Define “Scandal”

Here’s the one thing I don’t get about the whole Benghazi Snark hunt: fucking up a government job, and trying to paper it over,  is not now and has never been the basis of a scandal. The formula for a scandal is simple: crime + cover-up = scandal:

  • Watergate was a scandal because Nixon authorized a break-in (crime) to make sure he was re-elected, and then covered it up.
  • Iran-Contra was a scandal because it was arming contras was illegal, and Ollie North destroyed documents to cover it up. Eleven people were convicted of crimes – even though some were pardoned, it was a real scandal.
  • Whitewater was at least a candidate for a scandal because the Clintons were alleged to have gotten a sweetheart loan as a form of bribe (crime) and then Bernie Nussbaum supposedly removed documents from Vince Foster’s office after his suicide (cover-up). No convictions (of Executive Branch employees), but it had the raw materials for a scandal, even though it didn’t grow into a full-blown one.

Fucking up, which is all that is alleged in Benghazi, is not against the law (sadly). Covering up a fuck up is what DC insiders call “spinning” or “another day at the office”. I haven’t been paying close attention, but has there ever been a hint of a crime worthy of an alleged cover up here?

Update: There were convictions in Whitewater, just not of anyone currently close to the Clintons. Also, too, I should have mentioned the other key fact that makes Benghazi a non-scandal: no blowjobs.






156 replies
  1. 1
    sphouch says:

    Because shut up, that’s why.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    It’s against God’s law that a Democrat be in the White House.

  3. 3
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Wouldn’t you be more concerned if Darrell Issa wasn’t making an ass of himself?

  4. 4
    Noshmek says:

    Yes, the crime is that the President is Black and needs to be shown his proper place because obviously “they” can’t be trusted and look what happens to Americans when the Muslim Head of the United States gets involved and how dare you support communism and we have to make sure he fails no matter what and if you disagree with anything that has been said then you’re an anti-American traitor homosexual child molester who’s trying to redefine marriage and abort children and don’t ever question our authority again. Got it?

  5. 5
    EconWatcher says:

    In a way, you can’t blame them.

    Other than Carter, every Dem since 1960 has had some serious personal and/or financial baggage.

    Obama is their worst nightmare: loyal to his wife, loving to his kids, squeaky clean in his financial affairs, honest and direct (and sometimes even funny, in a geeky way) in his public statements.

    It’s just driving them batty.

  6. 6
    Suffern ACE says:

    Well there could a cover up and we wouldn’t know because it has been covered up. So if you discount what people have said, then there is more. Clearly there is a scandal because what really happened is unknown after discounting what everyone said happened.

  7. 7
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    up early this morning, I’ve been clicking around trying to get feel for what, if any, actual news came out of this most recent hearing. The Guardian has a surprisingly slanted piece asserting that this is all very important and troubling, but I can’t see what in the actual piece backs up that tone. A HuffPo piece by (apparently) a straight reporter (but who knows what the hell’s going on at Mme Arianna’s House of Mirrors and Click Bait?) ends thusly:

    Perhaps hoping to close the book on the saga once and for all, President Obama’s Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that the events in Benghazi had been looked at “exhaustively.” Hicks’s testimony showed that new information is still being unearthed; it just failed to provide an answer to the most controversial, lingering question.

    I’ve read the piece twice, and besides being badly and misleadingly written, I can’t for the life of me figure out what this guy apparently thinks is both obvious and ominous, to wit what the lingering question is.

  8. 8
    PaulW says:

    The crime is that there’s an illegitimately elected Democrat in the White House.

    And it’s the Republican Party’s DUTY, yes it is, to embarrass and obstruct that Democrat so history will forever label that Democrat as FAIL.

  9. 9
    Patrick says:

    If the GOP wants to waste time investigating Benghazi, let them. Literally nobody outside the bubble and outside the right-wing echo chamber cares one bit about this issue.

    I do wish, however, that the Dems would push back harder. It is not that difficult to do. For example, there is the fact that the House GOP voted to actually cut embassy security funding.

  10. 10
    c u n d gulag says:

    Ford pardoned Nixon, setting an example.

    And then, “Papa Doc” Bush pardoned everyone in Iran-Contra, so the Democrats had little to no leverage if they wanted to pursue hearings. You can’t offer immunity from prosecution to suspects/witnesses, if it’s already been granted.

    And Whitewater – well, sure, nothing came of that deal immediately.
    But, the zeal for finding SOMEthing to pin on Clinton,to match the impeachment of Nixon, led to the blue dress – so, WIN!!!

    And, President Obama, instead of turning the prior adminsitration over to a nuetral court, like the Hague, to see if War Crime charges should be brought, instead, said we need to focus ahead, and not behind.

    If nothing else scares you about a/the future Republican Presidential administration(s), it’s that they now know that no matter what they do – invade and occupy countries, torture and rendition suspects, eliminate civil rights, out CIA agents, (outright murder?) etc., they’ll be comfortable in the knowledge that their predecessors were all, if not forgiven, then at least not required to PAY FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF ILLEGAL AND IMMORAL ACTIONS!!!

  11. 11
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @PsiFighter37: you remind me of my lonely campaign to do to “Darrell Issa” and this article what Dan Savage did for Santorum and…. Santorum. Of course, Issa has been such a failure as a scandal hunter that there’s really not much point. But it is a great article for anyone who hasn’t read it.

  12. 12
    Barry says:

    “Fucking up, which is all that is alleged in Benghazi, is not against the law (sadly). Covering up a fuck up is what DC insiders call “spinning” or “another day at the office”. I haven’t been paying close attention, but has there ever been a hint of a crime worthy of an alleged cover up here?”

    Because it’s straight up right-wing projection. They screwed up on 9/11 plus numerous attacks on our diplomatic personnel, and are trying to cover that up.

  13. 13
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I’ve read the piece twice, and besides being badly and misleadingly written, I can’t for the life of me figure out what this guy apparently thinks is both obvious and ominous, to wit what the lingering question is.

    It must be a question that involves a curse word which shall call forth a demon.

  14. 14
    Zam says:

    For the true believers it’s “Obama is a secret Muslim terrorist.” They can’t conceive of a world in which those that they disagree with on public policy are not in fact pure evil. For others I think it’s just about giving the President and Hilary some bad press days. So basically the “criminal” aspect of their complaint is that Obama was aiding the terrorists by helping them kill some Americans.

  15. 15
    Maude says:

    There were 14 convictions and 2 acquittals in Whitewater.
    The problem was they sold lots with no roads or any utilities. The project was never completed. People did lose their money on Whitewater if they bought lots.
    Bengazi is political against Obama. The GOP is trying to say he is like Bush.

  16. 16
    TR says:

    The Daily Show was on fire about this last night. Really great segment.

  17. 17
    Scotty says:

    Did these guys actually provide any new information yesterday? I can’t seem to pin point anything that was new or eye opening.

