Get ready for Benghazi-palooza
Well, summer must be on its way. The weather is turning more hot and humid. TV shows are airing their finales. Kids are looking forward to the end of school. And the Republicans are gearing up for more hearings on Benghazi.
The chairman of the new House select committee on Benghazi, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R, S.C.), was on Sunday talk shows this week, “demanding” to know from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton why the U.S was still in the Libyan city on Sept. 11, 2012, when four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, died in a terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate. He will make sure, he insisted to (where else?) Fox News Sunday, that his committee will get to the bottom of the Benghazi attack, once and for all. Earlier, he even slipped and called the committee’s purpose a “trial.”
Actually, Clinton already has answered that question and many more. In a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in January 2013, Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R, Calif.) asked her why the U.S. was still in Benghazi despite continued threats and an attack on a British diplomat. Here is part of Clinton’s answer:
“Our team, led by security professionals, but also including intelligence professionals and others, did not recommend, based on those incidents, abandoning Benghazi. In part, because over the last years we have become accustomed to operating in dangerous places. … And we do, as by necessity, rely on security professionals to implement the protocols and procedures necessary to keep our people safe. … Because you know, most of the time they get it right. I was also engaged … in the issues related to the deteriorating threat environment, particularly in Libya. There were other places across the region. We were also watching to try to see what we could do to support the Libyan government to improve the overall stability of their country to deal with the many militias.”
Of course, that wasn’t Clinton’s only stop on the Benghazi outrage tour. She also testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R, Calif.), who has spent $14 million in U.S. taxpayer money on repetitive hearings.
There have been 13 public hearings and 50 briefings on the topic, and 25,000 documents have been released, according to Politico. Just how much more do GOP politicians hope to uncover? Or is this just the next moving target, since the Affordable Care Act signed up 8 million people? They can’t really vote to repeal it again, as they’ve done more than 50 times.
And it’s not just GOP politicians: When President Obama announced the latest ACA figures, even Fox News knew the jig was up. So the mentions of the Affordable Care Act continued to drop, and the mentions of Benghazi skyrocketed. Fox pundits were demanding that, during Obama interviews with meteorologists about the White House Climate Change report, those same meteorologists ask questions about Benghazi.
Right. Because Benghazi is so tied to global warming. Sorry, there’s just no “there” there.
In April 1983, when Ronald Reagan was president, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, was destroyed by Islamist militants, killing 61 people. In October 1983, 241 U.S. servicemen were killed in Beirut when a truck bomb exploded in barracks housing the servicemen, who were in Beirut as part of an international peacekeeping force. The U.S. Embassy was rebuilt and had been open for only six weeks when it was bombed again in September 1984, killing 20 people. There was ample evidence of lack of security in all three cases, as later investigations found, but Democrats did not make political hay out of the attacks. They didn’t use the attacks as an excuse to raise political money, as Republicans are doing now.
House Speaker John Boehner told Fox News on Sunday that he wanted committee members to investigate “the number of requests for security and why it was not provided.” Um, Mr. Speaker? It wasn’t provided because the GOP cut funding for embassy security overseas. Also, Ambassador Stevens repeatedly asked that security NOT be increased at the Benghazi consulate. He was an effective ambassador who wanted to be able to move around among Libyan people and not be isolated by security.
Let’s face it: Republicans have nothing to run on this fall, so they have to gin up their base with faux outrage over a tragedy, asking questions to which they already have the answers. Even though the families of the four Americans killed have specifically asked Congress NOT to hold any more hearings. And of course, the real reason for this bogus committee and these bogus hearings is to try to tarnish Hillary Clinton’s standing before the 2016 presidential election.
Welcome to election season. Let’s see if the rest of the media – besides Fox – are gullible enough to play along.