Photo from Ninian Reid / Flickr
By Janelle Clausen
Enough is enough.
The House Benghazi Committee hearings have been going on since May 2014. There have been several prior congressional investigations, nearly 3000 questions asked in public hearings and several published reports on the 2012 Benghazi attacks.
The operating costs, paid for by taxpayers, total in the millions of dollars. Over 70,000 pages of documents later, there’s zero findings of administrative wrongdoing.
But let’s presume Clinton has a degree of fault here. Four Americans died under her watch, including an ambassador, and her use of private emails to conduct Benghazi-related business was sketchy at best. Perhaps more could have been done to respond to repeated security requests.
Despite this, much of the situation is politically motivated. Representative Richard Hanna (R-New York) said “a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people – an individual: Hillary Clinton.” There are debates within the committee whether it should even exist. Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (California) also gaffed:
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought.”
Telling, isn’t it? It’s an attempt to smear her presidential campaign, and it’s failing.
The Republicans also do not have the moral high ground to say they’re perfect, or patriotically pursuing justice for that matter. The GOP, for example, was fine with cutting funding for embassy security because they “have to prioritize.”
Here’s something more damning: In total, there have been 21 hearings (public and private) about Benghazi, in which four people who volunteered to be overseas in an area we helped destabilize were killed. There were 22 held about the 9/11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people in American territory who didn’t volunteer for something known to carry this kind of risk.
The George W. Bush Administration knew that an attack was possible. The administration had received not just one CIA brief in August 2001 detailing that the threat was real, but passed over warnings dating back to spring. It’s plausible that they could’ve stopped the attack, yet there’s no blame heaped on them.
Many say that Bush and his party even lied to get us into war in Iraq in Afghanistan, which ultimately cost thousands of lives and trillions of dollars..
A few say that’s not the case. But the administration misled the public into a costly and ongoing quagmire in the Middle East.
They overemphasized that aluminum tubes could be used for uranium enrichment (they couldn’t). They said there were weapons of mass destruction (none were found). They suppressed opposing views to the war narrative (of which there were plenty).
Going back even further, major attacks happened overseas under conservative hero President Ronald Reagan’s tenure. An attack that killed over 200 Marines in Beruit, Lebanon was termed by the New Yorker as “Ronald Reagan’s Benghazi.” There was even evidence that the area had been unsafe.
But there was no talk of impeachment there. The investigation was bipartisan, concise and made recommendations on how to improve. Reagan was even facing an opposition party (the Democrats).
If only we could have that today.
Here’s the cherry on top: Other major issues like homelessness, wealth inequality, the drug war, education costs, deaths from guns and healthcare remain unaddressed by Republicans.
For them, with their shoddy records, to have the audacity to use taxpayer dollars to take advantage of a tragedy to lead a political crusade against Hillary Clinton is beyond despicable. It’s morally bankrupt.
I don’t necessarily like Clinton. But I hate the grand hypocrisy of today’s Republican Party.
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