  18. 18
    beth says:

    On Facebook my wingut relatives are now posting about a theory (backed up by a retired 4 star general so it must be true!) that Benghazi was a kidnapping operation planned by Obama to hold the ambassador hostage so we could trade the blind sheik for his release. Apparently the security people who got killed that night refused to go along with the plan and screwed it all up. It’s like whack-a-mole. As soon as one crazy conspiracy is knocked down, they pop right back up with another! I guess they’ve got to do something to keep this going until 2016.

  19. 19
    raven says:

    @Scotty: Nah, Nordstrom got up there and weeped, that made it all different. I’m not saying the dude shouldn’t be emotional about his friends getting killed but it seemed a little convenient.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    Nina says:

    I still haven’t seen anything in this that rises to the level of kerfuffle, aside from the disgusting fact that the Republican congress cut the State Department’s budget for embassy protection.

  22. 22
    Suffern ACE says:

    @beth: wait. It makes perfect sense that in a political election, Obama would arrange for the release of the blind sheik. They might be onto something.

  23. 23
    HelloRochester says:

    My wife asked me for an explanation of the whole Benghazi thing this morning and I said it’s really simple: the GOP knows that if Hillary runs that she will win against anyone their wingnut base pukes up (even a skinny Christie). This is purely 2016 Presidential politics. I also suspect that the people pushing the narrative on this also know the administration can’t talk publicly about what was really going on in Benghazi because there was likely a CIA station there.

  24. 24
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    @Patrick:

    If the GOP wants to waste time investigating Benghazi, let them. Literally nobody outside the bubble and outside the right-wing echo chamber cares one bit about this issue.

    While a part of me sort of agrees with that sentiment, another, larger part of me remembers that the GOP isn’t wasting their time, they’re wasting our (i.e., taxpayers’) time. I can think of several hundred other, more productive uses of the time spent by countless staffers, lawyers and department heads than chasing this nothingburger.

  25. 25

    You forgot Lewinsky/Clinton where the only alleged crime was after the investigation started (perjury).

    A crime isn’t necessary for impeachment… they just need to feel that they have enough cover to do it without getting backlash. However I would agree that I don’t see how that happens with what they are running with right now.

  26. 26
    Rick Massimo says:

    At the bottom of it, they’re saying that the administration “covered up” the “fact” that the Benghazi attack was a terrorist operation, claiming it was a demonstration in reaction to that wingnut video, in order not to have to admit to tha ‘Murkin peeple just before the election that they had failed to keep us safe like the mighty Bush administration did (NOTE TO SELF: Fix that part later).

    In short, after five years and two elections they’re still looking for a way to tell themselves they didn’t REALLY lose to That One.

    Oh, and they’re also getting a chance to make the terms “9/11” and “Sept. 11” mean something other than “Bush’s fkup that got thousands of Americans killed.”

  27. 27
    MikeJ says:

    @Maude:

    There were 14 convictions and 2 acquittals in Whitewater.

    And the Clintons were the victims, not perpetrators.

  28. 28
    mai naem says:

    The problem with the GOP is that Obama has actually been doing a pretty good job on FP to the point where the GOP is losing its edge with the public on national security so they find a Benga Benga Benghazi which has just enough of a foreign middle eastern scary musleem whiff to it and they’re going to stick it on Obama and Hillary.

  29. 29
    Svensker says:

    The scandal is that Obama is, um, lazy, and did nothing and so these brave Americans died. And also he sympathizes with the Mooslim terrists so his laziness is ee-vill.

    Did I mention that he is, um, lazy?

  30. 30
    NonyNony says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    And, President Obama, instead of turning the prior adminsitration over to a nuetral court, like the Hague, to see if War Crime charges should be brought, instead, said we need to focus ahead, and not behind.

    No President of any party is ever going to let a non-US body have jurisdiction over ex-Presidents and their decisions. If you ever had even a glimmer of a thought that this was possible you were living in a fantasy land. No President wants to either set himself up for the same scrutiny OR an impeachment hearing. (And if you think that bringing in a foreign court to try a previously sitting president for war crimes wouldn’t lead to a probably successful impeachment by both sides of the aisle, I don’t know what to tell you).

    And no President of any party is ever going to turn around and attempt to prosecute a previous President for his actions as President. Because he doesn’t want to set himself up for the same kind of thing when he leaves office.

    This is true of anyone in a democratically elected executive position around the world. This is the trade-off for not having wars of succession – when the election is lost the current executive ignores the wrongdoing of his predecessor because any follow-up would be treated as political tit-for-tat. (This is also why Ford’s pardoning of Nixon was so damn pernicious – because as a fellow Republican who took office after Nixon he was the only one who could stand up and say that for the good of the country it was important to fully investigate and prosecute everyone involved of their crimes regardless of their political party affiliation. But instead he put Party before Country and pardoned Nixon.)

    This is why it is up to the democratically elected legislative branches or the independently appointed judicial branches (depending on the country in question) to go after previously sitting executives for crimes in office. If they choose not to do it, it isn’t going to happen. And if you vote for Presidents hoping that the next guy will make sure the previous guy pays for the crimes he committed you will always be disappointed by the result.

  31. 31
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    The right has a handful of cherished narratives about The Way Things Are. When something happens that they don’t like, which these days is anything done by the Obama administration, the right massages that something until it fits one of the narratives. They don’t seize the narrative, one is already there for them. Sadly for us, the media and many otherwise normal Americans are as comfortable with the technique as the right is.

  32. 32
    Cacti says:

    Benghazi is the new birtherism.

    Both are about the GOP’s inability to accept that Obama beat them twice, and beat them fair and square. Something about him has to be illegitimate.

  33. 33
    gene108 says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Issa’s not making an ass of himself.

    He’s laying the groundwork for attacking Hillary on her security credentials, if she runs in 2016 and pushing negative connotations about the Obama administration into the MSM to filter out to people.

    Details don’t matter. All that needs to make into people’s brains is Benghazi=Susan Rice(Obama)lied or Benghazi=Obama-failed-to-act or whatever other simple negative messages that can filter into people’s awareness that require Google searches to refute and thus aren’t worth the effort.

    Also, this is “red meat” for the rabid base to give them more reasons to hate Obama and fuel their fantasies of how weak Obama/Democrats are.

  34. 34
    I_am_a_lead_pencil says:

    The Obama administration had a good (maybe even great) record with respect to any high profile terror incident up until this point. He’d taken out Bin Laden and terrorists worldwide were on the run. This was a political strength of the administration. Having a high profile failure (with shocking visual images) dealt by terrorists immediately before an election would NOT have boded well for him. Might voters have wondered (post Patriot act, DHS etc) if maybe we aren’t as safe as we thought we were? Politically, it couldn’t look like a ‘real’ Al-Qaeda terror attack, so it wasn’t spun as such. Not a crime to put the wrong spin on an event. Even so, is there any doubt that if a Republican had spun this ‘video’ story leading up to an election that people wouldn’t have pounced on it? Let’s be honest.

