Update II: There are many quotable quotes of the day about the coverup at Benghazi. We think the analysis in our article below is still correct: appoint a select committee with a few members (no more than seven) all with prosecutorial experience to get to the bottom of this Benghazi coverup. 41 hams do not an investigation make especially when they make false charges which undercut their investigation.
As to Hillary Clinton, we have some observations in defense of her January testimony. Hillary’s “what’s the difference” quote has been taken out of context and is entire reasonable.
And today’s Benghazi hearing clears Hillary Clinton of several accusations made against her this weekend and after her January testimony, by hammy members of the committee. Yes we’re referring to the Mark Thompson accusations which he himself refuted today as well as the “signature” issue which was completely refuted as well.
We need a select committee with subpoena power and smarts to investigate the Benghazi coverup.
Update: We argue below that only a small select committee with experienced prosecutors has a chance to unravel the Benghazi knot. But John Boehner says “no” to a select committee and instead wants the 41 hams on the Oversight Committee to fight for the TV kleig lights.
Most of the testimony and witnesses have already been leaked by some of the hams on broadcasts so expect no bombshells from the place that the bombshells should’a taken place. Obama Dimocrats will do their best to distract and deny.
A clue as to whether these hearings will be step one on the road to a select committee or whether they will be successful in getting facts will be if the Republicans continue to give hammy speeches or do the smart thing which is give their time to one person (such as Trey Gowdy) with prosecutorial experience who knows how to interrogate and ask questions to elicit facts.
Another clue as to whether these Benghazi hearings succeed in getting to the bottom of this scandal comes from the Open thread: Benghazi hearing in House Oversight Committee article at HotAir:
“Greg Gutfeld warns that regardless of the answers, the questions will become irrelevant if the media decides to ignore it
Big Media will do what it has to do to protect Barack Obama. The Oversight Committee today will focus on talking points and other after the fact cover-up lies. To us the central question of Benghazi is why on a September 11 anniversary there was no preparation against attack. It is indeed the central FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP.
As we wrote on January 23, 2013, “People died, Obama lied.” The witnesses today are credible and have standing to accuse and whistle-blow. But we’re gonna need a bigger boat to get to the lies and blow up the cover-up. We’re gonna need a small group of prosecutors in a select committee.
The Benghazi hearing can be seen on C-SPAN.
The Benghazi hearings slated for this Wednesday are already a flop. We’re sorry that is our conclusion. We think that getting to the bottom of the disaster of September 11, 2012 – the same day Tdouchbag Tsarnaev became an American citizen – is important and necessary.
Uncovering the truth about what happened in Benghazi on September 11 is important because even if Big Media and Obama Dimocrats don’t think it is important – the terrorist killers of Americans in Benghazi know the truth and they are emboldened when our political system denies the truth.
What contempt for the American way of government these terrorist killers must have as they witness the lies and corruption that our political system cannot uncover, or rather, works like sleepless rust to keep covered.
These terrorist killers must laugh at American power and American “justice” as they see the apparatus of the “government of the people, government by the people, government for the people” protect them and shift the blame for terrorist murders of American officials on an American who exercised his rights and produced a Youtube video Innocence of Muslims. That American is now in prison even as the friend of Boston terrorist killer Tdouchebag Tsarnaev is free on bail.
Our hope is that Prince Hamlet was correct when he declared “Foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.”
We fear however that our hope is as misplaced as the fools who in 2008 thought Barack Obama was the herald of “hope and change”.
So why are we so pessimistic that the Benghazi truth will rise? Why do we think the Benghazi hearings on Wednesday will flop or have already flopped? It’s because we know the difference between a good investigation and a foolish investigation.
