The Benghazi Sideshow Courtesy Of The GOP Clown Car

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created image of U.S. House Speaker Boehner as a clown
U.S. House Speaker Boehner driver of the GOP Clown Car

The Republicans have been running with the idea that the attack on the Benghazi consulate, in 2012 which led to four deaths including the U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, is somehow as bad as Watergate, the Holocaust, and the burning of the Reichstag. The fact is that the Republicans are harping on Benghazi because they want to smear President Obama once again and to try and undercut the potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton while trying to distract from their do-nothing Congressional leadership that refuses to do anything to help the actual people in this country.

The American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, in Libya, was attacked on September 11, 2012 by a heavily armed group. The attack began during the night at a compound that is meant to protect the consulate building. A second assault in the early morning the next day targeted a nearby CIA annex in a different diplomatic compound. Four people were killed, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Ten others were injured. The attack was strongly condemned by the governments of Libya, the United States, and many other countries throughout the world.

2012 Benghazi attack

The Republicans have been crying about the attack since it happened holding two hearings and issuing a one-sided report all in an effort to smear the President (including before his re-election) and also to try to smear Hillary Clinton, the potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2016.

Steady drips of information about a horrific night in Libya are fueling Republican arguments and ads designed to fire up the conservative base and undercut the Democrats’ early favorite for president in 2016.

The incident was heavily politicized from the start, occurring less than two months before President Barack Obama’s re-election and while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state.

The former New York senator and first lady, who infuriates many conservatives, ranks high in speculation about Democrats in the hunt for the 2016 presidential nomination.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a possible Republican presidential contender, wrote in The Washington Times restating his view that Obama should have fired Clinton.

Campaigning later in Iowa, Paul said he thinks the attack “precludes Hillary Clinton from ever holding office.”

New bits of information feed GOP’s claim that Benghazi is huge liability for Obama, Clinton

Of course the corporate media plays along even if they get the facts wrong or don’t challenge the Republicans:

And with that, the ABC report suggests the State Department “scrubbed” the talking points of terror references as some sort of nefarious cover-up of what really happened in Benghazi for political reasons. This, of course, playing into the GOP’s conspiracy theory that President Obama was trying to preserve his campaign theme that his policies had significantly crippled the terror network.

The story soon set reporters and Twitter alight. “Scrubbing the truth from Benghazi,” a National Journal headline read. Even the BBC speculated that “heads will roll.”

In other words, ABC’s “exclusive” reveals a turf battle, not some cover-up. As it turns out, the story is more about how talking points are generated in the interagency process…

What ABC Left Out Of Its Report On Benghazi Talking Points

What we don’t hear is push back against the Republican witch-hunt or asking where the investigations were when diplomatic missions were attacked during the Bush administration:

  • June 14, 2002, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan
    Suicide bomber kills 12 and injures 51.
  • February 20, 2003, international diplomatic compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    Truck bomb kills 17.
  • February 28, 2003, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan
    Gunmen on motorcycles killed two consulate guards.
  • July 30, 2004, U.S. embassy in Taskkent, Uzbekistan
    Suicide bomber kills two.
  • December 6, 2004, U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
    Militants stormed and occupied perimeter wall. Five killed, 10 wounded.
  • March 2, 2006, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan
    Suicide car bomber killed four, including a U.S. diplomat directly targeted by the assailants.
  • September 12, 2006, U.S. embassy in Damascus, Syria
    Gunmen attacked embassy with grenades, automatic weapons, and a car bomb (though second truck bomb failed to detonate). One killed and 13 wounded.
  • January 12, 2007, U.S. embassy in Athens, Greece
    A rocket-propelled grenade was fired at the embassy building. No one was injured.
  • July 9, 2008, U.S. consulate in Istanbul, Turkey
    Armed men attacked consulate with pistols and shotguns. Three policemen killed.
  • March 18, 2008, U.S. embassy in Sana’a, Yemen
    Mortar attack misses embassy, hits nearby girls’ school instead.
  • September 17, 2008, U.S. embassy in Sana’a, Yemen
    Militants dressed as policemen attacked the embassy with RPGs, rifles, grenades and car bombs. Six Yemeni soldiers and seven civilians were killed. Sixteen more were injured.
  • Not to mention that the Republicans voted to cut the budget for security at U.S. embassies.

    Republicans and their allies have been trying to politicize the attack — which killed four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya — suggesting, without evidence, the Obama administration may have ignored intelligence that the attack was imminent, didn’t properly secure the Benghazi compound and is now trying to cover it up.

    But hidden beneath the GOP campaign is the fact that House Republicans voted to cut nearly $300 million from the U.S. embassy security budget.

    GOP Rep: I ‘Absolutely’ Voted To Cut Funding For Embassy Security

    And I loved the comments by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates:

    “Based on everything I’ve read, people really didn’t know what was going on in Benghazi contemporaneously, and to send some small number of Special Forces or other troops in without knowing what the environment is, without knowing what the threat is, without having any intelligence in terms of what is actually going on on the ground, I think, would have been very dangerous,” the former defense secretary observed. “And personally, I would not have approved that.”

    It’s sort of a cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces. The one thing that our forces are noted for is planning and preparation before we send people in harm’s way. And there just wasn’t time to do that.”

    Gates: Benghazi-Obsessed Republicans Have ‘Cartoonish’ View of Military Capability

    Yes Robert Gates, the Republicans have a cartoonish impression about a lot of things.


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