In spite of the best efforts of the Obama Administration, and those of the Government Agencies funded by it, the Benghazi tragedy just won't go away.
Involved, are the usual suspects:
- State Department
- Justice Department
- Defense Department
- Department of Homeland Security
Everyone involved, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and even the President himself, has committed to punishing the guilty. On October 26, 2012, a year and a half ago, the President said:
"What happened in Benghazi is a tragedy. We're investigating exactly what happened... I send these folks in harm's way, I want to make sure they're always safe and when that doesn't happen, that we figure out what happened and make sure that doesn't happen again. But my biggest priority now is bringing those folks to justice and I think the American people have seen that's a commitment I'll always keep."
Nearly two years have passed, and no one -- no one -- has been arrested, captured, or droned in connection with the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and the three other Americans who died trying to protect him.
But the lack of results has not been for a lack of investigation. Or at least attempts to investigate. I took about ten minutes this morning Googling for a list of various government agencies that have been investigating the Benghazi incident. I'm sure the list is not complete, but here is a start:
On 9-13-12, two days after the incident, the FBI opened an investigation into the deaths. A team was sent to Benghazi. But as you may recall, it took more than 30 days for the team to work through the red tape required in order to gain entry to the premises. They spent three hours on site, and left. Obviously, they discovered that by then the suspects had all disappeared,
Next to be involved was the "Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) Intelligence Group"
Then Matthew Olson, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, was summoned to appear before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Next was Shawn Turner, Director of Public Affairs for the Department of National Intelligence, appearing before the Senate Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
The State Department then announced the formation of an Accountability Review Board. Nothing has been heard from them.
Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, held his investigations.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform did their thing, as did the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee, Senate Homeland Security Committee, the State Department's Operations Center the House Committee on Homeland Security, and The House Committee on Foreign Affairs, aided and abetted by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who allegedly perjured himself in his Congressional testimony.
So what has been the result of all this investigating? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Why? Well, there is a matter of jurisdictional limitation. As a hypothetical example, the Homeland Security Committee may not be able to question a member of the State Department, since the State Department does not fall under the auspices of Homeland Security, etc., etc..
Then, just to be fair, each investigating committee must be "bi-partisan" in its makeup. So in its investigation, each member gets five minutes to question the witnesses. The Republican member will grill on the details, followed by the Democrat member offering softballs, giving the witness an opportunity to recover in preparation for the next five-minute Republican grilling -- and vice versa.
Of course, there is the customary lack of memory as we saw this past week when, former National Security spokesman Tommy Vietor was asked by FOX News Chief Political Anchor Bret Baier whether Vietor had a hand in allegedly changing the White House's messaging directives following the tragedy. Baier asked the perennial question, "Did you change 'attacks' to 'demonstrations' in the talking points?" Vietor responded, "Dude, this was two years ago!" "Maybe, I don't remember."
And then there is the matter of witnesses pleading the Fifth. Can anyone say "Lois Lerner"?
Hindering all of this is the stonewalling by the White House in providing requested documentation, and if provided, it is so redacted (marked-through) as to make it useless.
President Obama has described the Benghazi incident as a phony scandal. And late night comedian Bill Maher declared that he doesn't understand the fuss over Benghazi. Said Maher, "I still don't know what the scandal is."
But something did slip through this past week. In response to a Freedom of Information request by the watchdog group, Judicial Watch, a directive was uncovered, written by Ben Rhodes, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting, revealing that the official White House account of the Benghazi attack was written purposely to mislead the media and the American public, and to:
"Underscore that these protest are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy," and, "to reinforce the President and Administration's strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges."
The official White House instructional document was sent to a dozen members of the administration's inner circle, and key members of the White House communications team, including White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
Conservative legislators and media pundits have declared thisto be the "smoking gun" they have been looking for, confirming that the Administration purposely mis-characterized the terrorist attack in Benghazi just to make Mr. Obama look more "presidential" prior to the 2012 election. Senator Lindsey Graham, (R-SC) said, "If this is not a smoking gun, proving beyond any doubt, the story told by the administration about Benghazi was politically motivated and fabricated, nothing will ever prove that."
So, last Friday, Lead-From-Behind House Speaker John Boehner said that he will call for the House to vote on a resolution to create a new "Select Committee" to investigate the Benghazi terrorist attack that killed the four Americans. In theory, at least such a "select committee" should be able to cross jurisdictional boundaries that have hindered previous investigations, and, according to Boehner, have "robust authority."Facebook, Google Plus, & Twitter. You can also get Freedom Outpost delivered to your Amazon Kindle device here.