It’s October of 2015 and the Benghazi committee charade continues. This is now the 8th committee hearing that the Republicans have sponsored about Benghazi, and all they’ve really managed to learn is that Hillary used her own email server – a practice, which formerly beloved Republican icon Colin Powell also engaged in as her predecessor as Secretary of State – while she was part of Obama’s administration.
Almost Speaker-to-be Kevin McCarthy recently let the cat out of the bag by admitting publicly that the primary purpose of the hearings was to put a dent into Hillary Clinton’s public image. Not that this was a mystery beforehand.
The nakedness of the political mission – it’s so undisguised that any idiot would be able to pick up on this if they were paying just a little bit of attention – is extraordinary. And yet, the Republicans are still pretending that this is somehow for real.
So, I’m here to help their investigation: they could wrap it up pretty quickly if they just read Mitchell Zuckoff’s excellent “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi.” It was written with the direct assistance of the Annex Security Team – the team that was there and that lost a couple of its members – and it’s available on Amazon or other retailers near you.
I’m sure it’s available in Washington D.C.
It does an excellent job of filling in the mystery, and from it I learned that the Annex Team certainly was frustrated that they were held back for over 20 minutes while their supervisors at the CIA was trying to figure out if they were going to get any cooperation from those portions of the Lybian military that were theoretically allied with the United States.
The Republicans are still looking for a smoking gun to prove that the Obama administration was involved in some giant cover up. Which it was not. Yes, then the Ambassador to the United Nations, went on the Sunday morning talk shows and blamed the provocative film The Innocence of Muslims, the release of which on the Internet did, in fact, spark protests in Egypt and other parts of the Muslim world. That’s what Abamassador Rice was told at the time by US security experts, and it appears to have been an honest mistake. There was no attempt to influence the election – as the Republicans kept trying to prove – although the Obama administration was apparently guilty of “slow-rolling the release of internal e-mails that indicated an unseemly level of political concern over how the attack would be explained.” At least that’s how the Karen DeYoung of the “liberal” Washington Post saw it in her review of the Zuckoff book.
What was the big takeaway from yesterday’s 11 hour (that’s right folks, eleven bloody hours!) hearing? That Hillary Clinton (at least in her own opinion) thought “more about what happened” than all of the committee members put together. That she has “lost more sleep” over the issue than all the committee members put together.
All the Republicans were able to prove is that Sydney Blumenthal had an “unusual” amount of access to Hillary, including her email address and cell phone number.
Since Blumenthal is a former aide to President Clinton and a long-time Hillary confidant, this is hardly shocking news.
And yet, the Republicans continue to insist that their investigation is “on the level.”
Just like Fox News is “fair and balanced.”
So my only question is, are we as a nation actually going to get a grip on reality some time in this decade, and actually be able to call a spade a spade?
 Powell isn’t so beloved anymore among the Republican cognoscenti since he began vocalizing his displeasure about the racist way that President Obama has been treated by members of the Grand Old Party.