  35. 35
    the Conster says:

    @Svensker:

    Yes, one of my wingnut barometers – a rich old Florida couple who could be institutionalized any day now – indicates that Obama watched the 4 people die in real time with his feet up on the desk and did nothing because he’s either (1) too lazy to do anything about it, or (2) a secret Muslim and was enjoying it, or (3) both.

  36. 36
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    @beth: Holy Jeebus is that a f’ed up conspiracy. I’ve heard some doozies, but one involving a blind shiek, Libya, Obama, and Sept. 11th is just epic.

  37. 37
    RSA says:

    @Maude:

    The GOP is trying to say he is like Bush.

    Exactly. Bush lowered the bar on what counts as a scandal (essentially Republicans would like to say that it’s scandalous to have an incompetent in the office of the Presidency, without reminding people too much of Bush). So mistakes or bad outcomes are painted as Obama’s 9/11 or Obama’s Katrina.

  38. 38
    mikefromArlington says:

    How many scandals and cover ups have turned into nothing burgers so far?

    Fast n furious….nothing burger.

    Internment camps….nothing burger.

    Death panels….nothing burger.

    Higher taxes will kill jobs….nothing burger.

    How about one of the front pagers start a nothing burger list of faux outrage by the repubes trying to manipulate the news like how Benen started the Romney tall tail list???

  39. 39
    magurakurin says:

    Where is the fuck up? I don’t see where anybody fucked up. A lightly guarded outpost of an embassy was attacked suddenly and the defenses couldn’t hold. There was no fuck up.

  40. 40
    TR says:

    As long as they don’t get a special prosecutor who can run wild subpoenaing everything he wants and chasing every Fox News wet dream, I say let ’em investigate as many times as they want.

    Nine hearings so far haven’t done it? Fine, have ninety.

    It won’t accomplish anything and it’ll prevent them from spending their time on other great conservative projects, like stripping this country for parts and selling them off to the highest bidder.

  41. 41
    Patricia Kayden says:

    A scandal is defined by Republicans as anything that can bring down an elected Democratic President (or tarnish the chances of a potential Democratic President).

    Make a fuss about one thing under a Democratic President while ignoring the exact same thing under a Republican President:

    http://occupy-my-blog.tumblr.com/post/49994298444

  42. 42
    Punchy says:

    Fast n furious….nothing burger.

    Internment camps….nothing burger.

    Death panels….nothing burger.

    Higher taxes will kill jobs….nothing burger.

    You’re missing a crucial point–those are nothingburgers to Dems and Indys. The wingers I know actually fully beleive these are real, actual scandals with nefarious origins involving wanton malfeasance.

  43. 43
    PsiFighter37 says:

    In all seriousness, this is about Hillary 2016. Everything with these assholes is about politics…it’s just a game to these sociopaths.

  44. 44
    Poopyman says:

    Just out of curiosity, has Congress raised the funds allocated for embassy security since Benghazi!(tm)? And if not, has the MSM pointed that out?

    (Yes, a rhetorical question.)

  45. 45
    muddy says:

    @magurakurin: Maybe the fuckup was that it was lightly guarded.

  46. 46
    liberal says:

    @magurakurin:

    Where is the fuck up? I don’t see where anybody fucked up. A lighted guarded outpost was attacked suddenly and the defenses couldn’t hold. There was no fuck up.

    Well, some of us think getting involved in a civil war where we had no national interest at stake was a fuck up, but sadly that’s not the one that the Republicans are whining about.

  47. 47
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @I_am_a_lead_pencil: I’m not entirely sure I get your point, since this did happen right before the election. Romney called a press conference specifically so he could smirk in public.

  48. 48
    magurakurin says:

    @muddy: But how many marines is enough? Should they station a platoon at every embassy, a company, have a battalion stationed nearby? And even if it is admitted that it was too lightly guarded the reason for that lies squarely on cutbacks demanded by the Republicans. At worst it was a misjudgment in the level of protection that was needed but there is little to suggest a fuck up. The memo they got asking for more security was for the embassy in Tripoli and there was no memo that said “Bin Laden plans attack in US,” like Bush got. Reading that and replying, “you covered your ass now go,” THAT is a fuck up.

  49. 49
    barry says:

    I love pointing out to GOOPERs that for all their ‘anti-Islamic’ posturing,

    1) GOOPERs dedicated a space shuttle to Islamic fundamentalists

    2) GOOPERs compared Islamic fundamentalists to our founding fathers

    3) Did nothing when an American Ambassador (Arnold Raphael) was most likely asassinated by Islamic fundamentalists

    4) GOOPERs Appointed as his successor a pro-Taliban man who later criticized President Clinton’s ‘obsession’ with Osama bin Laden

    5) GOOPER papers like the Wall Street Urinal editorially cheered the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 1995

    6) GOOPERs shut down US airspace on the orders of Saudia Arabia and allowed Wahabi fundamentalists exclusive access to US airspace to leave the USA

    7) GOOPERs allowed Osama bin Laden to escape Tora Bora and live in luxurious exile in a Pakistani Military cantonment safe from the US military and at US taxpayer expense

    8) GOOPERs used taxpayer resources to airlift thousands of Al Qaeda fighters from Kunduz (the ‘airlift of evil’, the ‘Al Qaeda Dunkirk’

    9) GOOPERs acceded to the key diktat of Osama bin Laden, the withdrawal of US forces from Saudia Arabia — the first US surrender to a foreign diktat since Corregidor.

    10) Most importantly, all GOOPERs must swear fealty to their Nawab, Grover Norquist, a man who is married to a Muslim and therefore, by Sharia law, is a Muslim.

  50. 50
    magurakurin says:

    @liberal: Ask the Libyans what they think about that.

  51. 51
    Sasha says:

    As a counter argument, I would consider W’s apparent complete dismissal of a warning of an imminent OBL terrorist attack to be scandalous, yet no crime committed there either.

  52. 52
    mikefromArlington says:

    This Bengazi thing will carry into Hillary’s campaign you can guarantee it. Republicans are certain they can keep the press in their corner with their endless ‘unanswered questions remain’ drum beat. Tapper is helping continue this on local abc affiliates, Fox News propagandists continue to discuss this on local affiliate news. They’ll pound pound pound until a majority are convinced that questions remain and Hillary was at the top of State at that point.

    Only way to stop this nonsense is mock mock mock until the public realizes they are full of it.

    Who woulda thought so many Americans would have thought republicans could win on the message they are the protectors of Medicare but that’s exactly what they did in 2010.

    Don’t underestimate these clowns capability when they have the brainless press helping them so they can get exclusive access to them.

  53. 53
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    @magurakurin:

    But how many marines is enough?

    I’m guessing more than 299.

  54. 54
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @liberal: So, you’d like to have the (admittedly clown) investigation into the death of diplomats be a proxy for deciding on whether we should have gotten involved in Libya in the first place?

