If you’re paying attention to all the objective evidence, however, Benghazi is a tragedy, but not a scandal.
The House of Representatives has been recessed for more than 100 days this year. It seems only to convene when Rep. Darrell Issa’s Permanent Committee to Impeach Obama decides to meet.
Last week the GOP witch hunters “investigated” Benghazi. But to the chagrin of all but the dead-enders, there was no Watergate, no Whitewater, not even a stained blue dress.
Republicans are terrified of a Hillary Clinton presidential run in 2016, which will likely mean no White House for the GOP until at least 2024. That’s why they’re desperate to smother her candidacy in the cradle. With the help of Murdoch’s media minions, Benghazi looks like the perfect pillow.
Unfortunately for them, the pillow is stuffed with fiction, not facts.
Fiction: The State Department and White House conspired to erase “terror” in describing the attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11, 2012.
Fact: In the Rose Garden on Sept. 12, President Obama very publically declared, “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation…” Obama repeated this statement on Sept. 13 and again on Sept. 14.
Fiction: U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s talking points were “scrubbed” of references to terrorist groups for political reasons.
Fact: The references were “… removed … to avoid alerting the militants that American intelligence and law enforcement agencies were tracking them,” testified former CIA Director David Petraeus.
Fiction: The administration lied when Rice said an anti-Muslim movie prompted the attacks.
Fact: The CIA contends the Benghazi attacks were “inspired” by events in Cairo, where the movie triggered an attack on the U.S. Embassy. Witnesses in Benghazi also told reporters the attacks were in response to the movie.
Fiction: Obama was AWOL during the attacks.
Fact: Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified he was with the president when news of the attacks arrived and said Obama immediately ordered a military response ASAP. There is also a photo of Obama conferring with aides in the Oval Office during the attacks.
Fiction: Benghazi witnesses were “intimidated” by the State Department.
Fact: All relevant witnesses were interviewed by the non-partisan Accountability Review Board led by George H.W. Bush’s U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen.
The ARB concluded the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near East Affairs were largely responsible for security failures. Still, Hillary Clinton accepted overall responsibility. Republicans, who cut more than $300 million from State’s security budget, have yet to accept any responsibility.
Fiction: Republicans claimed Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief diplomat in Libya, was “silenced” by the Obama administration.
Fact: Hicks was debriefed twice by the ARB. Contrary to conservative media reports, he was also permitted to speak to members of Congress provided an attorney was present.
Fiction: Obama called off a rescue mission and four Americans died.
Fact: Hicks testified the Special Operations Command Africa cancelled his proposed rescue mission to Benghazi.
Fiction: Hicks was demoted.
Fact: Hicks declined to return to Libya for family reasons. “I voluntarily curtailed. … I accepted an offer of what’s called a no-fault curtailment.”
With the Republicans’ Benghazi fiction falling apart, GOP leaders are now attempting to smear the good names of Pickering and Mullins, probably because the former said this:
“The notion of a quote, cover up, has all the elements of Pulitzer Prize fiction attached to it.”
Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.