• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Unfortunately For Hillary Clinton, Benghazi Is Not Going Away

Benghazi Consulate

The recent release of new White House emails has, as I noted earlier this week, revived the arguments about the Administration’s actions before, during, and after the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi. Already, one House Committee has issued a subpoena to Secretary of State John Kerry requiring him to appear before the Committee and answer questions about the State Department’s cooperation with Congressional investigations in to the attack. Additionally, today Speaker of the House John Boehner has announced that he will hold a vote to form a special House Committee to look into the attack, a move that will actually help streamline an investigation that has resulted in hearings before at least three separate House Committees. While it’s obvious that the GOP would have kept pushing the Benghazi story without the new emails, but the revelation of those emails, which the Administration rather obviously should have disclosed sooner based on requests that had been made as long as a year ago, has given the story new legs and, unfortunately for Hillary Clinton, virtually guaranteed that it will become an issue if she runs for President:

Clinton, who has seen both sides of a scanda—first working for congressional Watergate investigators and later as the subject of several probes herself—knows as well as anyone that there will always be new, incremental revelations that can reignite a simmering scandal, as long as partisans have an interest in keeping it burning.

And Republicans clearly see benefits in keeping Benghazi in the headlines. “For Secretary Clinton, Benghazi will be the defining event of her tenure as secretary of State, so if she chooses to run for president, avoiding addressing the questions head on will not be an option,” said Tim Miller, the executive director of the Republican opposition-research group America Rising.

The attack undercuts one of her key achievements as secretary of state—the toppling of former Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi—and, to a lesser extent, her entire tenure. As Clinton herself said last week, the attack is her “biggest regret” from her time at State.

And while it’s far from an Achilles’ heel for the presumed Democratic front-runner, the vast majority of Americansare familiar with the attack, according to polls, and respondents to a recent Pew survey listed it as Clinton’s top weakness.

Most important, it resonates with voters on the right, and Republican leaders will keep the scandal alive if for no other reason than to mobilize their own base.

This week, new revelations include an email from Obama national security aide Ben Rhodes that appears to show that the White House downplayed the possibility of terrorism in the aftermath of the attack, instead blaming an anti-Muslim video that had sparked violent protests in more than a dozen Muslim countries around the attack.

The other piece of news came Thursday in congressional testimony from retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Lovell, who served as deputy director of intelligence for the military’s Africa Command, which has jurisdiction over Libya. “What we did know quite early on was that this was a hostile action. This was no demonstration gone terribly awry,” Lovell said, undermining the very case the White House was pushing in the initial days after the attack.

Congressional probes will continue, even as Democrats criticize Republican investigators’ “embarrassing … conspiracy theories” and bemoan the “ millions of dollars” spent. And if the Republicans take the Senate this year, expect the number of investigations to double.

On some level, of course, it seems only logical that the events in Benghazi, and what led up to them, should be a relevant issue in a political campaign that Hillary Clinton is involved in. After all, she was Secretary of State when the United States got involved in the Libyan civil war, and when the attack occurred. If she runs, her campaign and her supporters will no doubt be citing her experience as Secretary of State as an argument in her favor. So for that reason alone, it only makes sense that something as serious as an attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound that resulted in the first death of an American Ambassador in more than 25 years would also become an issue, especially to the extent that it goes to issues over which she had ultimate responsibility such as embassy security. Add in the partisan element, and the general Republican antipathy toward the Clinton’s, and it’s pretty obvious that Hillary is going to have to answer questions about the events of September 12, 2012 for some time to come.

None of this means that these political attacks will be successful, of course. Given the polling that has been done on this issue and the results of the 2012 Presidential election, as a matter of fact, it doesn’t seem that the American public really cares all that much about the “scandal” that the right believes surrounds what happened in Benghazi. It’s possible, however, that continued questions about the affair could serve to undercut her efforts to use her tenure as Secretary of State as a launching pad to the White House. In fact, it’s hard to actually come up with a list of things that Hillary Clinton accomplished as Secretary of State, something that the State Department’s own spokesperson discovered recently:

Did Hillary Clinton accomplish anything as secretary of State? That question is in the news at the moment because an Associated Press reporter asked something like it this week at a Foggy Bottom briefing and a State Department spokeswoman fumbled the response.

