Thursday, May 09, 2013

GOP’s Big Benghazi ‘Bombshell’ Turns Out To Be Another Big Dud



Tuesday began as a good day for Senator Lindsey Graham. He was excited about hearings on Benghazi, hoping that three “whistleblowers” would come up with the information he and his GOP buddies need to hang Obama out to dry make a bigger mountain out of bullshit. That morning he tweeted:
“I think the dam is about to break on #Benghazi. We’re going to find system failure before, during and after the attack.”
Yeah, how did that go for ya, Lindsey? Not so good, huh? Because there was no dam, no breaking and nothing that indicated any kind of cover-up. Nope, nothing to see here, move along. Wednesday’s hearing didn’t reveal anything that a review board and fiveprevious hearings didn’t already tell us. Mark Thompson, Greg Hicks and Eric Nordstrom produced no bombshell and no new fuel for the right-wing’s witch hunt.
Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa, set the tone at the start when he accused the administration of not cooperating and saying that “our minority” has been mostly silent. Apparently this is some strange new meaning of the word, “silent” that we’ve previously been unaware of. Rep. Elijah Cummings hit right back, though:
“There is no member of Congress, be they Republican or Democrat, who fails to uphold the right of whistleblowers to come forward. I think it’s sad when that accusation is made against any member of this Congress. The fact is that our top military commanders have already testified they did everything in their power to deploy assets as soon as possible.” Cummings said that all testimony and documents so far confirm “… that they could not get there in time. I have seen nothing  to make me question the proof on this.” (source)
Not that the GOP members of the Committee didn’t give it their best. Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah was certain that the witnesses would detail how the country was misled by the Obama administration both before and after the attack on the American embassy in Libya. But in 6 hours of questions and answers, there was no such information. Now poor Jason has a sad, frowny face.
There was an effort to smear former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, by using an out-of-context quote from her testimony in January. Remember when, after being browbeaten by the partisan hacks on the Committee, she asked “What difference does it make?” going on to state that their job was to figure out what happened and to make sure it never happened again? Well, Rep. Trey Gowdy (S.C.) decided to just use that first sentence and do a bit of grandstanding. Tsk tsk, Mr. Gowdy… Hillary said in January that she accepted responsibility and would make every correction that the review board suggested. But that doesn’t fit into his emoting and pandering.
On top of the lack of bombshells at the hearing, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, Elizabeth King, sent a letter to Congressman Elijah Cummings yesterday. In it, she explained why the Commander In-Extremis Force couldn’t have reached Benghazi in time to prevent a second attack:
“… because exact conditions on the ground in Benghazi were unknown……the CIF began to fulfill its tasking by pre-positioning at an intermediate staging location, Naval Air Station Sigonella (in Sicily, Italy). From the moment the CIF was ordered to move, it did not stand down until after all personnel (including the fallen) had been evacuated from Benghazi in a little over 12 hours after the initiation of the attack… the time needed from alerting the CIF to landing at the Benghazi airport is greater than the approximately 7.5 hours between the initiation of the first attack and the second one. As such, the time requirements for notification, load and transit alone prevented the CIF from being at the annex in enough time to change events.”
So much for that criticism. Fox News has a copy of the letter but somehow I doubt if they will be saying much about it since it doesn’t help their make-believe narrative.
There are a few things that really have me both angry and annoyed with this whole Benghazi bullshit: 1) where is the outrage at the House Republicans who voted to CUT security for the embassy? They cut $300 million from the U.S. embassy security budgetjust before the attack. Why aren’t they being raked over the coals for that? 2) Where was the right-wing when, under G.W. Bush, seven embassies were attacked and many more than 4 people were killed? How come they never shrieked about that? 3) What about Reagan? Three embassy attacks, including Beirut where 17 Americans were killed. No? That was okay?
This Benghazi thing is making the right insane. Literally. You know the saying about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? That’s where the GOP is right now. They are so invested in this fantasy that they have lost any ability to see reality. And Fox News feeds the fire, complaining that no other news outlets are covering this. Could it be because it’s utter and complete bullshit? Of course not, not to these modern-day inquisitors. They hate our president that much. It’s sickening.

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