The real Benghazi scandal isn’t what you might think

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Consider two assertions:

1.) Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration must be held accountable for the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, at our consulate in Benghazi, Libya in 2012. Yes, Stevens and his colleagues knew they were operating in a war zone and taking significant risks, but security at our Benghazi facility was nonetheless lax and those responsible should be punished.

2.) On the other hand, then-President George W. Bush and his administration bear no responsibility for the attacks of Sept. 11 that killed 3,000 Americans here on American soil. Yes, Bush himself was given a CIA briefing more than a month prior titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike In U.S.,” which also included reports that Osama bin Laden was interested in hijacking U.S. aircraft; yes, the U.S. government already had other scattered clues which in hindsight pointed to the plot’s existence.*  Nonetheless, attempting to blame the Bush administration for failing to assemble those clues and halt the attacks would be grossly unfair and divisive.

In an interview over the weekend, Jeb Bush was challenged to reconcile those two assertions. It did not go well:

Personally, I have never questioned the wisdom of that second assertion. Is it possible that the Bush administration could have prevented 9/11, given the scattered but important clues then available? At most, we can say “maybe”. Had an all-out, government-wide alert been issued after the CIA briefing, maybe those dots could have been connected and maybe the plot could have been exposed. We’ll never know for sure because no such alert was issued.

But to borrow a phrase, “what difference does it make?” It wouldn’t bring back our 3,000 dead. It wouldn’t help in moving forward against our enemies. It might be useful as a partisan weapon to wield against the other party, but as a nation we had more important challenges to pursue at the time. The point is that we as Americans were attacked, and we as Americans had to respond.

The real question is why that same attitude is so conspicuously absent among Republicans when the topic turns to Benghazi. In the interview above, for example, Bush runs through the GOP list of alleged “open issues” regarding Benghazi, including whether the Obama administration reacted aggressively enough in trying military options to rescue our personnel.

“That’s what the investigation is about,” Bush said. “It’s not a political issue.”

And that is a bald-faced lie. At this point, it is nothing but a blatantly political issue, as even a couple of Republicans have now acknowledged. Again, in the three years since the Benghazi attack, we have had seven major investigations into what happened there** — the ongoing Gowdy committee probe is the eighth. Most of the previous seven investigations have been led by Republicans. Every single investigation has concluded beyond a doubt that the Obama administration aggressively pursued every possible military option to help our people in Benghazi, but none was available in the short time frame involved.

And Bush still tries to suggest otherwise.

Here’s the difficult truth:

The norms of basic decency and patriotism that appropriately prevented Sept. 11 from becoming a partisan issue have been ignored by GOP leadership regarding Benghazi. They have taken a tragedy in which Americans were attacked overseas by our enemies and they have used it in a protracted, cynical effort to divide us here at home.

In the end, that will prove to be the true and enduring scandal in this affair.

—————

*For a thorough and chilling account of those clues, see Chapter Eight of the National 9/11 Commission’s final report, titled “The System Was Blinking Red.”

** The State Department inspector general, the House Intelligence Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Oversight Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Senate Homeland Security Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

 

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831 comments
Barbara Dayan
Barbara Dayan

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Mustang100
Mustang100

Yes, it is exactly what I think. 

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

Before this campaign, it seemed that people thought of Jeb as the smart one. A fallacy revealed.

Kamchak
Kamchak

Former Mistress of GOPer David Vitter Claims He Got Her Pregnant and Asked Her to Abort

A sex worker who claims she had a long-standing relationship with married, family values Republican senator and candidate for Louisiana governor David Vitter dropped a bombshell accusation one week before voters go to the polls.

Wendy Ellis claims she had an affair with Vitter, he impregnated her and then asked her to abort the baby. Ellis says she did not, instead putting the child up for legal adoption, according to WDSU.

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

@Kamchak 


So a sex worker, as your article says she is, knows it was his baby because she was not having sex with anyone else at the time as the article claims?


Was she unemployed at the time then?

GaBlue
GaBlue

@Kamchak

Wait... is this Diapers and talcum on the tush Vitter?

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Kamchak A shame the child was put up for adoption.  Vitter could have saved money by sharing diapers. 

ChuckinAlpharetta
ChuckinAlpharetta

@TetoLeo


For men of power, tail on exclusive retainer is a major boost to the ego.


I guess that's why he felt so comfortable going in unwrapped.

Eustis
Eustis

If DIA was my accountant and I found out he was spending 10-12 hours posting on this blog, I'd get another accountant. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

DIA, you going to get back to us on how the current Benghazi investigation has not cost $4.7 million with your accounting "expertise". So far your silence is an admission that the costs must be correct as reported by Gowdy. 

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@KUTGF Our government spends $7.4 million per minute, on average.  $4.7 million is about 40 seconds worth.

You folks don't give a doodly-damn about spending until a democrat is subject to investigation.

Funny, (and, not in the haha way) how that happens.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@DownInAlbany I see... a new deflection.  But I guess that is an admission that the costs and the accounting are correct.  As some have said, the concession has been duly noted. 

