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Democrats Schooled: Select Committee on Benghazi, Not on Iraq War Lies

Select committee on Benghazi is as much about politics as Republicans selling the Iraq war was, too.

Select committee on Benghazi is as much about politics as Republicans selling the Iraq war was, too.

WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA came into office he didn’t want to look back and Speaker Nancy Pelosi went along, which they’re now getting schooled is not how you navigate treacherous political waters if you want to set standards of what’s worth investigating. It’s politics 101 in Washington.

If ever a select committee was required it was why after 9/11 did the Bush administration target Saddam Hussein.

As bad as the lies, deceit and falsification on the way to war in Iraq were, including not outfitting the U.S. military properly, including making torture U.S. policy, Democrats didn’t have the stomach or the spine to investigate how the case for the Iraq war and WMDs was made and why we targeted Saddam Hussein after 9/11.

During the Iraq war PR campaign waged by the Bush administration, they had Judy Miller of the New York Times making their case. Today Republicans have Fox News Channel, along with today’s Miller equivalent, Sharyl Attkisson, helping. Add in Lara Logan who is in the throes of losing her career over a false Benghazi report.

Lexis Nexis deleted the transcript from a 60 Minutes piece on the terror attack in Benghazi, Libya at the request of CBS News. [Think Progress]

Republicans today are convening a select committee to basically prove that before a general election the Obama White House team wanted to drill home that they were handling terrorist attacks, which included killing known al Qaeda leaders, as well as killing Osama bin Laden, something President George W. Bush had openly admitted wasn’t on his radar.

There is no conspiracy, no “smoking gun,” and as much as the video from the unhinged Florida preacher wasn’t known inside the U.S., it was roiling Muslims in cities in the Middle East just before the Benghazi attack.

Republicans had joined Democrats in supporting intervening in Libya to oust Gaddafi, but only a bombing campaign, led by France, supported by the Arab League, was the means to get the job done.

So if you want to talk policy, Republicans need to testify, too, on why the Libya intervention was a good idea and why they, along with Democrats, thought it could be done without boots on the ground, which no one of either party suggested was required, which the American people would have adamantly opposed.

Taking advantage of a tumultuous time, as enraged fundamentalist Muslims were protesting the video out of Florida, the small Benghazi outpost was attacked. It wasn’t even a consulate or an embassy yet, with the local Libyan officials demanding a small footprint, little military, also telling Ambassador Christopher Stevens to keep a low profile.

Everyone knew it was a precarious position, but the reason Secretary Clinton sent Stevens to Libya, and he was glad to go, choosing to head to Benghazi, was because as diplomats they believed it was a country worth investment.

Republicans want to prove that there is a conspiracy surrounding the reaction to the Benghazi attack, which amounts to the White House wanting to make sure that everyone knew that they were being vigilant and were on the job. So close to Obama’s reelection it was a political message.

Should we have debated whether Karl Rove and the Bush White House pushing a vote before the November midterms in 2002 on the Iraq war was politically motivated, to making sure they could invade in early 2003, squeezing Democrats to get their way?

We all know that the Bush White House didn’t want to push the case in August of 2002, because “From a marketing point of view,” said Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff who is coordinating the effort, “you don’t introduce new products in August.” [New York Times]

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Four lives were lost over intervention in Libya, which is tragic.

Where was Republican outrage over the thousands of Americans killed in Iraq, a war based wholly on lies, which seduced Gen. Colin Powell to make a case at the U.N. that was built on lies?

Democrats looked the other way and moved on, instead of having a select committee.

Democrats were played as chumps, with President Obama coming into office on the belief you don’t look back, that the political wars of the 1960s and the 1990s were over. He was naive, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi should have known better because she’s been around a long time, didn’t provide leadership independent of the executive branch to remind Americans about a war predicated on lie after lie after lie, which began as a PR campaign before the 2002 midterms.

Republicans are hoisting Democrats on their self-righteous, let’s move on petard. It’s a lesson in how hardball politics is played in the real world, where “hope” is something you hold on to, but it doesn’t make for very good political strategy against Republicans, who never take prisoners where Democrats are concerned.

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6 Responses to Democrats Schooled: Select Committee on Benghazi, Not on Iraq War Lies

  1. PeggySue May 6, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    Wow! What you and Stewart said, Taylor. And the Democratic Party needs to start lashing out at this sudden pivot from Obamacare outrage [missing in action] to the Benghazi messaging, a ghoulish political witch hunt. The GOP should have been raked over the coals for their disastrous and arrogant decisions in Iraq which spilled so much blood. Based on the worst kind of lies. But like the ruinous financial failure during the Bush years, no one was held accountable. And so, we pick up where we left off in the 90s with a continuous scandal mill and the political howl that Republicans do so well. In fact, it’s the only thing they do well, accusing everyone, anyone for what they have wrought.

    This is all a prologue to 2016, throwing everything at the wall, hoping something sticks to save their asses. And the midterms, of course. God help us.

    • Taylor Marsh May 6, 2014 at 10:40 am #

      This is about Obama, but also going back after Hillary, because they couldn’t lay a glove on her the first time. Talking points didn’t come from her, so GOP primary mistake was focusing there.

      The furor over Clinton will hurt her regardless, because people will get “fatigue” over the constant squealing. HRC “slides” in latest polling, which is a win for the right.

      Rep. Chaffetz wanted to make the expeditionism diplomacy of HRC the target, and they would have been much wider to do so.

      It’s also prep for impeachment talk, if not action, if GOP takes Senate. See Dave Weigel today over at Slate.

      • PeggySue May 6, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

        My husband mentioned the impeachment question just the other night. If the Republicans take the Senate that’s what we have to look forward to. But I agree with Ari Fleisher’s statement at the end of Weigel’s article: Republicans push impeachment without substance at their own peril. I listened to Steve Schmid last night talk about the real danger for Republicans taking the Benghazi investigation and turning it into a crazy howl. When the investigation/witch hunt collapses, it will eat them alive. The way the government shutdown smothered Cuchinelli’s run in Virginia.

        As for Clinton ‘sliding,’ she’s at 64%, down from 70%. Jeb Bush is at 13%. As things heat up her numbers will undoubtedly go down. But I still contend: the Republicans got nothing but Vince Foster-like conspiracies and bitter vitriol. Loved the Dans Perino jump from climate change discussion to hoping meteorologists ask questions about Benghazi.

        It’s a brain sickness!

        • PeggySue May 6, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

          Make that Dana, not Dana :0)

          • PeggySue May 6, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

            Ugh! Dana, Dana, Dana. Not Dans. My typing sucks today.

      • Ga6thDem May 6, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

        Once the opponents in the GOP primary point out Jeb’s Bush stances and history he’s going to be toast. Even the people at Wall Street know they can’t sell that turkey to the voters no matter how much they try to dress him up.

        Paul shooting at Ronald Reagan is also going to pull him down but his support doesn’t seem to come from tradtional republicans.

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