The specific subject was the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, a periodic reassessment of State Department organization that was a particular focus of Secretary Clinton. At Tuesday’s press briefing, spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced that the 2014 edition of the QDDR is now under way. So AP’s Matt Lee asked Ms. Psaki an obvious question: “Off the top of your head, can you identify one tangible achievement that the last QDDR resulted in?”

No, not really. She punted.

“I’m sure there are a range of things that were put into place that I’m not even aware of,” said Psaki.

By Wednesday other State Department officials had made Psaki aware of a number of things. She came to the daily briefing with a new answer, pointing out that the 2010 QDDR under Secretary Clinton had placed a greater emphasis on trade promotion, more fully integrated the concerns of women into the State policy framework, and established three new bureaus within the department, including a Bureau for Counterterrorism.

“I just wanted to highlight that as a follow-up,” she said

This exchange caused Byron York to wonder “ Will voters care if Clinton reorganized the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment? Or will they be looking for something much, much bigger?”

That strikes me as a valid question. And, indeed, if Hillary does run primarily on her tenure at Foggy Bottom then one has to wonder what makes her more qualified to be President than any of the other potential Democratic candidate. More importantly, it makes her actions, or failures to act, in response to the events in Benghazi an entirely relevant line of inquiry on the part of her opponents in both the Primary and General Elections.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. anjin-san says:

    Yes, the attack gerbils are in it for the long haul…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 5

  2. michael reynolds says:

    It must be so sad to be a Republican. They bet everything on the death spiral of Obamacare, and now they’ve got nothing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 5

  3. Ron Beasley says:

    Other than the Neanderthal Fox News watching Republican base who were never going to vote for Hillary anyway nobody gives a damned. Sorry Doug, for a majority of the population ir’s already gone away.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 5

  4. Tillman says:

    Benghazi is like a mole you think might be cancerous, but your dermatologist does tests and discovers, no, it’s not cancerous. It’s just there now.

    I really doubt it’ll be relevant in two years. For God’s sake, Mitt Romney used it [badly] as a political attack on Obama in the 2012 election!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 4

  5. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    It must be depressing to be wrong about absolutely everything. Maybe they just lack the self-awareness to figure that out? Crimminey…the local weather person is right more often.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  6. C. Clavin says:

    @Tillman:
    In any case she has a lot of time to fashion an entire repertoire of clever retorts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. C. Clavin says:

    In case you’ve forgotten…the go-to reporting on Benghazi.
    http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/benghazi/#/?chapt=0

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  8. EddieInCA says:

    UnFortunately For Hillary Clinton, Benghazi Is Not Going Away

    Fixed that for you. As long as the GOP focuses on Benghazi, they actually help Clinton.

    Fact: Benghazi happened. No one saw it coming.
    Fact: Nothing that the GOP is claiming as a scandal – WOULD HAVE STOPPED THE ATTACK.
    Fact: Nothing that the GOP is claiming as a scandal – WOULD HAVE SAVED LIVES.

    Their belief is… what? I’m asking sincerely. What is it that they’re actually claiming, other than taking points were massaged?

    What’s the scandal they’re claiming? Someone help me, because Ive been following it, and I don’t know what the issue they claim is a scandal actually is.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 4

  9. gVOR08 says:

    Via Bob Cesca

    January 22, 2002. Calcutta, India. Gunmen associated with Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami attack the U.S. Consulate. Five people are killed.

    June 14, 2002. Karachi, Pakistan. Suicide bomber connected with al Qaeda attacks the U.S. Consulate, killing 12 and injuring 51.

    October 12, 2002. Denpasar, Indonesia. U.S. diplomatic offices bombed as part of a string of “Bali Bombings.” No fatalities.

    February 28, 2003. Islamabad, Pakistan. Several gunmen fire upon the U.S. Embassy. Two people are killed.

    May 12, 2003. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Armed al Qaeda terrorists storm the diplomatic compound, killing 36 people including nine Americans. The assailants committed suicide by detonating a truck bomb.

    July 30, 2004. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. A suicide bomber from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan attacks the U.S. Embassy, killing two people.

    December 6, 2004. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda terrorists storm the U.S. Consulate and occupy the perimeter wall. Nine people are killed.

