Saturday, June 04, 2016

The Benghazi Committee’s Dead End

Witch hunt leader, GOP Rep. Try Gowdy

Being the political junkie that I am, I listen to a lot of political news and call in shows on satellite radio.  What strikes me is that time and time again right wing callers will bring up Benghazi as a reason to hate Hillary Clinton.  Never mind that the Republican controlled Benghazi Committee in Congress has failed to turn up anything to damn Clinton.  Indeed, the Committee's sole agenda has been to try to damage Clinton's presidential run.  Like so much in today's GOP, facts and the truth simply no longer matter.  It's all about pushing the GOP's reverse Robin Hood domestic agenda and leading the nation on more military fool's errands overseas - something that would likely sky rocket if the mentally ill Donald Trump makes it to the White House.  As the New York Times points out in an editorial, despite wasting millions of taxpayer dollars, the Benghazi Committee has come up empty handed.  Would that the members of the GOP who have pushed this kangaroo court endeavor had to personally pay for the wasted millions of dollars.  Here are editorial highlights:
If things had gone his way, [GOP Representative Trey] Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, would have found a way to torpedo Mrs. Clinton’s presidential ambitions. After all, Republican lawmakers have admitted that this is precisely what they set out to do.
But things have not gone well for Mr. Gowdy, who has run the investigation with the dexterity and grace of a blindfolded toddler swinging at a piñata. Having pored over reams of documents, grilled Mrs. Clinton in an 11-hour session in October and hauled in more than 100 people for interviews, the Republicans seem to have come up with nothing.
In recent months, Republicans on the committee have pestered the Pentagon to track down potential witnesses who might have damning things to say about Washington’s response to the attack on American government facilities in Benghazi, in eastern Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, when Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state. They include a man who identified himself as a military mechanic in an intriguing Facebook post, and “John from Iowa,” a person who claimed to be a drone operator who had called into a right-wing radio talk show.
Stephen Hedger, the assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs, complained to Mr. Gowdy in a letter in April about the “recent crescendo of requests.” The Pentagon, Mr. Hedger wrote, couldn’t find John from Iowa after expending “significant resources to locate anyone who might match the description of this person.”
The Benghazi committee, which was set up in May 2014, has been operational for longer than the 9/11 Commission was. It has dragged on longer than congressional investigations into the attack on Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President Kennedy, Watergate, the Iran-contra scandal, the 1983 bombing that killed 241 American service members in Beirut and the response to Hurricane Katrina.
The committee has spent nearly $7 million looking into an incident that had already been the subject of an independent investigation commissioned by the State Department and nine reports issued by seven other congressional committees. Those reviews faulted the federal government for failing to provide proper security for the American ambassador in Libya and three of his colleagues who were killed, but found no evidence of a cover-up or gross negligence by Mrs. Clinton.

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