    The only thing sillier than “Benghazi!1!” would have been Republicans saying “Why did you get involved in something we initially supported but then didn’t support because you were involved, but now support because it allowed us to hunt for a scandal?”

  55. 55
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    It’s like the Simpsons – it’s the Rand Corporation in conjunction with the saucer people under the supervision of the reverse vampires are forcing our parents to go to bed early in a fiendish plot to eliminate the meal of dinner do something or other – not sure what but you can be sure it’s eevil – EEEEVIL I tells ya. [sotto voce] We’re through the looking glass, here, people…

  56. 56
    c u n d gulag says:

    @NonyNony:
    Yeah, and I do know – sad, but true.

    I should have put that suggestion as speculative.

    In other words, instead of putting the Bush Administration on trial in front of a Democratic Congress, and Senate, where there could be legitimate cries of partisanship, maybe let The Hague do the determination, since they’d be objective, to see if War Crimes trials were worth pursuing, if not with the goal of throwing them in jail, at least doing a post-administration impeachment, or rebukement.

    The only reason Nixon was impeached, was because back then, enough Republicans in both houses of Congress were shocked by the Nixon adminstrations actions.

    I doubt if one Republican in Congress would have voted even for something as mild as rebukement for the Bush cabal, because they were all eyebrows deep in helping set-up, and then defending, all sorts of major, legitimately impeachable, punishable transgressions and crimes.

  57. 57
    Patrick says:

    @Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS):

    While a part of me sort of agrees with that sentiment, another, larger part of me remembers that the GOP isn’t wasting their time, they’re wasting our (i.e., taxpayers’) time. I can think of several hundred other, more productive uses of the time spent by countless staffers, lawyers and department heads than chasing this nothingburger.

    But you know that today’s GOP won’t. If it wasn’t Benghazi, it would be the gazillionth vote to repeal the ACA. Today’s GOP does not want a government (except for defense, which apparently does not cost any money as I understand their logic). Thus, the only reason they are in DC is make sure Obama doesn’t get re-elected. Since that failed, their only game is to prevent Hillary from getting elected.

  58. 58
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @magurakurin: Maybe the fuckup was that it was lightly guarded.

    Joe Klein of all Villagers makes the point that the person ultimately responsible for security in Benghazi was the US ambassador to Libya, and one of Stephens’ core beliefs as a diplomat was that US diplomatic facilities should be accessible (and I assume, non-threatening, as unobtrusive as possible) to the local population

    Security was up to the Ambassador and Chris Stevens was well known for erring on the side of greater public access to U.S. facilities.

    Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2013.....z2Snn2FhRs

  59. 59
    Lee says:

    I read through the news this morning on this and I’m glad I’m not the only person that could not find the “shocking new revelations” that was touted in several headlines.

    The only thing that was news to me was the security detail had been reduced from X (11?) to 4 a year or two before the attack.

    OT: we can start our daily news of senseless gun deaths

  60. 60
    NonyNony says:

    @TR:

    As long as they don’t get a special prosecutor who can run wild subpoenaing everything he wants and chasing every Fox News wet dream, I say let ‘em investigate as many times as they want.

    See, this crop of Republicans doesn’t remember what the real reason behind the endless Clinton investigations was.

    Yes there was some desire of throwing mud at Democrats as “payback” for Nixon (which is bizarre, but whatever) or for the Iran-Contra hearings (which is also bizarre). But mostly it was to get rid of the Special Prosecutor, which was put into place post-Nixon. Gingrich and other Republicans had long wanted it gone, because of how Iran-Contra shook out (because they’re authoritarian nutjobs who think Republican presidents should get to do whatever they want while Democrat president’s hands will be tied by Republican Congressional oversight, AFAICT). By abusing the law to its outermost limit of legality he was able to convince the Democrats that they wanted it gone too.

    That was the whole point of the Ken Starr witch-hunt – to convince Dems to ditch the Special Prosecutor law when it came up again. And they did. Which is why Bush didn’t have a Special Prosecutor riding his ass and is probably why there weren’t even any Iran-Contra style hearings about any of his and his people’s conduct for his time in office.

  61. 61
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    also, while it’s mostly about Hillary ’16, especially to the people behind the curtain, it’s also about:
    1) John McCain’s snake-eating-its-own-tail bitterness about losing the Big Chair and not being able to get his war(s) on
    2) Lindsey Graham’s desperate need to stave off a primary challenge, and it’s working, the So Caro Republicans loves them Senator Confirmed Bachelor’s Benghazi commercials (2a- Remember when Politics stopped at the water’s edge and politicizing national security and terrorism was the greatest sin in the Book of Broder?)
    3) Darrell Issa, as nutty as he is corrupt, seems to genuinely believe his future’s so bright he’s gotta wear shades. This is the idiot who funded the recall of Gray Davis in the delusion that The People would carry him to the CA gov’s mansion on their shoulders.

  62. 62
    RaflW says:

    Well, Heckuvajob got his ass handed to him over Katrina.

    Maybe they think this is similar? I’m reaching here, I know. Brownie was an incompetent boob. Hillary, from that I can tell, ran a tight ship of state and worked her ass off rather than petting Arabian Horses for money as a job qualification.

    But in the larger (manufactured, ungrounded, nutso) narrative, Obama is so stupid that he needs a teleprompter to cope with day to day living. So clearly he and his henchpersons are just as fireable, if not more so, than some twit like Michael Brown.

    Or they’re just desperate. There is that.

  63. 63
    Chris says:

    @muddy:

    Speaking from personal acquaintances in the diplomacy business, few things piss them off more than the increased fortification and security rules on embassies and consulates overseas. Because it makes it harder and harder to do their jobs. Especially if, like Chris Stevens, you consider interaction with the local people and not just the local politicians and Western investors, to be a vital part of that job.

    No, you CAN’T turn every embassy into Helm’s Deep and order your diplomats to stay indoors until every city in the world looks like Paris or London.

  64. 64
    GregB says:

    Don’t you moron Democrats understand?

    The deaths of 4 Americans during a Democratic administration is much more outrageous than the deaths of near 10,000 Americans in a Republican administration.

  65. 65
    different-church-lady says:

    @raven: You might need an exorcist.

  66. 66
    Mark B says:

    It’s not even that anyone screwed up, it’s that they didn’t know the entire story the minute things happened and then spill the beans about exactly what happened on national TV. And they didn’t have a time machine so that they could have gone back in time to make better decisions that would have prevented the tragedy.

    Not every bad outcome is a scandal. Just because someone screwed up doesn’t mean a crime was committed. Just because some things that were said in a confusing chaotic situation turned out later on to be inaccurate doesn’t mean someone lied.

  67. 67
    different-church-lady says:

    @GregB:

    The deaths of 4 Americans during a Democratic administration is much more outrageous than the deaths of near 10,000 63 Americans in a Republican administration.

    I’m surprised I haven’t seen more people make this comparison.

  68. 68
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    What makes you people think that anybody cares about Hilary? She will never be president.