    March 2, 2006. Karachi, Pakistan again. Suicide bomber attacks the U.S. Consulate killing four people, including U.S. diplomat David Foy who was directly targeted by the attackers. (I wonder if Lindsey Graham or Fox News would even recognize the name “David Foy.” This is the third Karachi terrorist attack in four years on what’s considered American soil.)

    September 12, 2006. Damascus, Syria. Four armed gunmen shouting “Allahu akbar” storm the U.S. Embassy using grenades, automatic weapons, a car bomb and a truck bomb. Four people are killed, 13 are wounded.

    January 12, 2007. Athens, Greece. Members of a Greek terrorist group called the Revolutionary Struggle fire a rocket-propelled grenade at the U.S. Embassy. No fatalities.

    March 18, 2008. Sana’a, Yemen. Members of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic Jihad of Yemen fire a mortar at the U.S. Embassy. The shot misses the embassy, but hits nearby school killing two.

    July 9, 2008. Istanbul, Turkey. Four armed terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate. Six people are killed.

    September 17, 2008. Sana’a, Yemen. Terrorists dressed as military officials attack the U.S. Embassy with an arsenal of weapons including RPGs and detonate two car bombs. Sixteen people are killed, including an American student and her husband (they had been married for three weeks when the attack occurred). This is the second attack on this embassy in seven months.

    Where was the outrage? Where were the investigations?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 2

  10. Scott says:

    There are two things that seem to be relevant to investigate about Benghazi (keeping in mind that the investigation has already occurred): Questions about intelligence leading up to the instance and questions of embassy security. Everything else is pretty meaningless. I mean, really, investigations on the preparation for Sunday talk shows? and how the administration wanted to spin the story?

    It is ironic that the man most responsible (the ambassador) is the one who got killed. No one seems to talk about that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  11. stonetools says:

    The GOP obsession with Benghazi begins to remind me of Nazi Germany’s 1942 summer offensive on the Eastern Front, when what was a drive to take the Soviet oilfields in the Caucasus got sidetracked into a battle for a secondary target-the city of Stalingrad. Hopefully, the Republicans’ BENGHAZI! campaign will fail like the Germans . (Yeah, I know Godwin, blah blah, but I think the analogy apt with regard to being sidetracked).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  12. Mikey says:

    @EddieInCA:

    What is it that they’re actually claiming, other than taking points were massaged?

    They’re claiming the attack proved the Obama administration’s assertions of the reduction of the al Qaeda threat were false, and further, that the “massaging” of the talking points was specifically intended to mislead the American people and reduce the negative impact of the attack on the President’s re-election chances.

    They’re also claiming the military could have sent a special operations team in to help, which would have saved lives, but the President put the kibosh on it because he sucks, or something.

    Not agreeing with any of that, just passing on what I hear from my conservative friends.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  13. beth says:

    I wonder if this new House committee will wind up being a mistake for the Republicans. If they find nothing but an attempt to alter talking points to make the President look better it will make this issue go away once and for all. That can hardly be linked to Hillary Cllnton and she can easily deflect blame to the campaign. If nothing new comes out of this, they’ve lost their only real weapon against Hillary. I’m beginning to suspect that John Boehner is as tired of all this nonsense as the rest of America.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  14. grumpy realist says:

    Squeakers in onion gravy–that’s all this is worth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  15. PJ says:

    Unfortunately For Hillary Clinton, Benghazi Is Not Going Away

    And? They are going drag up Vince Foster too. And so on. Not to mention the number of made up stories between now and November 8, 2016. And the day after she’s sworn in they are going to start screaming about impeachment.

    It’s in their nature.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  16. Ken says:

    Unfortunately For Hillary Clinton, Benghazi Is Not Going Away

    Unfortunately for the Republican Party, Benghazi is Not A Scandal

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 2

  17. Gavrilo says:

    Our Dear President is working day and night to bring the protesters angry over a youtube video, radical jihadists, extremists, terrorists with ties to al qaeda, terrorists without ties to al qaeda, terrorists angry over a youtube video to JUSTICE! Further Congressional investigations will only be a distraction.

    WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE!

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 29

  18. Larry says:

    There are actually a lot of people who want to Know what really happened in Benghazi. The media is finally waking up and investigating this. Hillary Clinton may be our next president and we need to know what role if any she had in this. She ran the State Department and securing the safety of per people was her responsibility. Even NBCs David Gregory came out today with questions about Clinton. Withholding subpoenaed documents from Congress is still a criminal offense in the country

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 31

  19. Tillman says:

    @Larry:

    The media is finally waking up and investigating this.

