A few readers of this blog have asked me to weigh in on the Benghazi controversy. After watching former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, testify for over 11 hours before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, here is my take on this whole mess:
On September 11, 2012, the American compound in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by Islamist militants, resulting in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. At the time, Hillary Clinton was the serving Secretary of State.
Republicans, well aware that Clinton would be seeking the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, saw the tragedy as an opportunity to attack Clinton’s competency and leadership skills. Republicans could well read the polls showing Hillary Clinton as the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic nomination.
House Republicans ostensibly set out to investigate the incident in order to “get to the bottom of the Benghazi attack.” This was done in spite of seven prior investigations conducted by various government agencies into the matter! None of those inquiries found any fault with Hillary Clinton’s actions. To the dismay of Republicans, there was no dropping of the ball or dereliction of duty on the Secretary’s part.
The 17-month-old, $4.7 million, Select Committee investigation was never intended to get to the bottom of the Benghazi attack. The seven prior investigations took care of that. The committee was setup to hurt Hillary’s poll numbers. House Majority leader, Kevin McCarthy, foolishly admitted as much.
During her testimony today, Hillary Clinton was poised, patient and steady. She did not make any mistake or suffer any gaffes. Instead of the hearing producing a basis for a future attack ad or two, Clinton only added to her stature as presidential material. The Republican inquisitors looked petty and mean-spirited.
The reality is that most Americans don’t care much about Benghazi. But among those who do care, not much will change. The purpose of the prolonged investigation, the longest in congressional history, is to keep the word “Benghazi” in the public consciousness as long as possible. It appears to have worked, thanks to a strong assist from the Republican Party’s propaganda machine, Fox News.
What do you think of when you hear the word “Watergate?” You think of a cover-up of criminal activity during the Nixon administration that ultimately lead to Nixon’s resigning the presidency. When people today hear the word “Benghazi” they think of more Clinton dirty laundry; a modern day “Whitewater.” The thinking of many Americans is that there must be something to this Benghazi thing; Congress would not be spending so much time on the issue if it were otherwise.
After Clinton’s testimony and Biden’s decision not to seek the Democratic nomination, look for her poll numbers to increase.
Republicans have clearly overplayed their hand on Benghazi. But one would not expect any different from the “stupid party.”(The Party Of Stupid Just Can’t Help Itself)
Why does the word boomerang come to mind?
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