’s guidelines for Op-Eds state that the author should display an authoritative knowledge of the subject on which they are commenting. By that standard, and in the interest of informed civic debate, please cancel McDonald-Smith’s column. Propaganda mixed with poor logic makes for authoritative ignorance, not knowledge.

Wells Lyons