Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Fake Benghazi Scandal

I'm getting a little tired of the antics of Grumpy Old John McCain and Little Lindsay Graham, the two largely irrelevant Regressive republicans who are desperately trying to regain credibility by spending weeks and weeks attempting to demonize US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, in this phony Benghazi scandal.

What Rice said, about 5 days after the attack that left four people dead, during her Sunday morning talk show appearances, was exactly what all of the US intelligence sources had released and summarized for her.  No investigation of an attack of this nature is ever definitively wrapped up in just 5 days, and never does the CIA spill all that they know regarding terrorism around the world to the media.

And the Regressives know this.

So Susan Rice not only accurately spoke for the US intelligence agencies in the days just after the attack, but she and the head of the CIA also generously complied with the wishes of John and Lindsay by spending over an hour yesterday answering their questions.

They didn't have to. This was not an official inquiry, an official hearing, or an official anything.

They were being magnanimous in obliging these two resentful senators.  And, as you'd expect, McCain and Graham emerged from the meeting whining that they were disturbed and had even more questions.

I can agree with that first part.  I think they are disturbed.

No matter how accurate Rice was in the days after the attack, and no matter how much she humors people like McCain and Graham, the Regressive republican party is going to continue to discredit her and pretend there's some big conspiracy being hidden. They will demonize her and try to pressure President Obama into nominating Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, instead of Rice, for the next Secretary of State. Why Kerry? So that his senate seat will open up and republican Scott Brown can be re-elected. (Brown just lost to Democrat Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts.)

Here's a handy chart from Mother Jones showing  Attacks on US Diplomatic Targets. Notice how many attacks have taken place during Regressive republican administrations, in red:

From All Voices:

The attack of our embassy in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11,which resulted in four Americans being murdered, is now used as an opportunity to gain political points. 

Now there is loud clamor for transparency and investigations, accusations of a cover-up and incompetence, with those doing the talking all the while professing to only want the truth as concerned Americans and conscientious politicians. Give me a break. The only conscientious concern here is self-serving partisan BS.

Where was all that concern for our men and women serving in embassies and consulates across the globe when all the other attacks and killings occurred?

Like in 2002 when the US Consulate in the Karachi, Pakistan, was attacked and 10 were killed?

Or in 2004 when the US embassy in Uzbekistan was attacked and two were killed and another nine injured?

How about in 2004, when the US Consulate in Saudi Arabia was stormed and 8 lost their lives? 

There is more: In 2006, armed men attacked the US Embassy in Syria and one was murdered.

Then in 2007 a grenade was thrown at the US Embassy in Athens.

In 2008, the US Embassy in Serbia was set on fire.

In 2008, bombings in the US Embassy in Yemen killed 10.
Notice the dates -- all before the Obama administration.

Not yet convinced that all the noise over Benghazi has nothing to do with love of countryman? 

How about the biggest, most catastrophic attack and murder of Americans? As a New Yorker, Sept. 11, 2001, is indelibly imprinted on my psyche and I’m sure on the rest of the country. 3,000 perished in the most brutal act of terror in our recent history—all under a Republican administration. George W. Bush and his team had nine warnings that al-Qaida would attack within the United States, but they did absolutely nothing. 

Not one head in that administration rolled for that stunning incompetence.

But Republicans now want President Obama’s head for Benghazi.

From Pensito Review:

The Fox News-generated hysteria among Republicans over the government’s handling of the Benghazi attacks relies heavily on the assumption that Fox viewers have incredibly short memories. Watching Fox present this issue, you might quickly assume that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya was unique — that nothing like it had ever happened before. You might also assume that, if there had been other similar attacks in the past, American patriots and their representatives in Washington would be entirely justified in politicizing the attacks and using the failures that led to them, whether real or imagined, for partisan gain. 

In reality, of course, there have been many attacks on U.S. embassies and consulates — more than 40 in the past half century.

The chart above from Mother Jones, for example, shows the frequency of attacks on U.S. diplomatic sites over the past 40 years. What Fox would like to erase from its viewers’ memories is that, as the chart shows, there were many attacks on U.S. missions overseas during the administration of the most recent Republican president, George W. Bush. It is crucial to Fox’s politicizing of Benghazi to make those attacks disappear down the memory hole, because there is an inconvenient fact associated with them: In the wake of the seven or more attacks on American overseas interests on Bush’s watch, Democrats did not politicize them the way Republicans are politicizing Benghazi today.

In particular, no Democrat ever suggested forming a Watergate-style select committee to investigate the attacks during the Bush era, like the one Republicans are demanding now.
There was one full-scale investigation — the one that looked into the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, which were the most egregious national security failure in U.S. history — but that investigation was outsourced to a bipartisan commission controlled by Republicans.

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