Consider a successful investigation: The Watergate Hearings. There are five reasons why the Watergate Hearings were successful:
(1) The Watergate Hearings held to investigate Richard M. Nixon were conducted under the auspices of a Senate resolution authorizing a Senate select committee comprised of only seven members which in one year issued a report;
(2) the Watergate select committee had subpoena power to acquire witnesses and materials needed for its investigation into the Watergate break-in as well as any other criminal activity – along with the authority to investigate “all other illegal, improper, or unethical conduct occurring during the Presidential campaign of 1972, including political espionage and campaign finance practices”;
(3) the Watergate hearings had a smart leader in a wily “country lawyer” that had in fact graduated from Harvard Law School (a respected institution at the time), was considered a constitutional law expert, served as a Supreme Court Justice in his native North Carolina, and was interested in getting to the bottom of what had happened at the Watergate and the “White House Horrors” as expeditiously as possible;
(4) the public hearings themselves featured an extensive period of time wherein the majority counsel was able to interrogate the witnesses without interruption or distraction;
(5) the Watergate select committee developed a smart media strategy which mostly prevented leaks to the media in favor of dropping “bombshells” from the mouths of witnesses which had the effect of riveting viewers to their televised investigation.
The Senate select committee on Watergate provided a final report on June 27, 1974. On July 24 the Supreme Court ruled that President Nixon had to surrender the tape recordings he fought to keep secret from the special prosecutor. The tapes proved President Nixon participated in a cover-up of White House links to the Watergate burglary. A House Judiciary Committee voted three articles of impeachment against President Nixon and sent them to the full House for a vote. Before the House of Representatives voted Richard Nixon on August 9, 1974 resigned.
Media at the time was not friendly to Richard Nixon, more like it hated him, but Richard Nixon was overwhelmingly reelected in 1972 and the media was not as corrosive a force as it is today. This meant that Watergate was at first mostly ignored. The Washington Post was alone in its reports until eventually the New York Times joined in. It was the Senate select committee that focused attention on Watergate and convinced the American people that the Watergate break-in was a serious enough issue to remove a twice elected president who had a remarkable set of skills and many successes yet to be matched.
The Watergate Senate select committee was a success. By comparison the Benghazi investigation is an embarrassment.
We can already hear the whelps of pain and screams of “idiots” at us for suggesting that the Benghazi investigation is “an embarrassment”. We are sure the defense against our “embarrassment” charge is that this past weekend has been a festival of revelations about what is to come this Wednesday at the Benghazi hearing before Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee.
But all those weekend revelations are exactly why we are concerned and believe that the Benghazi hearings will be or are already – a flop. Why did those leaks occur? Does anyone think those leaks are helpful? Really?
We’ve all heard the sensational charge that the military was politically blocked from helping the besieged in Benghazi. That charge is refuted and we get that information from the Republican/conservative website AceOfSpades:
“One note I’ve been wanting to make and it’s related…despite the stuff from Fox this week about how a military response was possible, it wasn’t.
Even the scathing report from the House said there was no timely military rescue/support option (pdf).
Although responsible military officers and civilian officials within the Department of Defense reacted quickly to the attacks in Benghazi, the effectiveness of their response was hindered because U.S. military forces were not properly postured to address the growing threats in northern Africa or to respond to a brief, high-intensity attack on U.S. personnel or interests across much of Africa.
You can fault the DoD for not being properly set-up that night but given how they were deployed and their alert status, there was simply no way to get military assets to Benghazi in time that night.
There’s plenty to go after Obama on over this, making up stories about potential rescue missions doesn’t help.”
The incorrect speculations don’t help. Providing heads up leaks don’t help. Just get the facts first and let the conclusions conclude the investigation.
The leaks are fun and all, but speculation is not fact. And if the speculations are wrong, the advertisements don’t live up to the product, then real harm to the investigation is done. Behold fun speculation that is probably irresponsible, counterproductive, and just plain stupid to “leak”:
“A source with intimate information about the events that happened on the ground in Benghazi the night the U.S. Consulate and the CIA annex was attacked by terrorists told Breitbart News that, ultimately, only the President of the United States, or someone acting on his authority, could have prevented Special Forces either on the ground or nearby from helping those Americans who were under deadly assault.
That call may have been made early in the engagement. Both Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey testified in January that they had no further communication with President Barack Obama after an initial briefing in the early hours of the Benghazi crisis, which continued through the night.
But what about then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?
“I have a hard time thinking it was Hillary alone. Hillary may have tried to circumvent the counterterrorism board and deal with this. I think in order for her to tell General Ham, ‘No, you’re not going to get involved,’ she would have had to talk to the president. The president would have had to say, ‘No, take your commands from Hillary.’ He would have had said something, because Ham does not work for the Department of State; he works directly for the president,” the source explained.”