    Finally?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2

  20. John425 says:

    @Ron Beasley: “…nobody gives a damn.” As in Hillary’s reply to the deaths of the Ambassador et al? The story is still alive because the Obama administration spun it out for political gain and now the bullsh*t, lies and a cover-up of the cover-up are laid bare. These Democrats are as bad as the Nixonians.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 29

  21. Larry says:

    @Tillman:

    Doug, Why do we have the same handful of losers commenting on every article you post? the first five posters on this post are everywhere constantly congratulating each other on their “smart” comments. We have a bunch of old retired guys, unemployed losers, and just liberal leftovers attacking anything resembling a Republican. When they are not attacking people for disagreeing with their views, they come after you. These liberals want to preach tolerance and equality for all, but all thats thrown out that window when you disagree with them. The GOP is just a party of racist and ignorant white folks who need to be show the way by the experts on here.

    I remember when this used to be a good website where there was intelligent discussion. We now have these guys hijacking the site whose only motivation is to point how great Obama is and would be even greater if the GOP weren’t obstructing their agenda.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 31

  22. beth says:

    @Larry: I’m curious – what websites do you think have intelligent discussion by your standards?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  23. Tillman says:

    @Larry:

    We have a bunch of old retired guys, unemployed losers, and just liberal leftovers attacking anything resembling a Republican.

    “My advice to you is to do what your parents did: get a job, sir! The bums will always lose!”

    Jesus, man, how long did you have that tirade in you? It was a one word response.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

  24. Larry says:

    @beth:

    It’s not easy these days but Washington Post is pretty good. You have extremes on both sides but at least there are often intelligence arguments made. I’m what you would call a Rino. I’m right of center. I read Real Clear Politics to get both sides of view. I avoid Mother Jones & ThinkProgress. I also avoid RedState and Breitbart.

    I vote for Dems and Republicans. I just hate extremists on both sides who don’t have the capacity or will to think for themselves. Benghazi will either reveal a lot of things or will backfire horribly on Republicans. Either way, we’ll know what really happened.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  25. Larry says:

    @Tillman:

    Yeah well, That’s just like your opinion Man..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  26. gVOR08 says:

    @stonetools:

    The GOP obsession with Benghazi begins to remind me of Nazi Germany’s 1942 summer offensive on the Eastern Front

    Bad analogy. The Germans had a plan, then sidetracked themselves from it. I don’t see that Issa and company had any plan, just issue subpoenas and hope for the worst.

    Does this new special committee reflect some GOP dissatisfaction with their Mr. Issa?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  27. EddieInCA says:

    @Larry:

    Either way, we’ll know what really happened.

    Enemies of the USA attacked the embassy, killing four people. THAT’S what happened. What else is it that you think happened?

    This wasn’t the first time an Embassy was attacked where US people were killed.
    It won’t be the last.

    What is it about this one that has the Right up in such arms?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 3

  28. stonetools says:

    @gVOR08:
    You may be right about the analogy, although I did think they had an initial plan, which was to expose the huge, steaming, Presidency-ending scandal that they just knew would be at the center of BENGHAZI!

    Does this new special committee reflect some GOP dissatisfaction with their Mr. Issa?

    Indeed. He failed to uncover evidence of the major scandal that the true believers just KNOW is there. As with all conspiracy believers , when you don’t find evidence of the truth of a conspiracy despite your best efforts, that’s just the time to double down. If there isn’t really mind-blowing evidence of a conspiracy, why would “they” try so hard to hide it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  29. dazedandconfused says:

    @EddieInCA:

    My theory is they have developed such a strong sense of entitlement to power they honestly do not consider this President to be legimate, so they had, and have, no compunctions about attacking him immediately after the US itself is attacked.

    Due to Reagan and HW Bush refraining from attacking Carter over the Iran hostage crisis, I believe this sense of entitlement post-dates them.

    .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  30. Moosebreath says:

    @EddieInCA:

    “What is it about this one that has the Right up in such arms?”