  69. 69
    Mark B says:

    The only thing that was news to me was the security detail had been reduced from X (11?) to 4 a year or two before the attack.

    Where is the accountability for the Republican led congress for cutting the budget for embassy security to the bone?

  70. 70
    cane giallo says:

    @EconWatcher: I think Benghazi isn’t really aimed at Obama. The purpose is to discredit Clinton because of her formidable status as the presumptive candidate in 2016. If they can take her down, they have a much, much better chance of taking back the WH.

  71. 71
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mark B: Not only that but they failed to use the magic “T” word in the proper form.

  72. 72
    jonas says:

    @Just One More Canuck: Your ideas are intriguing and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  73. 73
    Steve Crickmore says:

    So Gregory Hicks, the deputy diplomat at the misión, debriefs Hillary Clinton, at two o’clock in the morning, about what what was going on in the deadly assault in Benghazi, and then Susan Rice and the administration debriefs the American people, a few days later or misinforms the American public by presenting it’s best spin. Susan Rice didn’t bother or didn’t want to ask Hicks, the man on the ground, as to what happened, before going public. Hicks on hearing Rice’s versión on the Sunday talk shows, “I was stunned. My jaw dropped and I was embarrassed”. Rice and those concoting the early narrative probably wouldn’t have consulted Ambassador Stevens either had he lived through the assault.

    The Obama administration was more interested in presenting its manufactured versión to the American people, than giving us the facts straight, wherever they lay,as if we wern’t mature enough to accept a successful al-queda attack, on his watch. No wonder the Administration was so enraged over the wikileaks leaks of our State Deaprtment cables, which gave the un adulterated versión, warts and all, and pursued Julian Assange and Bradley Manning with a vengeance. It must be very upset now, at Gregory Hicks for revealing what went on in Benghazi that night. Hicks was only meant to debrief Hillary and Hillary and Rice debriefs the American people. Whom do you trust more?

  74. 74
    Poopyman says:

    @Chris: Seconded. Militarizing embassies and consulates runs completely counter to their mission.

  75. 75
    different-church-lady says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:

    What makes you people think that anybody cares about Hilary? She will never be president.

    Republicans aren’t taking any chances. Besides, they have a very hard time looking away from their pet shiny objects. If she doesn’t run their disappointment is going to be something to really behold.

  76. 76
    Mark B says:

    @different-church-lady: I honestly think Biden will be out next president, but I think it would be awesome to take the billions of dollars and millions of hours the Republicans have spent on smearing Hillary Clinton and shove it back in their faces.

  77. 77
    Culture of Truth says:

    The real scandal is that Obama deposed the terrorist behind the Lockerbie bombing (after Bush made friends with that terrorist) with relatively little loss of life and it’s killing the Republicans.

    Dems should demand hearings and subpoena all of them — Bush, Cheney and Condolezza Rice, and bring the Lockerbie families in the audience. Let Rep. Chaffetz cry about that.

  78. 78
    different-church-lady says:

    @Steve Crickmore: Oh, that’s brilliant. Now just work Holder, drones, and maybe Rahm into it somehow and you got yourself a real tasty gumbo pot of firebaggery.

  79. 79
    MikeJ says:

    @Lee:

    The only thing that was news to me was the security detail had been reduced from X (11?) to 4 a year or two before the attack.

    A year or two before the attack we didn’t have any diplomats in Libya, did we?

  80. 80
    liberal says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    The only reason Nixon was impeached, was because back then, enough Republicans in both houses of Congress were shocked by the Nixon adminstrations actions.

    Ultimately it was because, as pointed out by Noam Chomsky, he picked on other powerful people.

    Criminal harassment of antiwar folks or blacks (1960s), or murdering hundreds of thousands of towelheads in Iraq—no one really cares.

  81. 81
    Hoodie says:

    The genius of Rovian Republican politics is the realization that emotional responses are what drives their turnout. They also realize that a “scandal” does not actually have to exist to be useful. It just has to have some tentative relationship to events, and the wackiness of the base will take care of the rest. In fact, it’s better if it doesn’t actually exist, so it can be shrouded in conspiracy and doubt and kept alive indefinitely; a real scandal eventually goes cold. The Republican base is authoritarian and authoritarians are motivated by fear. Benghazi is the new Death Panels.

  82. 82
    NonyNony says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    I doubt if one Republican in Congress would have voted even for something as mild as rebukement for the Bush cabal, because they were all eyebrows deep in helping set-up, and then defending, all sorts of major, legitimately impeachable, punishable transgressions and crimes.

    Actually I personally think it’s that most of them don’t think that Bush did anything wrong, except a few of them would maybe have impeached him for TARP if they could.

    The Republican Party of today is a collection of authoritarian nutjobs who think that a “legitimately elected” President should be allowed to reign like a king with minimal oversight and maximum deference to what he wants. They can maintain this because they don’t consider Democratic Presidents to be “legitimately elected” and so they are stonewalled and investigated on trivialities (though only on trivialities – they still get maximum deference on exercising foreign policy authority because nobody wants to set the precedent that Congress is supposed to be doing anything there).

  83. 83
    liberal says:

    @NonyNony:

    Which is why Bush didn’t have a Special Prosecutor riding his ass and is probably why there weren’t even any Iran-Contra style hearings about any of his and his people’s conduct for his time in office.

    I don’t buy it. The Dems had subpoena power in the Senate and could have gone after all the lies that got us involved in the war. They chose not to do it.

  84. 84
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @different-church-lady: Understood, but that doesn’t explain why the left keeps pushing this notion that Hilary will win in a landslide in 2016. Most Americans don’t like her.

  85. 85

    Do I have to go to The Blaze to find out what this scandal is about?

  86. 86
    different-church-lady says:

    @Hoodie:

    The genius of Rovian Republican politics is the realization that emotional responses are what drives their turnout.

    If that’s the case then he’s become Steve Jobs in his NeXT phase instead of in his iPhone phase. Even on the right Benghazi doesn’t have nearly enough sex appeal for anyone but the wingiest of the nuts. Not like gay marriage, for example.

  87. 87
    different-church-lady says:

    @Anybodybuther2016: Because we have our idiot trolls too.

  88. 88
    liberal says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:
    What “left”? Any leftist with a functioning brain realizes that Hillary isn’t that liberal, and is too hawkish.

  89. 89
    MikeJ says:

    @different-church-lady:

    If that’s the case then he’s become Steve Jobs in his NeXT phase instead of in his iPhone phase.

    I loved my NeXT and I will never own an iphone.

  90. 90
    liberal says:

    @NonyNony:

    …set the precedent…

    Well, they did pass the two AUMFs right? That’s not a precedent?

  91. 91
    Chris says:

    @NonyNony:

    Well, no. As you’re seeing right now, Democratic presidents are NOT given deference in foreign policy. If they were, we wouldn’t be sitting through hearing after hearing about a complete fabrication.

