When this generation of Republicans passes on, will they fuss about Benghazi from the beyond?
Last fall, the Associated Press reported this:
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.
Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.
You’d think that would have been the end of that, wouldn’t you? But, of course, it wasn’t. Prodded by the kookier elements of their party’s base, Republican lawmakers still think they can turn Benghazi into the Crime of the Century.
U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of a committee that’s conducting yet another investigation of Benghazi, said the other day that his panel’s report on the matter won’t be completed until sometime next year. That means it will come out just as the presidential race is in full swing.
Jay Bookman offers THESE OBSERVATIONS on the never-ending Republican effort to turn Benghazi into an actual scandal:
The House Oversight and Reform Committee has investigated it.
The House Armed Services Committee has investigated it.
The House Committee on Foreign Affairs has investigated it.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has investigated it.
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has investigated it.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has investigated it.
The Senate Armed Services Committee has investigated it.
The State Department’s Accountability Review Board has investigated it.
The State Department’s Inspector General has investigated it.
And yet according to Gowdy and House Speaker John Boehner, the Select Committee on Dead-Horse Flogging won’t be able to complete its report this year because, as Boehner puts it, “the administration has made it virtually impossible to get to the facts surrounding Benghazi.”
The truth is that they have the facts. They just don’t like the facts. As every previous investigation has concluded, the facts contradict almost all of the allegations invented by right-wing media and politicians regarding the attack and its aftermath. They just can’t bring themselves to admit that truth, either to themselves or to the GOP base.