    Because it is a convenient stick to beat the likely Democratic nominee, and because they know the So-Called Liberal Media would never state in plain terms that there is no there there if it meant losing access to half the politicians. Instead, we get the usual coverage with equivalent seriousness to stating that opinions differ on the shape of the earth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  31. Tyrell says:

    I would recommend the Bin Laden solution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  32. al-Ameda says:

    Just in case Darrell Issa and his fellow Republican colleagues haven’t received the word – there is NOT a single person who plans to vote for Hillary (if she runs) who will change their vote because of the Republican obsession with Benghazi. It is a net-zero situation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  33. al-Ameda says:

    @Larry:

    Doug, Why do we have the same handful of losers commenting on every article you post? the first five posters on this post are everywhere constantly congratulating each other on their “smart” comments

    A more relevant question:
    Why do conservatives spend so much time presenting themselves to be hapless victims of moderate liberal comments on a moderate OTB website?

    I do not frequent any leftist sites (HuffPo, Kos, ThinkProgress) nor any rightist sites (BreitBart, Drudge, RedState). Icome here, Volokh and news sites. This is one of the few sites that does not have right or left flame throwers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  34. Scott O says:

    @Larry:

    Either way, we’ll know what really happened.

    What questions do you have at this point in time re Benghazzi? I think we know exactly what happened.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  35. Jr says:

    We will certainly be seeing a recut Benghazi version of that Hillary 3am ad running non stop in 2016 regardless of how this develops

    It should be interesting to see how the moderate GOP 16 contenders like Jeb, Rubio and the fat man stand on this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. MarkedMan says:

    Benghazi is Hillary’s birth certificate. The Fox loons (I mean the audience) have had it drilled into them that it is a huge scandal. They don’t quite understand what that scandal is but are certain if they just harangue their coworkers or family members one more time, amping it up to 11, they will convince them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  37. Smooth Jazz says:

    @Larry:

    “Doug, Why do we have the same handful of losers commenting on every article you post? the first five posters on this post are everywhere constantly congratulating each other on their “smart” comments. We have a bunch of old retired guys, unemployed losers, and just liberal leftovers attacking anything resembling a Republican. When they are not attacking people for disagreeing with their views, they come after you. These liberals want to preach tolerance and equality for all, but all thats thrown out that window when you disagree with them.”

    LOL, 35 posts to this point, all except this one is the same run of the mill, liberal blather that has taken over this once respectful forum. At one time, this blog was about 50/50 between Liberals & Conservatives, but all the conservatives have moved on as the content and posters have swung increasingly left. I think when Obama was elected that is when this blog swung far left, getting swept up in Obama’s aura. Now we come to find out Obama is as sneaky as the sham wow salesman whose “You can keep your plan & doctor” lies will go down in history as the genesis of arguably the biggest scam ever perpetrated by a President in history. They keep harping on Obama winning again in 2012 (before the scam was revealed for all to see), when in reality he should be happy he is not sharing a cell with Bernie Madoff for the ObamaCare fraud he perpetrated on the country.

    Now all these liberal cranks are praying Benghazi doesn’t blow up in their faces with some yet unforeseen document or tape, much like Nixon’s supporters hope that Watergate would blow over before the smoking gun tapes were released. The Admin obviously hid these relevant Emails from the House investigators; Who knows what else is out there. LMAO. It will be fun to see them scamper like cockroaches to defend the indefensible if the House Select Committee turns up another bombshell surprise that Obama’s team tried to hide like that recent Email memo that was used to prep Susan Rice to hive up and continually press the “Terrible YouTube Video Did it” ruse.

    They don’t know what they don’t know or what else is lurking out there, so all they can do really is assume Obama & team are not hiding something, and pray nothing else surfaces. Not a fun place to be to defend on the truthfulness of a My Sham Wow & Company.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 19

  38. John425 says:

    @Ken: FYI: The scandal has been going on tor almost 2 years, covered up by the Administration. It was the bridge scandal in New Jersey that was the flop.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  39. Tyrell says:

    @MarkedMan: Americsn soldiers and goverent employees ars murdered in a blatant attack by terrorists. No one has been arrested and charged even though there are photos of the perpetrators on the covers of magazines and newspapers. Yet the news media is more interested in things like some loony “professional” sports team (and a bad one at that) owner’s nutcase statements which were recorded in privacy by his girlfriend. And some of the networks go off the deep end and give 24/7 coverage to this mess that few care about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  40. Scott O says:

    @Smooth Jazz: If you know any grownup conservatives please invite them to comment here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  41. EddieInCA says:

    Tyrell -

    Are you aware of how many times our Embassies have been attacked, and how many times Americans have been murdered in these attacks?

