Sunday, November 23, 2014


Well, I told you Republicans weren't going to give up on Benghazi:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday blasted a House GOP-led investigation that recently debunked myths about the 2012 Benghazi attack.

"I think the report is full of crap," Graham said on CNN's "State of the Union."

... Graham didn't clearly pinpoint why he dismissed the report's findings, but suggested its information was provided by people in the intelligence community who had previously lied to Congress about the attack.

... Host Gloria Borger said the report found no one lied.

"That's a bunch of garbage," Graham replied....
A leading Republican wants to expand the House investigation into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack by adding a Senate probe....

Referring to the House Select committee Chairman, and the Democratic ranking member, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, said the current House investigation should be expanded.

"(Republican) Trey Gowdy and (Democrat) Elijah Cummings have done a good job," he said. "I can't imagine the U.S. Senate not wanting to be a part of a joint select committee. We'll bootstrap to what you've done, but we want to be part of discussion," Graham told Fox News. "What I would suggest to (incoming Senate majority leader) Mitch McConnell is to call up Speaker Boehner and say 'Listen, we want to be part of this'."
The preferred Beltway narrative is that responsible establishment Republicans make up the majority of the party, and all they really want to do is "show they can govern," but they have to keep fending off a few pesky extremists, and they occasionally have to make extremist noises themselves to fend off primary challenges from the right.

Oh, please. Lindsey Graham just got reelected; he's not going to have to worry about a primary challenge from the right for another six years. I know he's made noises about running for president, but he knows he's not going to get the nomination.

The reality is that the entire Republican Party is crazy -- the differences are just in degree. People like Lindsey Graham will support immigration reform (at least in theory) and might vote not to shut down the government or put the entire country into default, but that doesn't mean they aren't crazy about other things.

As the second story I quoted (from Fox News) makes clear, the crazies in this case are three of the most prominent establishmentarians in the Senate:
Graham, along with his two Republican colleagues, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, have been outspoken advocates of a special investigation, because they say then-acting director of the CIA Mike Morell misled them about his role in crafting the so-called media talking points that blamed an opportunistic protest gone awry for the assault....

The Obama White House did not move away from the protest explanation for the attack that killed four Americans - Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, and former Navy Seals and CIA contractors Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty - until September 20....
Just a reminder: the attack happened on September 11, 2012, and we've spent more than two years fixating on talking points that the administration stuck with for nine days. And three of the major poohbahs of the establishment want us to keep fixating on these talking points until...

... oh, November 2016, I imagine:
... When Morell retired from the CIA last year, he told The Wall Street Journal he hoped to advise a presidential campaign, with anonymous sources telling the paper Morell was close to Hillary Clinton. Morell now works as a counselor at Beacon Global Strategies, a Washington D.C. firm closely aligned with the former secretary of State.
And then there's this:
... The report also shed new light on the CIA operation in Benghazi. Morell said the CIA annex was in eastern Libya "collecting intelligence about foreign entities that were themselves collecting weapons in Libya and facilitating their passage to Syria. The Benghazi Annex was not itself collecting weapons."

Newly declassified testimony before the House Intelligence Committee attached to the House report from the Director of National intelligence, James Clapper, as well as Morell, confirmed to lawmakers that the weapons shipments were known at the highest levels of the U.S. government.

Rep. Devin Nunes: Are we aware of any arms that are leaving that area and going into Syria?

Mr. Morell: Yes, sir.

General Clapper: Yes

Nunes: And who was coordinating that?

Mr. Morell: I believe the (redacted) are coordinating that.

Nunes: And were the CIA folks that were there, were they helping to coordinate that, or were they watching it, were they gathering information about it?

Mr. Morell: Sir, the focus of my officers in Benghazi was (redacted) to try to penetrate terrorist groups that were there so we could learn their plans, intentions and capabilities (redacted.)

The discussion is cut short by Rogers, who says not all members present have sufficient security clearances to hear further details. Fox News was first to question in October 2012 the significance of weapons shipments from Libya to Syria via Turkey, and who in the administration was read in on the program.
So McCain, Graham, and Ayotte are angry about this report, which refrains from accusing Morell of slipping arms to Syrian rebels in 2012. What's odd about this is that McCain and Graham told us in 2012 that they wanted Syrian rebels armed. So they wanted arms to go to the rebels and they're angry about a report that fails to accuse Morell of sending arms to the rebels? Or are they just angry about the talking points while the right-wingers who regard McCain, Graham, and Ayotte as evil neocons are angry about the arms? And Benghazi has them locked in a rage-disorder marriage of convenience?

Well, that's the modern GOP for you. All that matters is that you arrive at the conclusion that Democrats are traitors who must be crushed. Conclusion: no, Benghazi isn't going away.

(Links via Crooks & Liars and Politicus USA.)


Victor said...

They're rage-junkies.

And rage junkies don't care about the source of the rage that keeps them going.
Just the rage itself.

mlbxxxxxx said...

Yeah, I think mostly they're just angry.

I wonder when it got to be a rightwing fad to expose CIA operations? I asked this recently of my tbagger brother-in-law who seems to feel that he, personally, is owed an in depth, accurate, and detailed explanation of what was going on in Benghazi. No real answer, not that I'd expect one. Once it became clear that Benghazi! was a CIA outpost, I was genuinely surprised that the rightwing fervor wasn't dampened. It is getting to the point that politics trumps everything for these morons.

gocart mozart said...

Much as the sinister terrorist Mosque at ground zero resolved itself as an issue the day after the 2010 election, and Ebola resolved itself the day after the 2014 election, so to will Bengahzi resolve itself after the 2016 election.

Ken_L said...

I had to admire Graham's carefully-reasoned critique of the report. Surely a Supreme Court posting should feature in his future.

Needless to say they have to keep Benghazi alive until 2016 because it's about the only "scandal" they can use against Hillary from her time as Secretary of State.

Yastreblyansky said...

Sometimes I think VIctor oversimplifies a little. Not this time. I believe McCain and Graham have some trouble remembering which side they're on in Syria, but they know they're on the rage side.