  92. 92
    Mark B says:

    Do you remember the hearings in 2002 where key Bush administration officials were called to testify under oath to explain why, despite the fact they had specific and urgent warnings about bin Laden’s plans to attack, did nothing to prevent or plan for those attacks? Yeah, neither do I.

  93. 93
    different-church-lady says:

    @MikeJ: Fine, vote for Ted Cruz then. ;-p

  94. 94
    patrick II says:

    @HelloRochester:

    the people pushing the narrative on this also know the administration can’t talk publicly about what was really going on in Benghazi because there was likely a CIA station there.

    I agree, and find it part of republicans willingness to blackmail and harm the country for partisan advantage.

  95. 95
    Surly Duff says:

    To all the comments that this is about Hilary and 2016, sorry but I just don’t buy it. To say this continued pressure to push Benghazi as a narrative to undermine a potential 2016 Presidential bid implies that the opposition party is playing the “long” game. And we all know that these guys are incapable of seeing past their nose. There is no “long game”; it is about winning the day.

    This is about trying, once again, to stick something on the horrible brown guy in the pristine white house.

  96. 96
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mark B: Dick Cheney said yesterday reference to Benghazi, that the Bush administration was “prepared” on Sept 11, in contrast to Obama’s response to local militia’s attack in a small town in Libya

    They should have been ready before anything ever happened,’ Cheney told MailOnline exclusively during a party in Georgetown celebrating the launch of a new book by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld…’When we were there, on our watch, we were always ready on 9/11, on the anniversary,’ he recalled.

    I’d bet every cent I have that, with very few exceptions, not an eyebrow was raised on any of the heads you saw talking last Sunday, or will this Sunday

  97. 97
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    @Mark B: Actually, I do recall secretary Rice answering questions about the “bin Laden determined to strike in U.S.” memo at some point. Maybe that was during the 9/11 commission hearings. Lots of dissembling.

  98. 98
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @liberal: This a left leaning blog yet half of the responses in this thread think that Benghazi is about the repugnicans smearing Hilary. If Hilary runs she will not win.

  99. 99
    Lee says:

    @MikeJ:

    Yeah it was probably a shorter timeframe than that. But that was the only new (at least to me) information I read.

  100. 100
    Hoodie says:

    @different-church-lady: Well, yes, that happened to Steve Jobs, and you’re probably right about Bengazi, it will only work on a declining population. However, it may be enough to drive Fox’s ratings and it’s an open question as to whether is may help keep some republicans in their House and Senate seats in 2014. The thing about Bengazi is that it doesn’t necessarily alienate big chunks of low information voters, unlike the voter fraud and other “scandals.” Frankly, most people don’t give a shit. It’s more a rallying cry for the true believers to keep their intensity for 2014, raising money instead of giving up and staying home, petting their guns and nursing their resentments in solitude.

    Rove is not a superman, but I don’t discount what he was able to achieve just because of his recent failures. As with Jobs, he has his limitations and some of those limitations arise from his own success. For example, Rove supported Bush’s efforts on immigration reform, but his base strategy came back to bite him in the ass on that. Rove (along with Ailes and others) did come up with some effective political tools, they’ve just become obsolete. BTW, NeXT was the genesis for the Apple IOS, so it wasn’t a complete failure.

  101. 101
    catclub says:

    @different-church-lady: The crime apparently is lying to the American people on the Sunday gasbags. I’m sure glad THAT never happened under George Bush.

  102. 102
    different-church-lady says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:

    If Hilary runs she will not win.

    Doesn’t that kinda depend on who runs against her?

  103. 103
    Steve Crickmore says:

    @different-church-lady: @different-church-lady:
    Firebaggery, yes I suppose I have that. I’m Just trying to hold some of the Obama’ administration’s members feet to the fire. I share nothing with the nutjobs of the Republicans, but I have learned a lttle from Benghazi, more from wikileaks and some of the cables and orders from Hillary, the same emphasis was there, the (sometimes and undermining short’sighted ) self interest of the USA. This isn’t a real scandal, but it is not transformation.

  104. 104
    different-church-lady says:

    @Steve Crickmore: You seem to have some self-awareness. It’s not too late to turn back.

  105. 105
    jonas says:

    The Republicans oversold this as a “scandal” worse than Iran-Contra or Watergate when in reality it was a case of poor planning and crisis mismanagement — like mistermix said. Why wasn’t there adequate security and, as the attack unfolded, why wasn’t there a swifter response? Those are fair questions and should be investigated. All that’s come out of these supposedly explosive hearings so far is that it was a chaotic scene and some people have a different take on what went down that day and would have done things differently. But none of this Hicks guy’s testimony suggests that the remarks made by Obama or Rice or Clinton were made in bad faith or in order to cover something up. Moreover, the Libyans have a vested interest in making this a premeditated Al Qaeda terror attack — their own security forces get off the hook for not being able to secure the situation.

  106. 106
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @Surly Duff: Exactly, they hate “that one”.

  107. 107
    Rick Taylor says:

    Also, too, I should have mentioned the other key fact that makes Benghazi a non-scandal: no blowjobs.

    Even there, they at least pretended it was about a crime, perjury.

  108. 108
    weaselone says:

    @Steve Crickmore:

    Where’s the beef? The only specific charge you make in your entire screed is that the administration misled us as to Benghazi being an Al Queda attack. Al Queda’s connection to the militia which carried out the attack on the consulate is tenuous at best and Hick’s testimony sheds no additional light on that issue as he had no information on the organizational affiliation of the attackers at the time of the assault.

  109. 109
    Patrick says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:

    If Hilary runs she will not win.

    Based on…

  110. 110
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @different-church-lady: If she runs, she won’t make it out of the primaries.

  111. 111
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @jonas: the lazy use of “al Qaeda” and phrases like “al Qaeda-affilliated group” by the media are one of the things that make me crazy about this, and pretty much all discussions of non-European foreign policy.

    There’s a similar lazy lack of specifity wrt Hick’s testimony about “Benghazi”. The team that was told to “stand down” was headed to the Benghazi airport, not the US compound (I’m not even sure that terms applies to the consulate/CIA annex). As I understand it, it was about evacuating surviving personnel, who were evacuated, and HIcks has built that up into a series of counterfactual “if, then” scenarios that are being treated as obvious blunders by the media.

  112. 112
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @Patrick: nobody likes her but bloggers and media fluffers.

  113. 113
    different-church-lady says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:

    If she runs, she won’t make it out of the primaries.

    Doesn’t that rather depend on who runs against her?

    Look, I agree that the amount of love for Hilary out there is overstated. But so is the amount of hate. If not for Obama, she might be president right now.

  114. 114
    Patrick says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:

    I am not a blogger or a media fluffer. But I think she did a decent job as a SoS. Granted, Condi Rice and Colin Powell made her look better than she probably was. But I want someone who can defeat the GOP nominee more than somebody who passes a purity test. The USSC is to important. I think my view is shared by more than a few Dems.