    Here’s a list of 13 during the Bush Administration for you: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/13-benghazis-that-occurre_b_3246847.html

    What is different about this one for you?

    What could have the administration done differently?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  42. EddieInCA says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Now we come to find out Obama is as sneaky as the sham wow salesman whose “You can keep your plan & doctor” lies will go down in history as the genesis of arguably the biggest scam ever perpetrated by a President in history. They keep harping on Obama winning again in 2012 (before the scam was revealed for all to see), when in reality he should be happy he is not sharing a cell with Bernie Madoff for the ObamaCare fraud he perpetrated on the country.

    So a law, passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court is a fraud perpetrated on the country.

    Smooth Jazz gives the great example why the GOP will probably never win a national election in the foreseeable future. He’s the base. All rage. All emotion. All hate. No facts. No reason. No nuance. No understanding of facts. Pure spittle-flecked anger.

    And sadly, so, so wrong.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 2

  43. MarkedMan says:

    @Tyrell: Tyrell, I get it. You think that Benghazi is a huge scandal and you can’t understand why everyone else isn’t as upset as you. I look at the evidence and see four tragic deaths in a country at war, all too similar to the 13 Bush administration incidents listed by govor8 (sp?) above. You cry “bad faith” because I slammed Bush for lots of things but won’t hold Clinton/Obama accountable for Benghazi. I cry “Hypocrisy” because you shout “Benghazi!!!” at the top of your lungs but won’t even acknowledge the 13 above mentioned incidents or explain why they don’t matter.

    I’m right and you are wrong… and I’m sure you feel exactly the same way, except with positions reversed. The difference of course is that, well, I AM right and you ARE wrong. ;–)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  44. bill says:

    well, 40+ comments on a “non-story” sure seem to have some people riled up!?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  45. al-Ameda says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    I think when Obama was elected that is when this blog swung far left, getting swept up in Obama’s aura.

    “far left”? L O L!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  46. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Smooth Jazz: If you think that our comments are “far left”, you must be one of those people who would claim Genghis Khan as being too liberal.

    I’m about ready to call quits on the whole American experiment. Let’s divide the US down the center, put all the people like Smooth Jazz on one side, all those of us he identifies as ” far left” on the other, and see which side is doing better after five years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  47. jukeboxgrad says:

    Smooth:

    that recent Email memo that was used to prep Susan Rice to hive up and continually press the “Terrible YouTube Video Did it” ruse.

    Obama blamed the video because the video was to blame. Link:

    there is in fact hard evidence that the local Islamist scene in Benghazi was in uproar about the “anti-Islam video” in the run-up to the attack, and that this outrage figured prominently among the motivations of the assailants

    And there is more evidence here: link.

    The email shows that the White House expected Rice to tell the truth: that the video was to blame. By the way, the original CIA memo said essentially the same thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  48. jukeboxgrad says:

    Doug citing National Journal:

    new revelations include an email … that appears to show that the White House downplayed the possibility of terrorism …, instead blaming an anti-Muslim video

    In the prior thread I mentioned the fallacy of bifurcation: pretending that one must choose between mutually exclusive possibilities when in fact the possibilities that were presented are not mutually exclusive. I mentioned how the GOP narrative depends on that fallacy, and I mentioned how mainstream coverage of this story often embodies that fallacy. That darn liberal media.

    This quote from National Journal is a nice example. The key word is “instead.” The act of “blaming an anti-Muslim video” is correct, and it does not mean we have “downplayed the possibility of terrorism.” Both things are true: it was terrorism, and the motivation was the video. These two things are not mutually exclusive; we do not have to choose between one or the other.

    The GOP narrative is built on this incredibly stupid idea: that a terrorist attack could not possibly be motivated by “an anti-Muslim video.” The NJ formulation is a perfect example of how mainstream coverage promotes that stupid idea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  49. Todd says:

    I roll my eyes when I walk by a tv at work with FOX “news” on, and they are still talking about Benghazi. That said, if by some chance the continued hub hub about it (and her difficulty articulating exactly what she accomplished at Secretary of State) push her to possibly consider not running for President, I’m not sure that would be such a bad thing. Had Clinton been the Dem nominee back in 2008, I honestly might have voted for McCain (and oh what a disaster that would have turned out to be). But the thing is, I’m not so sure I’d like her any better in 2016. I think I’d prefer if she chose not to run. (not that I’d actually vote for any of the prospective Republicans .. or any of the declared alternative Democrats are all that attractive either).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  50. Tillman says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    LOL, 35 posts to this point, all except this one is the same run of the mill, liberal blather that has taken over this once respectful forum.

