The Republican House Speaker, John Boehner, announced today that he has chosen the rabidly partisan South Carolina Tea Party congressman, Trey Gowdy, to chair a special committee to waste more time and money investigating their trumped up Benghazi scandal. In naming Gowdy, Boehner praised his determination and desire for truth saying that…
“Trey Gowdy is as dogged, focused, and serious-minded as they come. I know he shares my commitment to get to the bottom of this tragedy.”
Of course the truth is that neither Boehner nor Gowdy have any interest in getting to the bottom of anything. Their statements and actions for the past year and a half show that they are only interested in politicizing a tragic loss of American lives. Having failed to uncover even a sliver of evidence of any wrongdoing, Boehner is, in effect, insulting his own colleagues in Congress (i.e. Darrell Issa) who have been conducting pseudo-investigations without producing the hoped for “smoking guns” with which they could continue their campaign of political slander.
With the appointment of Gowdy, Republicans will have an attack dog in charge of the panel who has demonstrated his bitterly prejudiced views on this subject. Here are just a few of his past comments regarding the issue he is now pretending to seek the truth about:
- 4/28/2013: There are more Benghazi hearings coming; I think they’re going to be explosive. [That never came to pass]
- 5/7/2013: I think I can prove tomorrow that it was an intentional misrepresentation by Susan Rice and others. [That was a year ago, and still no proof]
- 8/2/2013: What creates the appearance and perhaps the reality of a cover-up? Not letting us talk with people who have the most amount of information, dispersing them around the country and changing their names. [Here he is descending into a delusional conspiracy theory for which he provided no evidence]
- 12/31/2013: What in the world explains the violence in Benghazi prior to the video being translated and released? Our consulate was attacked way before the video was released. [And this is just patently false]
This background on the man who will be chairing the committee shows that Boehner and his party are not really taking this matter seriously. It is a desperate attempt to dig up some political mud to throw, to tarnish the prospective presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton in 2016, and to salvage Boehner’s sinking reputation with the far-right fringe of his party whom he needs if he wants to be Speaker in the next session of congress.
Adding to the absurdity of convening a special committee on Benghazi is that the foundation of the GOP’s case keeps collapsing. Just as Gowdy’s predictions from a year ago never materialized, the most recent allegations are likewise illusory. The email that has become the object of their obsession reveals nothing new and doesn’t even refer to Benghazi in the portion they have latched onto. So now some Republicans are swerving to claim that the real outrage is the whereabouts of President Obama when the attack in Libya was taking place, and whether or not he was in the Situation Room at the White House. The only problem with that line of attack is that it is utterly irrelevant to anything. Even when Gretchen Carlson of Fox News tried to light that sparkler, she was doused by Andy Card, George W. Bush’s Chief of Staff:
Carlson: Did you find it unusual that the National Security Adviser, the former one, a few days ago with Bret Baier said that President Obama was not in the Situation Room on the night of the Benghazi attacks? Is that odd or is that normal?
Card: I don’t think that says a lot. The President does not have to be in the Situation Room at every time with every crisis. […] I don’t think that it’s credible that we would expect, as the the pubic, that the President would be sitting in the Situation Room all the time.
This is the environment in which the Republican’s new committee will meet. They have nothing of substance to contribute. Democrats are considering boycotting the committee. That would be a wise move that would leave the GOP to stink in their juices.
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The result will be that the GOP will be seen by the American people to have no case, no integrity, and no interest in solving the problems that the people really care about. And if Benghazi is the issue they hope to run with in 2014 – or 2016 – they are going to be sorely disappointed when the returns come in. And they will be able to thank Fox News for their losses. After all, it was Fox, and their CEO Roger Ailes, who masterminded the Benghazi myth and worked tirelessly to prop it up.