  115. 115
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    If Hilary is as popular as people like to pretend, why did it take her 5 years to pay off her campaign debt? If she was so popular why did she have to lend her campaign money in the first place?

  116. 116
    priscianus jr says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: They don’t seize the narrative, one is already there for them.

    This.

  117. 117
    Patrick says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:

    Don’t know. I guess why would people help pay off her debt if they didn’t know she was running in ’16?

    I didn’t help pay off her debt, yet I plan to vote for her in the Dem primaries. Furthermore, my money went to more urgent things, such as re-electing Obama.

  118. 118
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    The only thing she has going for her is name recognition, she brings nothing else to the table.

  119. 119
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Anybodybuther2016: How do you know if Hilary runs she will not win?

  120. 120
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: The version I heard had a last minute ‘rescue’ (October surprise anyone) of said ‘kidnapped’ ambassador, timed to dampen down the Romney home-stretch surge.

    (Heard at the VFW hall…)

  121. 121
    different-church-lady says:

    @Anybodybuther2016: We get it: you’re on a crusade. That don’t make you Nostradamus.

  122. 122
    Hoodie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Which explains why the Republicans keep flogging this. It is the type of thing they like to gin up because it is so nebulous, involves hot buttons of their base (Islamic militants in a far away place killing Americans) and can be spun into all types of conspiracy theories, especially because they can count on the idiot media to reflexively go into “some people say . . . ” mode. I initially thought this was about Hillary, and they will use if against her if the opportunity presents itself, but the main motivation seems to be to rally the crazies for the 2014 push. They have nothing else to run on, so they’re in a “piss on a spark plug” mode right now. They’ve done nothing but obstruct for the past several years, the economy is improving in spite of their obstruction, and they have Obama around until 2016. They needed a new gig, and I guess they’ve chosen this one, at least for now. It’s a bit of an indication of their desperation, if anything.

  123. 123
    Laur says:

    @Anybodybuther2016: uh yeah they do? She’s been trouncing every possible Republican in polls about 2016.

  124. 124
    different-church-lady says:

    @Hoodie:

    …but the main motivation seems to be to rally the crazies for the 2014 push.

    Ah, now that makes more sense. The nuts always have more weight in the midterms, because the normal folks just don’t pay attention as much as they do in presidential years.

  125. 125
    Mike Lamb says:

    @weaselone: I can’t say that I’ve followed Benghazi very closely at all, but aren’t we pretty sure (from one of the prior hearings that the numbskull GOP held) that there was a significant CIA presence/activities in the area? Hasn’t there been some educated speculation that the initial story (response to the video) was in part aimed to keep the CIA activities/presence out of the public spotlight?

  126. 126
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I’m just a regular person like most Americans. We are not as divided as the left and the right think we are. We regular folks like President Obama as a person even when we disagree with him. Hilary is only as good as her adversaries, that’s not going to be enough. We’re tired of the drama we want something else.

  127. 127
    Mike Lamb says:

    @Anybodybuther2016: If you are independently wealthy, which is the path of least resistance? Spending your own money or getting a ton of donations?

  128. 128
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @Mike Lamb: that doesn’t explain why she ran out of money in the first place.

  129. 129
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @different-church-lady: and if David Gregory keeps asking why there are so many unanswered questions about Benghazi, no one is asking about how tax cuts create jobs, or why we have to cut the deficit when the deficit is shrinking, or talking about Boehner’s bone-headed blathering about ‘paying China first’ (and as always, can you imagine if a Dem had said anything even remotely like that…?)

  130. 130
    belieber says:

    haha….mistermux joins the “let’s continue to talk about how it’s so dumb to continue to talking about Benghazi” shit show.

    You people will never understand you are part of the problem….NEVER!

  131. 131
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @belieber: Yup, the Washington Post and NBC news and your local rag and the semi-political wannabe Howard Stern’s in mid-markets all over the country take their cues from this blog. We set the agenda.

  132. 132
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steve Crickmore:

    No wonder the Administration was so enraged over the wikileaks leaks of our State Deaprtment cables, which gave the un adulterated versión, warts and all, and pursued Julian Assange and Bradley Manning with a vengeance.

    It’s pretty impressive that Manning was able to release cables related to Benghazi two years after he was arrested. I guess security is really lax in the Army.

  133. 133
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @belieber: Have you considered giving up on us? It might be better for your blood pressure.

  134. 134
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @belieber: it really is a non issue. Diplomats, soldiers, contractors etc know the dangers of the job they signed up for in that part of the world. Stuff like that can happen when you’re in a perpetual war zone. Most people understand that.

  135. 135
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I kind of suspect that part of the “cover up” is that the militants who did this have ties to Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, not to al-Qaeda. It still seems significant to me that there were disturbances/riots in both Egypt and Libya that night, and it’s still not clear whether or not this was a planned attack or an opportunistic attack.

    Unfortunately, since Issa is focused on figuring out a way to blame this on Obama, we won’t get any answers to those questions.

  136. 136
    Chyron HR says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:

    I’m just a regular American of no particular political leanings and it’s an amazing coincindence that my internet pseudonym happens to be related to how much I hate Hillary Clinton.

    Well, your story checks out.

  137. 137
    different-church-lady says:

    @belieber:

    You people will never understand you are part of the problem….NEVER!

    I didn’t realize the problem was people making snarky comments in an obscure corner of the internet.

  138. 138
    Mark B. says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s the real reason that Manning is being held incommunicado. They can’t let the secret of time travel out.

  139. 139
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @Chyron HR: I don’t hate her. I hate the arrogance of the Hilary fluffers who demand that she be crowned president in 2016. I think it’s disgusting and disrespectful to Biden and by extension PBO.

  140. 140
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @Chyron HR: I don’t hate her. I hate the arrogance of her fluffers who demand that she be crowned president in 2016. I think it’s disgusting and disrespectful to Biden and by extension PBO.

  141. 141
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @Chyron HR: I don’t hate her. I hate the arrogance of her cheerleaders who demand that she be crowned president in 2016. I think it’s disgusting and disrespectful to Biden and by extension PBO.

  142. 142
    weaselone says:

    @Mike Lamb:

    That’s part of it. They seemed to want to keep the CIA Annex and its activities under wraps at least initially. Some of the Republicans nearly wet themselves when a commercial satellite image that included the Annex was included in some early State Department testimony.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    And yet strangely, David Gregory never seems to provide a list of these unanswered questions. It’s like an oral book report given by someone who never even bothered to pick up the Cliff’s Notes, let alone the actual book. Probably because the moment any actual questions are brought up, it will be pointed out that the truth is in fact already out there much to the embarrassment of the infotainer.
    ——————————-

    My biggest problem with this fail parade is that it keeps real questions from being asked and discussed. Questions like:
    1. What is the proper balance to strike between security and access?
    2. Do our policies in regards to the placement/protection of embassies and diplomatic personnel in unstable areas need review and revision?
    3. What impact did the reduction of the State Department budget have on the security of our embassies, consulates and personnel world wide?
    4. Is funding for the State Department budget actually sufficient given the demands placed on it?

