Tuesday, May 14, 2013

National Security Brief: Poll Finds Americans Aren’t Buying GOP Benghazi Witch-Hunt

Public Policy Polling released a poll on Monday finding that more Americans trust former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over Republicans over the GOP-ginned up Benghazi controversy.
Forty-nine percent trust Clinton, versus 39 percent for Republicans. Meanwhile, PPP finds, “Congressional Republicans remain very unpopular with a 36/57 favorability rating.” Americans also think Congress should be focusing on more pressing issues such as immigration reform and gun control:
Voters think Congress should be more focused on other major issues right now rather than Benghazi. By a 56/38 margin they say passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill is more important than continuing to focus on Benghazi, and by a 52/43 spread they think passing a bill requiring background checks for all gun sales should be a higher priority.
A whopping 41 percent of Republicans polled think the Obama administration’s handling of Benghazi is the greatest scandal in U.S. history. “One interesting thing about the voters who think Benghazi is the biggest political scandal in American history,” PPP adds, “is that 39% of them don’t actually know where it is. 10% think it’s in Egypt, 9% in Iran, 6% in Cuba, 5% in Syria, 4% in Iraq, and 1% each in North Korea and Liberia with 4% not willing to venture a guess.”
In other news:
  • Reuters reports: A video of a Syrian rebel commander cutting the heart out of a soldier and biting into is emblematic of a civil war that has rapidly descended into sectarian hatred and revenge killings, Human Rights Watch said on Monday. The BBC has more.
  • The Henry L. Stimson Center, a Washington-based think tank, said in a report released on Monday that the Pentagon could save $1 trillion over the next ten years without eroding combat capabilities — or double the amount of cutsmandated under sequestration.
  • The Washington Post reports: After failing to halt Iran’s nuclear advances with harsh economic sanctions, a group of U.S. lawmakers and analysts is proposing a more drastic remedy: cutting off Iran entirely from world oil markets.
  • McClatchy reports: Disagreements among the countries backing the rebels in Syria have led to a drop in weapons shipments, leaving rebels vulnerable to a government military offensive.
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