    Whaaa? You missed the Big Lebowski quotes, dude.

    Now we come to find out Obama is as sneaky as the sham wow salesman whose “You can keep your plan & doctor” lies will go down in history as the genesis of arguably the biggest scam ever perpetrated by a President in history. They keep harping on Obama winning again in 2012 (before the scam was revealed for all to see), when in reality he should be happy he is not sharing a cell with Bernie Madoff for the ObamaCare fraud he perpetrated on the country.

    You know what, you can send Obama, Sebellius et al to jail for the “fraud” of Obamacare the moment you agree Bush, Rumsfeld et al should be sent to jail for torture (what they call a war crime) and, uhh, “planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of a war of aggression” (crime against peace, using Nuremberg definitions). I’m willing to trade you a completely impossible idea for a completely idiotic one. That’s what we call “negotiation.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  51. dmhlt says:

    @EddieInCA:
    Maybe not so minor of a correction, but Benghazi was NOT an Embassy. It wasn’t even a Consulate.
    A more accurate characterization would be to call Benghazi a mission or outpost.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  52. Jim Henley says:

    @Larry:

    The GOP is just a party of racist and ignorant white folks who need to be show the way by the experts on here.

    You get me. You really get me!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  53. Jim Henley says:

    American conservatives spent literally decades sh;tt;ng on the U.S. Foreign Service, its employees, and all its works. Hatred of the “Foggy Bottom striped-pants set” is almost foundational to the postwar Right.

    All of a sudden conservatives esteem four, at least, of these pointy-headed bureaucrats as great American heroes. I guess Barack Obama did “change the tone” in Washington and the country at large.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  54. al-Ameda says:

    @Larry:

    Benghazi will either reveal a lot of things or will backfire horribly on Republicans. Either way, we’ll know what really happened.

    What really happened was that Hillary had Vince Foster murdered because he knew, even then, that Hillary had plans to become the Secretary of State, and she was planning to have minimal security available for American consulate staff in Benghazi should there be anti-American attacks in the wake of Arab Spring revolutions across North Africa. It’s incredible that Foster saw this coming.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  55. An Interested Party says:

    I vote for Dems and Republicans. I just hate extremists on both sides who don’t have the capacity or will to think for themselves.

    So, the person who makes these claims about himself writes the following…

    Doug, Why do we have the same handful of losers commenting on every article you post? the first five posters on this post are everywhere constantly congratulating each other on their “smart” comments. We have a bunch of old retired guys, unemployed losers, and just liberal leftovers attacking anything resembling a Republican.

    Hmm…yes, such measured and moderate thoughts…

    Meanwhile…

    …but all the conservatives have moved on as the content and posters have swung increasingly left.

    Well, not “all” as your periodic returns to do little more than whine prove…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  56. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Let’s cut through the bullshit and talk about what really happened with Benghazi, shall we?

    The terrorist attack of 9/11/12 came at a time where Obama had just had a disastrous debate with Romney, and was about to have a second one — this one one foreign policy. A successful Al Qaeda attack would put a huge dent in Joe Biden’s boast about how Bin Laden was dead and GM was alive. (Ironically enough, it was actually a case of “Al Qaeda and GM are both still kicking and killing Americans, but I digress.)

    So the first reaction to the deaths of four Americans — including our Ambassador 00 was purely political: how to keep this from affecting the upcoming election and hurting Obama’s chances of re-election. So this whole “riot provoked by a YouTube video” was pushed forward, and the “most successful terrorist attack on the US in years” was pushed back. It had no chance of holding long-term, but the Obama administration wasn’t thinking long-term — just long enough to get them past the immediate political danger. So a few seeds were planted where they alluded to “terrorism,” just enough so they could go back later and say “see, we didn’t totally deny that possibility.”

    And it worked; Obama won re-election. (Whether or not he would have had they admitted the truth of Benghazi come out are as relevant as whether or not Nixon would have won re-election without Watergate.)