  143. 143
    NonyNony says:

    @Chris:

    Well, no. As you’re seeing right now, Democratic presidents are NOT given deference in foreign policy. If they were, we wouldn’t be sitting through hearing after hearing about a complete fabrication.

    Quick – name the aspect of the whole “Benghazi” thing that has impact on the executive being able set and pursue foreign policy goals.

    I’ll just wait over here. Because there isn’t one. This whole thing is about the domestic handling of a terrible event. It isn’t about foreign policy at all.

    If the Republicans were opening up hearings into how Obama was linking us to the Lybian rebels and looking into CIA activity in Lybia around this event then yes, that would be something really strange for Republicans to do and it would show that they were changing where the boundaries are drawn from the Clinton days. But that’s not what’s going on here – what’s going on here is that they’re alleging that the Executive Branch downplayed the source of the attacks on the embassy to the domestic audience because of election concerns. That is not a foreign policy question at all – that’s a purely domestic political question.

    The only foreign policy thing about Benghazi is that it happened outside of the country. It’s a trivial thing whose outcome will not tie any Republican president’s hands in anyway whatsoever in the future – which is just the kind of non-scandal that Republicans love to create political theater around.

  144. 144
    different-church-lady says:

    @Anybodybuther2016: Well, go bitch at them then.

  145. 145
    belieber says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: sigh….yup….that is exactly what I said….sigh.

    Nothing but stupid around here…as far as the eye can see. It doesn’t even seem like sport making fun of you people anymore. Just doesn’t feel right to make fun of the mentally handicapped.

  146. 146
    El Cid says:

    The crime is that Obama was President and Hillary was SecState, which obviously means that they must have at the very least sat back and laughed if not encouraged the jihadists to kill Americans.

    Because they hate Americans. It’s true because it must be true, and any Real American knows that at the outset and therefore any story must follow from that initial axiom.

    It’s a crime and coverup because Obama and Hillary either let those Americans be killed or had them killed, because they hate America and Americans and love foreigners and jihadists, because they do, and because you know that going in, a crime must have been committed and because it’s not obvious it MUST be a coverup.

  147. 147
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    Part of the reason it’s a “scandal” is because . . . balance. The stained blue dress made up for Iran-Contra and Watergate. Unfortunately, Bush/Cheney made Reagan and Nixon look like pikers in the fuckup and scandal dept, so now we have to balance things out by finding something Obama did to hyperventilate over. Otherwise both sides don’t do it, and the first axiom of American political coverage is both sides do it.

  148. 148
    Jay C says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:

    Dude: we get it that you don’t like Hillary Clinton – but trying to be to objective for moment: who the f*ck else (outside of the obvious VP Biden) do you think might make a viable Democrat candidate for 2016? Mrs. Clinton may not be the ideal for everyone (as anyone remaining on the pathetic fringe that is the actual “left” in this country will be happy to remind you), but as far as her chances go, she has a number of built-in advantages: viz.:

    1. Unparalleled name recognition (a two-edged sword sometimes, but not a trivial edge in a national election).

    2. A solid record of public service – even outside of four years as First Lady – elected to the Senate twice, four years as SoS, serious Presidential candidate.

    3. A familiarity with, and skill at, big-league campaigning, honed over 25+years. Her 2008 effort was inadequate, true: but it’s unlikely that Hillary will not have learned from he mistakes.

    She did credibly well in 2008 running against one of the best-tooled and most efficient campaign organizations of modern times: how do you think she might do with that machine backing her?

  149. 149
    Mike Lamb says:

    @weaselone: The other question that isn’t being asked (or properly addressed) is what type of security is feasible. The one consistent theme from the wingnuts is that there was time to send in additional reinforcements, but they deliberately chose not to.

    From my limited understanding, it was not possible to scramble a large enough force to assist the embassy within 7 hours. Wingnuts are regurgitating movie bullshit with the notion that it was possible to get someone on site in 7 hours.

  150. 150
    Mike Lamb says:

    @Anybodybuther2016: You’re right, but running out of money doesn’t necessarily equate to not being particularly popular.

    Hillary is a polarizing figure, but I think you greatly overstate the negative case for her candidacy.

  151. 151
    Penus says:

    @Jay C:

    Your #3 is underselling it a bit. What you refer to as “inadequate” I’d call “incredibly incompetent.” Her campaign DID NOT KNOW THE RULES regarding delegate allocation. That’s fundamental. And her campaign definitely engaged in some shameful “othering” of Obama.

    That’s not to say I wouldn’t vote for her over whatever horror the Republicans put up. All day, twice on Sunday. But her 2008 campaign was historically incompetent.

  152. 152
    Keith G says:

    It is in the DNA of any ambitious opposition party to make the most out of mistakes (or any random bad outcomes) which occur during a presidential administration. It’s not the GOP’s fault that Democrats, including Obama, have lost the ability to play hardball.

    Obama’s team should have been aware of the compelling story that Hicks had to tell. It’s just plain incompetence that they didn’t let his story drop during the week of the Boston Marathon manhunt.

    The attacks on President Obama are often way over the top even for the standard fare of opposition attacks. Unfortunately, there have been times when Obama and his team just make matters worse.

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    Steve Crickmore says:

    @weaselone: There wasn’t one single protestor at the embassy in Trípoli, (a good sign there was not likely to be any protestors at the Benghazi consulate, in the much smaller Benghazi. Earlier this year, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it would take 20 hours to send those jets to Libya from Rome. In November, I flew from from Rome to Benghazi, well directly over Benghazi in about 2 hours -There really wasn’t much to see, It is not a very large town or well lit up, and is surrounded by coastal wáter and a complete desert.

    The entire staff at the embassy and consulate knew there were no copy cat protests in Libya going on because of the film. Rice and Hillary, to save the Department’s reputation were obsesssed with their own ‘talking points’ which is really a distateful Orwellian phrase, that Obama should put to rest; what they can’t talk about would be much accurate of what they gave the American people. It is not a scandal, unless you think that it is scandalous that truth will be always play second to power, even in the Obama administration, when anything important comes up.

  154. 154
    TG Chicago says:

    @beth: That’s pretty great.

    What better way to kidnap a guy than to lob mortar rounds at him? And, as Suffern ACE said, what better way to get reelected than to get an ambassador kidnapped and do a prisoner exchange with terrorists 2 months before election day? A hostage situation worked so well for Carter!

    And why is it that Obama wants to give them the blind sheik so badly? Because he’s a secret Muslim terrorist sympathizer? Wow.

    And the best part is: that’s the most plausible suggestion I’ve heard for why this is a scandal.

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  156. 156
    LosGatosCA says:

    no blowjobs.

    Well, that’s what you think.

    I’ll make up my mind after we put Ken Starr and about $70million on the case to find out the truth.

    I smell a melon head bullet test in somebody’s future.

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