GaBlue
GaBlue

@DownInAlbany

DIA is right. The expense is justified if you ha...er... lov....er ha.... er... have feeeeeeelings for the subject of the investigation.

ChuckinAlpharetta
ChuckinAlpharetta

@DownInAlbany


So YOU are saying that the millions spent are a drop in the bucket.


I'm sorry, but if you maintain that it's the Dems who don't mind spending frivolously and the GOP that's the fiscally responsible party, guess whose hypocrisy is exposed by your rationale.


Just guess...

Kamchak
Kamchak

Ah yes, the brown haired guy who isn't Steve Doocy.

'Fox & Friends' hosts say 9/11 was the fault of ... Bill Clinton

The preternaturally stupid morning show Fox & Friends continues to be the lead paint of news.

“You might be madder, Donald Trump … at Bill Clinton for not taking a legitimate shot at somebody who declared war on us in the ’90s,” host Brian Kilmeade suggested this morning. Clinton, Kilmeade argued, was more responsible for the terrorist attacks that happened months after he left office because he failed to adequately warn the incoming Bush administration.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Kamchak Bushie had 8 months to get warnings and had the reports....  he just decided to take a 1 month vacation first. 

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

@Kamchak 


In fairness, did President Obama himself and many of his supporters not lay blame for many things that occurred while he has been president on his predecessor?



Kamchak
Kamchak

@TetoLeo 

I don't know.

You have proof of this, yes?

Please, show your work.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@KUTGF @Kamchak He stayed at Camp David every weekend prior to 9/11.  The man was at the White House  9 - 5 Monday - Friday, every weekend off.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@TetoLeo 

(shrug)

Your assertion, you supply the proof, sport.

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

@Kamchak @TetoLeo 


Ummmm, the 1st link I gave does exactly that.


The next one has a list of 21 times President Obama blamed others, and GWB is on that list a few times.


Are you unable to click on a link or simply unwilling?


Now for an honesty check on your behalf or maybe a comprehension and retention check.....


As often as you are on this blog, is it your assertion you have not witnessed people post things in regards to defending an action or non action of President Obama, because of the bad hand he was dealt or what he had to deal with when he came into office?


If you claim is you have not read or seen that posted I suggest you go back and look closely at comments as far back as the achieves will let you go.


I can't do all of your work for you or you will never learn anything.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Kamchak Well when one of the pundits for the station you work for is a fake CIA agent what else would you expect to come across the fake news desk?

ChuckinAlpharetta
ChuckinAlpharetta

@TetoLeo


Sorry to tell you, that's not passing the buck - that's the absolute truth. The antiquated system that the VA relied upon was unfit for its purpose BEFORE the avalanche of veterans produced by the Bush foreign "policy".


It was the equivalent of a single umbrella being the contingency for an outdoor wedding with a 100% chance of thunderstorms. Of course it was going to be a disaster.


But by choking off funds it was just the sort of smaller government the GOP loves.


If you want vast new processing systems, they don't grow on trees. They take investment and planning, two things that are now essentially impossible thanks to the GOP's "Spending is wicked (unless it's for getting Hillary)" marketing pitch.

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

@gotalife 


Or it could say something about their position to negotiate from a position of strength, since they got what they wanted.


Depends on how you want to look at it.

KUTGF
KUTGF

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton hasn’t even clinched the nomination, but Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) is already floating impeachment for the former secretary of state.

_____________

Maybe the good news is that he is acknowledging the Dems will win.  LOL

gotalife
gotalife

Hillary is crushing it.


No doubt about it.


She is calling the shots.

gotalife
gotalife

Benghazi Dems: 'No evidence' to support GOP attacks on Clinton

gotalife
gotalife

Spiral out keep going.


New Tool concert on Halloween in Tempe.


Sold out.

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

The Benghazi issue is getting old and tired, has been for some time now.


The blame for that should go to the intelligence groups, same as for 9/11.  None of them want the other drinking from their water cooler and it leads to information that should be linked not being linked because they don't know what each other has gathered.


But I cannot understand why democrats or progressives defend actions of their members with a claim of GWB did it too or did something similar, or worse even.


Is that really your standard, being equal or a little bit better than GWB?  If GWB is the joke you all make him out to be?

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

@KUTGF @TetoLeo 


Why would I talk to Trump?


I have not seen where he legitimized or argued anything he has done as a political leader was OK or nothing to worry about because GWB did it too?

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

@juvenal @TetoLeo @gotalife 


Either the warning was not stern enough or was incomplete, since he felt they were the JV squad, and I refuse to believe him to be utter incompetent.

honested
honested

@TetoLeo @gotalife 

gowdy should probably appoint a 'Select Commission on Recommitting'.....

Or they could embark on a new program of attempting to Govern.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@TetoLeo But I cannot understand why democrats or progressives defend actions of their members with a claim of GWB did it too or did something similar, or worse even.

____________


Perhaps you need to talk to Trump..... and I believe if you check, he's in the GOP.  Thanks for playing.