    So, what’s the big deal? What’s the point of an investigation?

    It’s about the concept of There Is Shit You Do Not Pull In The United States. And this kind of bullshit is Exactly That Kind Of Shit.

    There’s no need for an investigation to determine what happened; we all know it, just some won’t admit it. the purpose of the investigation is threefold:

    1) Determine exactly who did what, knew what, and make that all public.

    2) Re-establish that This Is Shit You Do Not Pull In The United States.

    3) Establish that Covering Up Shit is actually often worse than The Shit Being Covered Up.

    These “new” e-mails that came out? They ain’t new. They’re almost two years old. They’re only aged because they were kept secret by the Obama administration all that time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  57. jukeboxgrad says:

    So this whole “riot provoked by a YouTube video” was pushed forward

    Try to keep up:

    there is in fact hard evidence that the local Islamist scene in Benghazi was in uproar about the “anti-Islam video” in the run-up to the attack, and that this outrage figured prominently among the motivations of the assailants

    And there is more evidence here: link.

    The liar is you, as usual.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  58. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So the first reaction to the deaths of four Americans — including our Ambassador 00 was purely political: how to keep this from affecting the upcoming election and hurting Obama’s chances of re-election.

    The first political reaction was from the GOP:

    I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.

    Written at 10 pm, “embargoed” until midnight because it was 9/11. Real classy of Romney and the Republicans there.

    It had no chance of holding long-term, but the Obama administration wasn’t thinking long-term — just long enough to get them past the immediate political danger. So a few seeds were planted where they alluded to “terrorism,” just enough so they could go back later and say “see, we didn’t totally deny that possibility.”

    You write this as if that was their devious plan all along, and Mitt Romney just happened to blunder into it, victim of the Obama political machine to stump Romney on semantic points he brought into the conversation. Hell, Obama alludes to the previous press release.

    It’s about the concept of There Is Shit You Do Not Pull In The United States. And this kind of bullshit is Exactly That Kind Of Shit.

    It’s “Exactly That Kind Of Shit” because a Democrat occupies the White House. It’s not because they’re defending some sort of patriotic ideal. That casts Issa in perhaps the most favorable light, and that’s not light you should analyze by if you want to be accurate. Even the “concealed” email didn’t allude to wrongdoing or even political machination beyond the normal talking points war fought by different agencies of the government, which has always happened under any administration.

    Where was this outrage with the other embassy attacks during Bush’s tenure? Where was this ceaseless charge to keep Exactly That Kind Of Shit from happening? The Republicans controlled Congress till 2006 but never investigated any of it with the fervor they’ve devoted to Benghazi.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  59. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Chuckles, if one tells two conflicting stories, one does not get to claim credit for honesty because one of them is true. Rather, it proves that you were lying.

    Contrast that with the arguments for the invasion of Iraq. The Iraq AUMF outlined 12 grounds. The anti-war movement focused, laser-like, on one aspect and challenged it, pretty much ignoring the other 11. None of the arguments were contradictory, but the idea (and I use the term laughingly) seemed to be that if one is discredited, the other 11 don’t count.

    @Tillman: So the argument now is “because the Republicans might benefit, the Obama administration had to lie?” Thanks for reinforcing my point: anything that might help Republicans and/or hurt Democrats, then it’s “political” and it’s all fair game.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  60. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So the argument now is “because the Republicans might benefit, the Obama administration had to lie?”

    I’m sure that’s the argument, yes, once you filter it through your warped sieve of a head.

    Seriously dude, Benghazi has been nothing but a political cross to attempt to hang Obama on. Romney tried it and failed. Further investigations have failed. Even the withheld email is a total failure since it reinforces the administration’s point of view. There is no “there” there. And the fact that similar attacks in the past have been met with shrugs renders Republican efforts to “get to the bottom” of Benghazi as nothing but a political witch-hunt. Seriously, the worst thing you can allege about the Obama administration re:Benghazi now is that they didn’t fully comply with a Congressional investigation about it? Wow, that’s some justification.

    If Republicans got this worked up about government not responding to their inquiries for information on government processes about who knew what when, imagine what they’d say about the build-up to the Iraq war–oh wait, we don’t talk about that. That’s just four thousand more lives and billions more dollars lost than Benghazi cost.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1