Maybe you can help me figure this one out. A Benghazi story appeared in the November 22nd edition of my right-wing newspaper. Since the story was pro-Obama, it, of course, didn’t make the front page, though there could have been a non-political reason for that. It expanded on old news. The initial revelations track back nearly 3 ½ months to early August of this year.
The November local headline read, “Benghazi probe by GOP finds no wrongdoing.” Accounts back in August also revealed that the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee concluded that the Obama administration did nothing intentionally wrong.
On August 4th, The San Francisco Chronicle quoted California Democratic Representative, Mike Thompson, the second-ranking Democrat on the committee: “The House Intelligence Committee has concluded that there was no deliberate wrongdoing by the Obama administration in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.” It was certainly not a partisan finding, as the committee is comprised of 12 Republicans and 9 Democrats.
For over two years, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence exhaustively investigated the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi Libya. From the committee’s own site, here was the depth of their investigation. “We spent thousands of hours asking questions, poring over documents, reviewing intelligence assessments, reading cables and emails, and held a total of 20 Committee events and hearings. We conducted detailed interviews with senior intelligence officials from Benghazi and Tripoli as well as eight security personnel on the ground in Benghazi that night.”
Though the findings were still largely secret back in August, it was clear that the massive propaganda campaign launched by the conservative media was way off the mark. MSNBC gave the story extensive coverage at the time, few other media outlets followed in any front-page detail.
The report was declassified August 7, but not released in total until a couple of days ago, allegedly to give assorted intelligence agencies a chance to sign off on it. If you read the entire report, it shreds every critical issue brought forth by the absurd House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The committee, chaired by Darrell Issa, has lost all credibility, especially when you add the Fast and Furious inquiry, a pure sham political exercise and exposed as such by an investigative reporter writing in Fortune magazine. That isn’t stopping committee member Trey Gowdy from conducting yet another (7th or 8th?) hearing via the “Select Committee on Benghazi.”
The only departure from the administration’s version of events seems to be the House Intelligence Committee conclusion that the attack had nothing to do with an infamous anti-Islamic film. Interviews with nearby residents, contemporaneous with the attack, indicated that those closest to the event felt it was triggered by the film and that’s what the administration went with.
Suffice to say, exoneration is writ large in the conclusions of the Intelligence Committee. Yes, there was an attack, and the overarching administration, military and State Department explanations of what followed have turned out to be accurate with no attempt to deceive.
Now, this begs the question of timing. Why didn’t we hear more about these phony and taxpayer money wasting “investigations” that did nothing but hit dead ends. Why wasn’t Benghazi in particular made a huge campaign issue based on the Intelligence Committee findings? Granted, the official and final report hadn’t been released with the actual language, but a committee member, who was familiar with every last word of the report, told the media, as you just read, that there was “No deliberate wrongdoing by the Obama administration.”
Why wasn’t that the message blasted from the highest rooftops of those campaigns running for Congress? And, don’t you find it a little fishy that the report was released post-11/4? In other words, a couple of weeks or so AFTER the mid-terms. Clearly, somebody of considerable clout put the word out that the committee report was not to be released until the polls were locked down tight.
Why didn’t anybody scream for the release of the full report? It was not only finished in early August; it was declassified in early August. It was clear from the committee itself that everything was wrapped up. The report was a done deal. It could have been released in August, September, October, even a couple of weeks before the election. It wasn’t and I didn’t hear the president clamoring for its publication. I didn’t hear the national head of the party screaming bloody murder. I didn’t even hear the candidates say anything. Maybe a few of them did, but it certainly wasn’t a national story.
I must be frank. I didn’t do my job. Granted, the early admission of non guilt was probably missing from my local paper (or I just didn’t see it), but I didn’t get a grasp of the committee revelation until just now. That’s on me. But, for those that were well aware of the report, it’s unforgivable that a major campaign issue that could have swayed a hell of a lot of votes was basically ignored.
I will promise you this; I can tell Representative Gowdy, that if he runs again, his role in pushing the fairy tale investigation of Benghazi and its counterpart, Fast and Furious and his disgusting, boorish and sexist questioning of former Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius that most likely played a role in her resignation, will be front and center if he decides to waste local voters time once again in 2016.
Republicans have gotten away with their method of governing long enough. Pusillanimous Democrats are becoming wearisome. Such shirking of party response is costing billions in dollars and negatively impacting health care, education, pollution, women’s issues; you name it. It’s time for Democrats to utilize the arsenal of political weapons at our disposal. Bombard your local Letters to the Editor, grow a super active County Democratic Party. Coordinate with the state and county parties. In the red states know the inevitably harmful legislation coming out of your state Capital and make cause and effect accessible in layman’s terms to the electorate.
And when your Republican governor and Republican state senator and Republican state representative brag that tens of thousands of jobs have been created under their leadership, reveal these jobs for what they are; empty promises or estimates of jobs. They don’t currently exist and if they do, they’re invariably through temp agencies, low-paying, part-time, non-union and often, really cruddy.
Like PoliticusUSA, get the word out!