You'd think this would be the end of Benghazi, but don't count on it:
A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.
Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.
But as a couple of us noticed last night, at least one prominent right-winger isn't giving up the fight:
I'd caution against reaching firm conclusions based on the #Benghazi report issued by the House Intel cmte. It's deeply flawed.— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) November 22, 2014
For one thing, the "two years of intensive investigation" the authors claim? It simply didn't happen. #Benghazi— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) November 22, 2014
The House #Benghazi report adds to our knowledge in some ways, but it confuses several issues and raises many additional questions.— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) November 22, 2014
You remember Stephen Hayes, right? A longtime advocate for the belief that Saddam was in cahoots with Al Qaeda? And, not incidentally, the author of a Dick Cheney biography written with Cheney's extensive cooperation, after Cheney praised Hayes's work on the alleged Saddam/Al Qaeda connection?
Admittedly, the rest of the right is barely acknowledging the existence of this report. As I type this, there are 66 linked items at the Drudge Report, but nothing on Benghazi. There's nothing about Benghazi on the front page of Fox Nation (Lois Lerner is front an center), and there's just a terse item acknowledging the facts of the report at National Review's Corner.
Well, of course. They won't talk about it for the same reason they won't talk about the fact that America is now Ebola-free -- because it would require them to admit error. It would require them to tell people they've worked up into a frenzy that the frenzy was uncalled for. That would make their audiences angry at them. The audiences know Democrats are engaged in every possible variety of unspeakable evil, and are all-powerful in their wickedness. They won't stand for being told otherwise.
But the silence doesn't mean that prominent right-wingers now realize Benghazi mania is pointless. It means they'll return to the subject when they think it suits them. Trey Gowdy's House Select Committee on Benghazi is still at work, after all. And as Politico notes, the just-released report does give Republican haters something to work with:
The report is likely to spur criticism against the State Department over the shape of its security protocols as the agency knew it was unprepared to defend the outpost in case of a well-organized and heavily armed attack -- a high probability in highly volatile region.I know -- that's nothing new. But it mean that Benghazi crazies can focus less attention on Susan Rice and more on Hillary Clinton. Don't worry, folks, we haven't seen the last of breathless Fox Benghazi stories with Hillary's "What difference does it make?" clip on auto-repeat.
The report said State Department agents felt "ill-equipped and ill-trained to contend with the threat environment in Benghazi.”