Republican Party

House Report: No Benghazi Coverup. Republican Response? Broaden Investigation

Republican strategist Chris Ladd, writing about the missing story of the 2014 election at The Houston Chronicle on November 10, said,

This is an age built for Republican solutions. The global economy is undergoing a massive, accelerating transformation that promises massive new wealth and staggering challenges. We need heads-up, intelligent adaptations to capitalize on those challenges. Republicans, with their traditional leadership on commercial issues should be at the leading edge of planning to capitalize on this emerging environment.

You’d think the GOP “movers and shakers” would see this opportunity and jump at it. Who needs voter suppression, intimidation and disenfranchisement – or worries about immigrants – if you can provide solutions for the common weal?

But no, says Ladd:

“What are we getting from Republicans? Climate denial, theocracy, thinly veiled racism, paranoia, and Benghazi hearings. Lots and lots of hearings on Benghazi.”

Funny he should mention Benghazi.

The Associated Press reported yesterday that,

A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.

The U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s Investigative Report on the Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012, says, in summary,

“The Committee finds that there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks…the IC [Intelligence Community] did not have specific, tactical warning of the September 11 attacks” and that “The CIA only changed its assessment about a protest on September 24, 2012, when closed caption television footage became available on September 18, 2012 (two days after Ambassador Susan Rice spoke), and after the FBI began publishing its interviews with U.S. officials on the ground on September 22, 2012.”

Don’t expect any apologies to Susan Rice, however.

Finally, the Committee found no evidence that any officer was intimidated, wrongly forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement or otherwise kept from speaking to Congress, or polygraphed because of their presence in Benghazi.

This, we are told, “is meant to serve as the definitive House statement on the Intelligence Community’s activities before, during, and after the tragic events that caused the deaths of four brave Americans.”

In plain English and for the umpteenth time: No Benghazi scandal. None. Anywhere. As Bloomberg reported last night, Benghazi Coverup Claims Rejected in House Investigation.

Seems like just yesterday the New York Post was running the headline (May 3, 2014) Hillary Clinton should be worried as Benghazi coverup unravels, and Fox News was telling the world (September 17, 2014) ‘Incredibly serious’: Cover-up claims in spotlight ahead of Benghazi hearing.

And now, nothing. No coverup. No scandal. Definitive House statement.

Remember when Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) told Fox News just before Hillary Clinton testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, “The American people deserve answers, and we still are no closer to the truth”?

So what is the Republican response now that we have that truth?

Expand the investigation.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing, “The Security Failures of Benghazi.”

That’s right. You heard me.

Fox News ignores the report’s main finding, that there is no Benghazi scandal to begin with, and tells us that,

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, said the current House investigation should be expanded.

“(Republican) Trey Gowdy and (Democrat) Elijah Cummings have done a good job,” he said. “I can’t imagine the U.S. Senate not wanting to be a part of a joint select committee. We’ll bootstrap to what you’ve done, but we want to be part of discussion,” Graham told Fox News. “What I would suggest to (incoming Senate majority leader) Mitch McConnell is to call up Speaker Boehner and say ‘Listen, we want to be part of this’.”

Right. We have the definitive House statement so now we should expand the investigation into the Senate as “part of a joint select committee.”

You remember back in November of 2012 when Harry Reid told John McCain, “I refuse to allow the Senate to be used as a venue for baseless partisan attacks”? Well guess what, the Senate is about to become the venue for baseless partisan attacks.

Fox has struck already, sticking to their bogus story that it was not until September 20 that “White House Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters, ‘It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack,’ when, in fact, President Obama took to the Rose Garden the next day to say that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.

There was a famous moment in a presidential debate with Mitt Romney where this point was made:

ROMNEY: I think it’s interesting the president just said something which is that on the day after the attack, he went in the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.

OBAMA: That’s what I said.

ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

CROWLEY: He did in fact, sir.

OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?

CROWLEY: He — he did call it an act of terror.

Only at the very end of their coverage of the release of the intelligence committee’s report does Fox News mention, in an ‘oh, by the way’ moment, that there was no intelligence failure.

C’mon, you really didn’t expect Fox News, which invented the scandal out of whole cloth, and the Republicans who ran with it, to get control of both Houses of Congress and then walk away without the answer they want, did you?

After all, Hillary Clinton is still out there. Waiting. 2016 is coming. And as Chris Ladd says, “No Republican candidate has a credible shot at the White House in 2016, and the chance of the GOP holding the Senate for longer than two years is precisely zero.”

Cue the “Lots and lots of hearings on Benghazi.”

Hrafnkell Haraldsson

Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen's Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.

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