Yawn. That's the right reaction to the unceasing efforts by Fox News commentators and other Republicans to convert the Benghazi tragedy into some sort of impeachable offense.
Isn't working. Recent GOP hearings have told us what we already knew.
Politicians love few things better than a scandal to trip up their opponents, and Republicans hope last year’s fatal attack on U.S. diplomats in Libya will do exactly that to Hillary Rodham Clinton and other Democrats.
History suggests it might be a tough lift. The issue is complex, the next presidential election is more than three years away, and a number of reports and officials have disputed criticisms of Clinton’s role when she was secretary of state.
...A major independent inquiry largely absolved Clinton of wrongdoing.
The findings incensed many Republican leaders and conservative news outlets, who portray Benghazi as a simmering scandal about to erupt.
The three officials testifying Wednesday offered little that has not been aired in previous congressional hearings. Afterward, Republicans all but acknowledged they’re still seeking a knockout punch.
...On Wednesday, Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin showed little concern about the larger impact on politics. ‘‘I don’t think there’s a smoking gun today,’’ he told the House panel. "I don’t think there’s a lukewarm slingshot."
Nice metaphor: the trailer for the hearings promised a lot more than the actual "movie" delivered.
The pretense was, of course, that this is all about national security and a dastardly Obama campaign electioneering scheme followed by a coverup. The problem, to mix entertainment media for a moment, is that the trailer for the hearing, as is so often the case, promised to deliver a lot more than we ultimately got.
Days ahead of time we'd been told the then-deputy chief of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya, Gregory Hicks, would blow the whistle on the allegedly feckless response to the attack. Foxaganda, CBS and other media reported Hicks was furious that no jet fighters had been scrambled to fly over Benghazi to make the attackers of the U.S. consulate and CIA Annex there wet their pants and flee.
And he also was incensed about the military's order to Special Operations soldiers to "stand down" rather than get on a flight from Tripoli to Benghazi where they would reinforce the CIA operatives and Libyan militia fighting the attackers.
But well before he sat down in front the microphone, Hicks knew the answer for why the jets hadn't been scrambled: They couldn't have gotten there in time, something examined in full by the Accountability Review Board's independent report.
As for the Special Operations guys, they weren't some fully outfitted Delta Force unit ready to obliterate the men who had dared attack American facilities. They were just four guys in all, no doubt brave and eager to go. But they weren't combat ready, being armed solely with 9mm sidearms. If they had left on the plane for Benghazi, they would have arrived too late to save any lives.
It's impossible to believe that Hicks wasn't, eight months after the fact, fully aware of the reason those four weren't sent.
Meanwhile... carbon dioxide levels surpass 400 ppm. But this doesn't require hearings, according to Republicans. Because Benghazi.
The best available evidence suggests the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, before humans evolved, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea.
“It symbolizes that so far we have failed miserably in tackling this problem,” said Pieter P. Tans, who runs the monitoring program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that reported the new reading.