2013/05/10

The Benghazi situation




Jon Stewart's Daily Show covers the Benghazi "scandal" where no one has ever identified what was being covered up or what the Obama Administration ever hoped to achieve with it. As this piece reviews the three events, Watergate, Iran-Contra and yes, even Whitewater, all had some discernable motivation behind them. In each case, there was a good reason for the Nixon, Reagan and Clinton administrations to want to carry them out. In the case of Benghazi, the actions took place in early September of last year, here it is May and no one has yet defined exactly what the Obama Administration was attempting to achieve. Rachel Maddow covered the Benghazi hearings from the perspective of general Republican/right wing craziness (Her specific comments on Benghazi start at the 12:50 mark). She states straightforwardly that she can't "reverse-engineer" why and how Benghazi was supposedly a positive for Obama.

Daily Kos examines various questions: "Why wasn't the Special Forces unit sent to the scene of the fighting?"

...they weren't some fully outfitted Delta Force unit ready to obliterate the men who had dared attack American facilities. They were just four guys in all, no doubt brave and eager to go. But they weren't combat ready, being armed solely with 9mm sidearms.

"Why weren't jets sent?"

They couldn't have gotten there in time, something examined in full by the Accountability Review Board's independent report.

"There was a '40-man Special Operations CIF [Commander's in-Extremis Force] unit in Europe at the time of the attack,' why weren't they sent?"

     The nearest airfield where the 40-man team could have landed was 30 kilometers away from where the incident took place. Yes, they had a plane that could have carried vehicles that could have gotten them there on time, but it  takes time to load those appropriate vehicles onto a plane. By the time that could have been done, the fight would have long since been over. No, there was no realistic way that the team could have gotten to the fight in time to make a difference.

In short, there was really no conspiratorial explanation for why the personnel in the Benghazi diplomatic compound could not be saved. There simply wasn't time to do much. There were too few forces, too far away, to have made any difference.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) asked all three expert witnesses at the May 8th "whistleblowers" hearing if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's name at the bottom of all of the relevant cables meant anything. All three witnesses replied that it is standard protocol to credit all cables to having been written by the SecState whether she had anything to do with them or not. So no, Clinton's name at the bottom of all the cables meant nothing. Did the House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) learn anything from the hearing? His own statements indicate that the hearings were a complete waste of time and that nothing was learned. Heck, even Fox News was cutting away from their own coverage because there was so little that was new and interesting coming out of it.

So what's the point? Why are Republicans putting so much time and effort into the story? Daily Kos figures it's "The GOP's Benghazi investigation, aka the Stop Hillary 2016 campaign." After all, President Obama was mentioned 29 times whereas Clinton was mentioned 71 times.

Update: And did anybody truly think that Republicans would be embarrassed into silence? Ha. Ha. Ha.  Not Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK)!

“Of all the great cover-ups in history — the Pentagon papers, the Iran-Contra, Watergate and all the rest of them — this … is going to go down as the most serious, the most egregious cover-up in American history,” Inhofe said during an appearance on The Rusty Humphries Show.

Obviously, Inhofe just speaks for himself, but it seems pretty clear that there will be some never-say-die fanatics on this. 

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