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Friday, Nov 21, 2014

The Right Stuff

A politics blog by Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson's baseball card - if he had one - would report he throws left, writes right. In his columns and blog, "The Right Stuff," southpaw Jackson provides insight into the evolving human condition from a distinctly conservative point of view.

If new Benghazi probe is ‘political theater,’ we’ll know soon enough

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Regarding the formation of a House select committee to investigate the Benghazi affair, Democrats have made their sentiments plain.

The whole thing, says Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Gold Coast flamethrower and head of the Democratic National Committee, is nothing more than a Republican exercise in “wast[ing] taxpayer time and money on more political theater” designed to “motivate their base for the midterm elections and to raise money.”

It’s all a big distraction, says Wasserman Schultz, an attempt to bury recent “positive news concerning ... the Affordable Care Act” even as Democrats “remain focused on strengthening security at our embassies and bringing the perpetrators of this heinous attack to justice.”

Well. You can believe that if you want to.

For openers, 20 months after the attack on the U.S. Consulate that left four Americans, including an ambassador, dead, the only “perpetrator” to have encountered the righteous wrath of our justice is a Southern California video-maker whom the Obama administration scape-goated to camouflage its mishandling of the situation before, during and after the assault.

If there’s nothing to see here, and nothing new to learn, that will be evident soon enough, and Democrats will have earned their right not merely to preen, but to make the most of their vindication entering November’s midterms. After all, as claimed by MSNBC producer Dafna Linzer, “Everyone is looking for something on the Republican side, the conservative side, to tar the administration with going into yet another election. ... Benghazi is a lot like Obamacare. We’ve already been through this a few times, and we’ve already gone through an election with it, and I don’t see this working out; there’s not much left for them to play with.”

Well, that’s what the investigation will reveal, won’t it? After all, the notion that we’ve “gone through an election” with all the Benghazi facts on the table is a transparent fiction, made abundantly evident by Ben Rhodes’ only recently disclosed talking-points memo, the circulation which indicates the White House and the Obama reelection campaign were partners in an elaborate election-season lie.

“We know what happened,” national security consultant K.T. McFarland said on the “Imus in the Morning” show Friday. “Inadequate security. No rescue mission. No going after the bad guys afterward. But we don’t know why, and that to me is the more important question.

“Who made these decisions? Who decided not to have adequate security? Who decided we weren’t going to rescue these guys? And why?

“ ‘Why’ is almost the most important question. If we weren’t going to do this, if we’re not going to rescue Americans because we’re afraid of another ‘Black Hawk down’ incident before an election, or we’re not going to give adequate security because, after all, al-Qaeda’s finished ... if those are the motivations, that means that it’s OK for the American government and the White House to say to the intelligence community and the military community you’re not nearly as important as us winning reelection.”

McFarland, and not smoke-blowers Wasserman Schultz and Linzer, strikes closest to the heart of the Benghazi matter. Twenty months down the road, the who and the why (not to mention significant questions, as they pertain to the President and the Secretary of State, about the when and the where) remain unanswered. If the House select committee, chaired by former federal prosecutor Trey Gowdy, does its work properly, we’ll either learn all the full and proper answers, or we’ll have a better idea of the administration’s willingness to obfuscate for political gain.

Either way, we’ll be better off for having come closer to the absolute truth.

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