Monday, June 20, 2016

Gifts the GOP Hopes Keeps on Giving: Benghazi and Email Server

GOP House Members: Still in the hunt to nail Hillary Clinton
(Guys: Why so glum?)

GOP Still Await Email Server Report
(with their fingers crossed)

Updated Review of Benghazi (from April 8, 2016 article here):  

Introduction: Why post this at this time?

Simple. I keep hearing on most GOP-RW-Fox-Talk Radio and all across la-la land the GOP effort to give Trump the benefit of the doubt for his outrageous remarks and insults and downright ugliness to harm anyway possible Hillary Clinton. They are reaching deep to save him and his ways at her expense. Let’s start with the GOP investigations of her this way from this fine article by Steve Benen at MSNBC. I know, I know, as soon as some see MSNBC they won’t read any further and that is my point – basically they are firing blanks hoping to hit the Hillary target and somehow save Trump – talk about the lowest of the lowest dirty trick – that takes the proverbial cake.
“Remember the House Republicans’ Benghazi Committee? 

It was nearly six months ago that the GOP-led panel held a farcical, 11-hour hearing with Hillary Clinton, which only reinforced suspicions that the committee served no legitimate purpose

“That was October of last year. Believe it or not, the investigation still exists, and the panel’s Democratic minority issued a statement announcing the committee’s newest milestone:

[Thursday of the above date] marks the 700th day since the authorization of the Select Committee on Benghazi. During this time, Republicans have discovered no new evidence that contradicts the key findings of the previous bipartisan and independent investigations. As House Republicans drag on their taxpayer-funded partisan attacks on Secretary Clinton closer and closer to the election, their actions have shockingly become even more partisan, secretive, and dysfunctional,” ( Ranking Member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD).”

“I can appreciate why these totals may seem abstract, but to put this in context, the 9/11 Commission, investigating every possible angle to the worst terrorist attack in the history of the country, worked for 604 days and created a bipartisan report endorsed by each of the commission’s members. 

“The Benghazi committee is now on its 701st day, and even some congressional Republicans have admitted the panel is a partisan exercise, making it that much more difficult to justify its prolonged existence. 

“Rep. Trey Gowdy’s (R-SC) Benghazi panel has also lasted longer than the investigations into the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President Kennedy, the Iran-Contra scandal, Church Committee, and the Watergate probe. 

“What’s more, following up on our previous coverage, the Benghazi investigation, which has cost American taxpayers over $6.5 million, isn’t done. There is no end date in mind, and there’s every reason to believe GOP lawmakers will just keep it going, probably with this year’s presidential election in mind, though I suppose it’s possible that it will simply continue forever. 

“Just so we’re clear, though I find the Republicans’ Benghazi Committee ridiculous, I’m not suggesting the deadly terrorist attack in Libya, which left four Americans dead, is unworthy of investigation. Just the opposite is true – Congress had a responsibility to determine what happened and take steps to prevent similar attacks in the future.

“But therein lies the point: seven separate congressional committees investigated the Benghazi attack before the Select Committee was even created. This was already one of the most scrutinized events in American history. Republican lawmakers, however, didn’t quite care for what the evidence told them, so they effectively concluded, “Maybe an eighth committee will tell us something the other seven committees didn’t.”

“That, alas, was over 700 days ago. If there’s a coherent defense for this exercise, I can’t think of it,” (Benen’s conclusion).

My Input: Reflect on the Background that GOPers selectively forgot or failed to remember or seldom if ever mentioned (at least public):
  1.  Democrats enacted $1.803 billion for embassy security, construction and maintenance for fiscal 2010, when they still controlled the Senate and House.
  2.  After Republicans took control of the House and picked up six Senate seats, Congress reduced the enacted budget to $1.616 billion in fiscal 2011, and to $1.537 billion for 2012.
  3.  The administration requested $1.801 billion for security, construction and maintenance for fiscal 2012; House Republicans countered with a proposal to cut spending to $1.425 billion.
  4.  The House only agreed to increase it to $1.537 billion after negotiations with the Senate.
  5.  The administration requested $1.654 billion for the State Department’s Worldwide Security Protection program for fiscal 2012. House Republicans proposed funding the program at $1.557 billion.
  6.  Congress eventually enacted $1.591 billion after the Senate weighed in.
  7.  For fiscal 2013, the administration requested $2.15 billion in funding for the worldwide security protection program, a larger increase from the previous year. The House countered with a proposal to increase the program to $1.934 billion. 
The GOP-led House intelligence committee report on the 2012 attacks on the U.S. Compound in Benghazi offers no smoking gun to anyone looking to cast blame for theObama administration’s response to the tragedy.

 From that Report, in part:

“Appropriate U.S. personnel made reasonable tactical decisions that night, and the committee found no evidence that there was either a stand down order or a denial of available air support. ... There was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks. ... After the attacks, the early intelligence assessments and the administration’s initial public narrative on the causes and motivations for the attacks were not fully accurate.”

This is the most authoritative report to date, comprising a nearly two-year investigation involving thousands of pages of intelligence assessments, cables, notes and emails.

The 36-page report says that “there was no intelligence failure” by the CIA before the attack. CIA personnel had correctly secured their own building from attack and saved lives by taking extraordinary risks to aid those under attack at a nearby U.S. consular annex.

The report said there is no evidence to support allegations that the administration had ordered the U.S. military to stand down as the attack occurred. Rather, “U.S. personnel made reasonable tactical decisions that night,” it says.

The committee, with both Republican and Democratic members, also found that a mixed group of individuals, including some linked to al-Qaeda, participated in the attack.

Now there remains yet another ongoing investigation by the House Select Committee on Benghazi (the Gowdy committee), which says it will take the Intelligence Committee’s report into account when issuing its findings at an unspecified date. When it is released, it will mark the seventh report on the attack. It’s not clear whether a panel formed only six months ago can uncover more details than already reported on.

Keep in mind this startling tidbit, as I finish this post from all places, FOX in October 2015:

HEADLINES: Two Congressmen and Ex-Benghazi Committee Staffer Admit Partisan Nature of the Committee. 

Since September 29, three credible Republicans have admitted to the partisan nature of the House Select Committee on Benghazi and its primary goal of tarnishing Hillary Clinton. While the first admission may have been inadvertent – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) boasted that the committee had achieved its goal of damaging Clinton's poll numbers during an interview with Fox News about his candidacy for House Speaker.

Since then former Benghazi committee staffer Bradley F. Podliska, and a second Republican congressman, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), have come forward and admitted the committee was "designed to go after" Clinton.  [Media Matters reports:  9/29/1510/11/1510/14/15]

Bill O'Reilly, during his October 8, 2015 edition of Fox News' The Five, defended the committee's existence but admitted that “of course it's political,” noting, “If you think those guys, those Republicans on that panel, don't want to bring down Hillary Clinton, you're six-years-old. Because they do.” [Fox News, The Five10/8/15]

So, get ready for more nasty and ugliness between now and November 8th I mean be prepared for Hillary’s email server final report.

Here is an update here – it’s a decent read. Meanwhile the GOP keeps on wishin’ and hopin’ to nail Hillary Clinton for good as they skate into the White House and take full power. 

Thanks for stopping by.