Benghazi and Republican Malfeasance

Trey GowdyToday, Hillary Clinton is testifying before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. It’s an amazing display. It’s such a joke. They’ve been beating this drum for three years now. They’ve found nothing. All they’ve managed to do is convince those in the right wing echo chamber that there must be fire, because if there is one thing the Republican Party is good at, it is creating smoke. But if that weren’t enough, we had Kevin McCarthy putting the hearings in the context of how it damaged Clinton’s approval rating. And over the weekend, we learned, Republican Chairman Of Benghazi Committee Caught Making Bogus Accusation Against Hillary Clinton.

It all involves Trey Gowdy. Earlier this month, he sent out a letter claiming that Clinton had revealed the name of a CIA source in some of her private email. Gowdy wrote, “This information, the name of a human source, is some of the most protected information in our intelligence community, the release of which could jeopardize not only national security but human lives.” On Sunday, the ranking Democrat, Representative Elijah Cummings hit back. Hard. It’s worth quoting at length:

The problem with your accusation — as with so many others during this investigation — is that you failed to check your facts before you made it, and the CIA has now informed the Select Committee that you were wrong. I believe your accusations were irresponsible, and I believe you owe the Secretary an immediate apology.

It appears that your letter was rushed out to the press to counter the public firestorm caused by Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s stark admission that Republicans are using millions of taxpayer dollars to damage Secretary Clinton’s bid for president. However, your letter only provided further evidence of this fact.

It turns out that the information is not classified. But before releasing it to the press, Gowdy redacted the name of the CIA source, adding “redacted due to sources and methods.” This was certainly all done to make Clinton look bad. And as Cummings noted in his letter, “Predictably, commentators began repeating your accusations in even more extreme terms…” Of course they did! Just the same, you would think after the same thing happens again and again (as it has with selective leaks from various Benghazi committees), the the press would wise up.

What’s perhaps most important, is that a day after this story broke — showing malfeasance on the part of Trey Cowdy — Google News had nothing about it among its top news items. In fact, if you did a search on “Benghazi,” the first thing that came up was a Fox News article, “Ambassador Sought Security Staffing Before Benghazi Attack, Cable Shows.” It’s understandable that for the last 40 years, the Republicans have been looking for something to redeem them for Nixon and the Watergate scandal. They look for scandals everywhere, even while they find them nowhere. (Unless marital infidelity is as important as running a crime syndicate out of the White House.)

I hope Brian Beutler was right earlier this week, The Benghazi Witch-Hunt Against Hillary Is Backfiring Just Like Bill Clinton’s Impeachment. But is it really? I question that. It seems to me that the press is only waking up to the fact that there is nothing to all this Benghazi thing. The Republicans have had more than 13 hearings on it. That ought to be enough to come to that conclusion. Instead, it takes clear acts of malfeasance to make the press figure there is nothing to see. Of course, there is something to see. If the Democrats acted like the Republicans have, it would be a huge thing. Instead, given that this is simply what the Republicans have become, it is ignored. The Republicans are just awful, so there is no story.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

14 thoughts on “Benghazi and Republican Malfeasance

  1. One of Thomas Frank’s books — I think “The Wrecking Crew” — mentions that many founders of modern conservatism (Norquist, etc.) were conscious imitators of dictators like Mao or Stalin, how they rose to and maintained power. This is simply a show trial. If the GOP could get away with forcing Hillary to confess her treasonous desire to betray America by threatening to kill her family, they would.

    Coppola erred in making “Godfather III,” period, but his biggest mistake was having Michael get mixed up with Catholic corruption. Boring! Don Corleone today would fund GOP think tanks and own Fox News.

    • That’s also why they are so obsessed with Saul Alinsky. They have done their best to take all the tools of radicals and use them for their corporate power grab.

      I think you’re right about Michael Corleone. Then again, he was thoughtful. Also: he was effective. These bozos are a joke.

      • If not for the Republicans, I would not have a clue who Saul Alinsky is. Strangely enough it is not part of Liberal Indoctrination School. I should file a complaint.

        • Yes! I’m pretty sure I learned who he was from conservatives too. But that’s the thing about conservatives, they are sure we are some kind of secret group plotting against the nation. I’ve heard Republicans say their party is like a herd of cats. Are they kidding?! They may not be quite as rigidly authoritarian as the Nazis, but they’re pretty close. The Democrats — and certainly liberals — are like a herd of cats!

          • exactly! When you tell the Democrats to vote straight ticket you get so…much…pushback. “I vote for the person, not the party!” I felt like telling someone once “shut up, no you don’t. You vote for who you know anything about, then you vote for whoever has a feminine name or other thing you identify with like party.”

            But Republicans, they admit that they are party to the core. So they think we, like MRAs with women, Democrats have hive minds since they apparently do with their creepy way of changing their talking points almost instantly.

            • Funny, I do the exact same thing with names. For things like judicial races, where I’m sure the candidates have VERY different views but I don’t know about what they are (no party listed), I vote for the person whose name looks female or immigrant-descent. Not a guarantee of success, though.

              Last time I used a handy list put out by the gay-rights group in Minnesota. That’s not a guarantee either (you could be a judge strong on gay rights and terrible on business regulation.)

              If our side had more funding and organization, one thing we could do is find out what issues most concern local voters and tailor-make lists of suggested votes for that issue. If you’re about protecting public schools, racial equality, whatever, here’s the voting guide for your precinct. Done honestly there’d be a little difference in the lists but not too much.

              • Out here we do that. We have lists for literally everything (never go behind the scenes with the number people for either party, their ability to predict everything about you is super disturbing. The Democrats are way better at it though since we don’t reject science.) There is so much information that most people tune it out and do what you do or I said. Even the people who get early voting ballots do it because ain’t nobody got time for that.

                But the problem is that voters don’t want to always believe you when you show up with this information that they claim they want. So they revert back to voting party or voting the way you do or I said. *sigh*

                • Great! Sorry it’s not super-effective, though.

                  I do recall reading somewhere that the tracking of voters has gotten very high-tech. Based on where you shop, what you buy, you can be targeted by direct mail from either party. The article (and this was some time ago!) mentioned how expensive wine buyers were Republican, cheaper wine buyers Democrats — but it was the opposite for beer!

                    • Good Dems know that you can find perfectly good wines at much cheaper prices. We also know Budweiser tastes like water and don’t mind spending a little more to support local brewers who do what they do out of love. (Plus the Coors family is pure political evil.)

                      There is something of a rich hipster yuppie culture growing around beer brewing, but it’s not out of control. Most brewpubs still have both hipsters and loser types like me hanging around. One local variety gives free tours if you donate cans to the food shelf; that’s the spirit! And I keep meaning to visit the new one run by Wiccans (some pretty badass gals are getting into the microbrew world as well these days!)

                    • All I know is I have to give people Kiltlifter to be successful at parties.

                      I am pretty sure there is a lot of work being done by women and beer-it is traditional after all for women to make ale.

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