The Watergate hearings worked in large part because of the bombshell factor. On July 16, 1973 the world was stunned when Alexander Porter Butterfield testified as a witness before the Senate select committee that a White House taping system existed which recorded all of President Nixon’s conversations. That wasn’t leaked. The impact was akin to a massive meteor striking the Earth.
So why did we have so many revelations this past weekend about what is going to happen on Wednesday? We know who the “secret” whistle blower witnesses are going to be and what they are going to say. Why? Why were these bombshells not exploded together for maximum effect on Wednesday at the public hearing?
All the leaks do is help the White House prepare itself for a response at a time of its choosing. The leaks give away the tactical advantage to the Obama White House goons.
Unlike the Watergate select committee which was small and had smart leadership the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is not a select committee but is a sprawling mess with 41 members many of limited intelligence and to make matters worse its chairman is a bit of a show horse who makes promises he can’t seem to keep:
“After becoming Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Issa has become a vocal advocate for investigations into the Obama administration, including the Troubled Assets Relief Program, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, corruption in Afghanistan, WikiLeaks, and the Food and Drug Administration, among other issues. In 2010 he told the press that he wanted the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to hold investigative hearings “seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks.“‘
We really don’t see much of a record of success. Is it the fault of Chairman Issa? Chairman Issa has unilateral subpoena power but somehow we don’t seem to see much action. We know that there are Benghazi survivors in Washington who have never been publicly heard from but somehow Chairman Issa has not seen fit to subpoena them.
Perhaps the problem is not Chairman Issa but the mess of a committee he heads. With 41 members we know that every Obama Dimocrat will take their turn at bat to subvert the job of investigating what happened in Benghazi. But the Republican members will take their turn to posture, preen, and pose, all the while ignoring the previous questions from their Republican colleagues. It would be best if Republicans on the committee gave up their time to one person with prosecutor conditionals, such as Trey Gowdy, to ask all the questions for the majority.
We are not the only ones concerned; Jim Geraghty at National Review Online:
“Dear Republicans on the House Oversight Committee:
Please do not grandstand. Please do not take the time before the television cameras to tell us how outraged you are, even though what you are investigating is, indeed, outrageous. There will be plenty of time for that after the hearing. All day Wednesday, give us the facts, and then more facts, and then more facts.
Just ask the questions of the witnesses. Let them speak and don’t cut them off. Do not give the Obama administration any cover to claim that this is a partisan witch hunt from unhinged political opponents. Don’t waste time complaining about the media’s lack of interest or coverage so far. Just give them — and us — the facts to tell the story, a story that will leave all of us demanding accountability.
Sheryl Attkisson’s excellent reporting for CBS gives us a sense of what to expect, with three big issues.
First: Leading up to September 11, why did the State Department keep reducing the amount of security protecting diplomatic staff in Libya, in light of the increasingly dire requests from those in country? [snip]
Second: Precisely what happened that night? Was there a time when a rescue could have been authorized, but wasn’t? Were any forces told to “stand down” and not attempt a rescue? [snip]
Third, what happened afterwards, and was there an effort to lie to the American people about what happened? [snip]
Finally, did the previous efforts to investigate this amount to a cover-up?“
Get the facts. Don’t give speeches. Get the facts with clear, simple questions. And as Geraghty warns:
“In short, what we don’t need is a bold, expectation-setting, agenda-hinting prediction like this:
Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said on his radio show Monday that President Obama “will not fill out his full term” because he was complicit in a “cover-up” surrounding the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Libya.
“I believe that before it’s all over, this president will not fill out his full term,” Huckabee said. “I know that puts me on a limb, but this is not minor.”
Just the facts Ma’am. Just the facts.
After Wednesday, may we please get a select committee of the House… please? Appoint members with prosecutorial experience such as Trey Gowdy to the committee and weed out the show boats and the squishes to finally pull out corruption by its grey haired roots.
Back in 2008 we called for a special prosecutor to investigate Barack Obama.
As the Benghazi attack Big Media blackout continued we wrote:
“We want answers as to what happened in Benghazi. On this issue politics should be put aside and let the chips fall where they may. As we have repeatedly written we believe if the entire story is told Hillary will come out smelling like a rose. But we doubt the entire story will be told while Barack Obama is in office.”
