The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


With the upcoming appearance of Hillary Clinton before the Congressional Select Committee investigating Benghazi, expect the Democrats' trained hamsters in the media to demonize the committee, its GOP members, its chairman, Trey Gowdy, , and its purpose. The hamsters will tell us that it's a political witch hunt, and that other investigations have turned up little. Basically, they'll argue that there's nothing to see here. We should all just move along.

As if on queue, Richard Cohen, a hard-Left columnist who specializes in defending virtually every progressive narrative, has produced the first in a long line of predictable hit pieces. The progressive narrative has it that Benghazi was simply an unfortunate screw up at an unfortunate time (before a presidential election), with an unfortunate loss of life, and that any investigation of the aftermath is venal partisan politics—there's no there, there.

Cohen tells us that the Select Committee investigating Benghazi is a farce—after all, it threatens the narrative, so it must be a farce. He writes:
I have a new hobby. It has nothing to do with balsa wood or fly-fishing, stamps or even books. Instead, I fashion myself as a modern-day Diogenes -- he was the guy with the lantern who went around ancient Athens seeking an honest man -- and so I go around asking people if they know what the Benghazi committee is looking for. Yesterday, I posed that question to a former White House aide, a lawyer, a fellow journalist, an artist, a retired CEO and the head of a non-profit. None of them knew.
Gee, I'm not (nor would I ever want to be) "a former White House aide, a lawyer, a fellow journalist, an artist, ... ." I'm just your everyday concerned citizen, so maybe I can help Mr Cohen understand the role of the select committee.

The Benghazi scandal—and it is very much a major scandal—is about three things: (1) State Department incompetence before the Islamic terrorist attack occurred, (2) military and political malfeasance while the Islamic terrorist attack occurred, and (3) a politically motivated, yet oddly pathetic attempt at a cover-up after the Islamic terrorist attack occurred, followed by an effective stonewalling campaign enabled by a fully complicit media to keep the public uninformed.

Cohen tells us (using a literary reference to be sure he differentiates himself for the troglodytes who aren't nuanced enough to agree with the progressive narrative) that he's a "modern-day Diogenes" looking for enlightenment on the Benghazi committee. Apparently he's unable to research things himself, so it's only fair to illuminate my three points for him, using only simple ideas and small words so he'll be sure to understand.

Point (1). There is clear and irrefutable evidence that proper security precautions were not taken in Benghazi, even though they were requested by people on the ground. Even worse, there were limited resources available to protect the Ambassador Stevens even after serious reports of a pending attack were offered to State Department personnel. Who is responsible for these failures? Why were security resources withheld? Who approved withholding them?

Point (2). Americans were under deadly, coordinated fire for over eight hours. There is clear and irrefutable evidence that military resources were available to intercede, but were not used. Airpower was available, but was not used. Some on the ground claim that an order to "stand down" was issued, but because the administration and DoD stonewalled any legitimate investigation, that's hard to determine whether this is true. While the fighting continued, we were told that there was "not enough time" or that it was "impractical" to intercede. But how could military personal have known how much time would be available, given that the attack was on-going when they claim that decision was made? How does "practicality" come into play when Americans are under attack? Who gave the order NOT to intercede? Did it come from the DoD, the State Department, the White House? Where was the president physically during the attack? Where was the Secretary of State? Did they participate in decision-making, and if so, how? What real-time communications traffic occurred between State, the White House, and the military in North Africa, Southern Europe and on the ground in Libya?  Why did so many senior military officers retire or get reassigned after the Benghazi incident?

Point (3). The White House and State department knowingly lied about the causes of the attack, falsely attributing it to the infamous anti-Muslim video as causation and a random mob as perpetrators (instead of a known Islamic terrorist cell). Both claims were provably false and were known to be false within hours of the attack. Yet intelligence reports were doctored, administration spokespeople lied repeatedly, and the Secretary of State (Hillary Rodham Clinton) lied about causation and the perpetrators, not for hours or a few days, but for over a week. Why? Who decided to mislead the public? Who crafted the false narrative? Who approved it? How heavily did political concerns come into play?

That's what the Select Committee is trying to investigate, thwarted every step of the way by an administration that stonewalled every information request and Democrat committee members who are there not to determine the truth but to protect their president and HRC.

In true hamster fashion, Cohen concludes:
The true Benghazi scandal is not what happened on the Libyan coast, but the use of a congressional committee for political purposes -- to damage the likely Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, by rummaging through her emails. She's handled this all wrong, but she shouldn't have had to handle it at all. 
Sure, after all, in the words of Hillary Clinton, "what difference does it make!" 

UPDATE (10/1/2015)
Kevin McCarthy, the likely new Speaker of the House, did something truly stupid yesterday—he spoke the truth, albeit only a half truth. McCarthy, in what has to be termed one of the dumbest political comments in recent memory, suggested that Hillary Clinton's falling poll numbers were due in part to the on-going Benghazi hearings.

Needless to say, that gave progressives the vapors, allowing them to fortify their narrative that the hearings have been conducted solely for political purposes.

The level of cynicism evidenced in their faux outrage is amusing. Nothing in Washington—NOTHING—occurs without political overtones. In fact, most things are blatantly political and the current progressive administration under Barack Obama exemplifies that hard fact every single day. Sure, the Select Committee is political, just like everything else in Washington. But the Benghazi scandal is real, the questions noted in the body of my post have not been adequately answered and Hillary Clinton's travails are self-inflicted.

McCarthy did a really dumb thing (so dumb, in fact, that it leads one to question his political intelligence). He gave Democrats ammunition in their effort to bury the Benghazi inquiry. Look for Hillary to express faux outrage when she appears later this month. Look for Dems on the committee to support that outrage. Look for the trained media hamsters to back them up.

Doesn't matter. Bad things happened before, during, and after Benghazi. We need to know what they were and why they happened.