We wrote that as Hillary Clinton was preparing to testify before the House and Senate committees on January 23, 2013. We did not expect much before that hearing and we did not get much from that hearing:
“As we wrote below Republicans have caved on Benghazi like they have on the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling. Perhaps this afternoon the House Republicans will ask some pertinent questions.
Most ridiculous “question” came from Durbin of Illinois who spent his time remembering Bush era “weapons of mass destruction” stories which at the time even Al Gore thought were true. Somehow Durbin forgot Hillary voted for the authorization on that Iraq issue. Even if Durbin has a point on the weapons of mass destruction issue, shouldn’t everyone of every political stripe be against misinformation and lies in situations such as Benghazi? People died, Obama lied.“
We know that many will assume we are insincere when we state we want the truth and that we do believe that at the end of the Benghazi investigation Hillary Clinton will come out smelling like a rose. Some will get their hopes up and call us “shills” for “Shillary” the crook, criminal, lesbian, liar, killer, rape enabler, thief… all the insults that bring temporary emotional gratification but not much else.
Consider, if Hillary Clinton is the horrible criminal and evil mastermind some allege, then how has she gotten away with it for so long and do you really think that Darrell Issa and his committee are the ones that can do what hasn’t been done?
Unlike Barack Obama whose sole defense is to have his goons race-bait in order to protect him, Hillary Clinton cannot race-bait – but she does have decades of experience surviving attacks and profiting politically from them. Today Jonah Goldberg writes “Hillary is no Barack” as if that is a bad thing.
Goldberg whose mom did everything she could do to destroy Bill Clinton failed in her task as Bill Clinton left the White House with 65% approval from the American public. Of course, after Barack Obama’s election it is tough for us to argue about the wisdom of the American electorate. But we certainly can argue that Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton will survive Benghazi and much more.
Goldberg should consider our analysis that Hillary will have more difficulty getting the nomination than winning the general election in 2016. And Hillary’s biggest challenge in the general election 2016 is scraping the Barack off her shoes:
“In 2016 the greatest threat to Hillary Clinton is once again Barack Obama – and his legacy of weakness and profligacy. Tie Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama and she loses.”
With Benghazi many Republicans/conservatives and assorted Hillary haters or just plain ol’ political opponents who honestly and fairly disagree with her on many issues believe that they can “get her” before she runs for president in 2016. In other words Benghazi 2013 stops Hillary Clinton 2016. We don’t believe it is going to be so easy and many Republicans/conservatives who don’t want Hillary Clinton 2016 wisely agree with us.
Ed Morrisey at HotAir discussed a WaPo fact checker: Who rewrote the Benghazi talking points?:
“Give Glenn Kessler credit; he was almost alone among the mainstream media in immediately calling Susan Rice’s explanation of the attack on the Benghazi consulate fishy, awarding her two Pinocchios at the time. (Perhaps not too much credit, says Ann Althouse, via Instapundit.) Should that get bumped up now that whistleblowers are prepared to blow the Obama administration’s fairy tale on Benghazi out of the water? Kessler argues, correctly, that the better question is who crafted the four-Pinocchio lie, and to what purpose: [snip]
Kessler’s right, but his scope is too narrow. The rewrite has always appeared to be a cover-up from the White House and/or State Department — and make no mistake, the CIA wouldn’t be carrying water for Hillary Clinton and State. The big question is: what were they trying to cover? In my column for The Week, I argue that the context is much broader, and it’s perhaps even more relevant today than ever: [snip]
The point of the cover-up wasn’t just to preserve the argument that Barack Obama had fatally weakened al-Qaeda, which few really believed anyway. It was to preserve the foreign-policy expertise argument in the 2012 presidential election, and to keep American voters from seeing the true scope of the disaster of Obama’s intervention in Libya. And that matters even more now, with the same administration considering another 30,00o-foot intervention that would end up once again benefiting al-Qaeda affiliates on the ground.”
Our operating theory is that Benghazi was a CIA operation in a State Department compound for who knows what. Possibly an Iran/contra type operation to get munitions and supplies to Syrian “rebels” is what was going on. Maybe it was about Chad, who knows? That’s what we need an thorough investigation for.
Let’s hope we’re wrong and that this Wednesday we finally unravel the Benghazi knot of lies. Investigate, investigate, investigate.