The Republican-led Benghazi committee is one of the longest-running special investigations by Congress in American history. At over 70 weeks, it has surpassed even the Watergate hearings which resulted in criminal indictments, convictions, and the resignation of a sitting president.
Not only has it wasted a lot of time Congress could be using to address real issues, it has also come at a cost of at least $4.5 million in taxpayer money. Now Florida congressman Alan Grayson has filed an ethics complaint after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy accidentally admitted on Fox News that the Benghazi committee was a political mission to hurt Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations.
Via Roll Call:
“This represents the new McCarthyism — the misuse of [official] funds for political purposes to vilify a political opponent,” Grayson told CQ Roll Call. He said the House Select Committee on Benghazi, chaired by Gowdy, is an “effort to embarrass” Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The three-page letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics, obtained by CQ Roll Call, alleges McCarthy revealed the political motivations for the Benghazi Committee in his now infamous Sept. 29 interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. (Source)
The fact that the Benghazi hearings have carried on for so long, without revealing anything of substance, made it obvious to a lot of us that Republicans weren’t interested in uncovering the facts about what happened on that night in 2012.
After the 1983 Beirut Marine barracks bombing, President Reagan immediately headed back to Washington (despite the claims to the contrary by some liberal Facebook pages). The Democratic-controlled House, led by Speaker Tip O’Neill, held a hearing which investigated the circumstances and then recommended some security changes which were unsuccessful in stopping another Beirut attack in 1984, which led to the kidnapping and death of a CIA station chief.
In March of 1984, three months after Congress issued its report, militants struck American officials in Beirut again, this time kidnapping the C.I.A.’s station chief, Bill Buckley. Buckley was tortured and, eventually, murdered. Reagan, who was tormented by a tape of Buckley being tortured, blamed himself. Congress held no public hearings, and pointed fingers at the perpetrators, not at political rivals. (Source)
If the Benghazi hearings were legitimate and not a political crusade to vilify Hillary Clinton, they would have held one hearing like the one after the Beirut attacks and left it at that. Rather than pointing fingers at her and other members of the State Department, they would have pushed to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
President Obama personally signed off on finding and bringing the suspects to justice, and in 2014, Abu Khattala was captured by American special forces in Libya. Earlier this year, another militant linked to the attacks was killed in Iraq by an American airstrike. Yet, you hardly heard a word about either of these stories from Republicans in Congress, because finding justice for the 4 Americans who died in Benghazi isn’t what their ridiculously long witch hunt was ever about.
The chances of this ethics complaint being successful in the punishment of those members of Congress who have wasted time and money on the Benghazi investigation is a long shot. Unless Tea Party Republicans use it as an opportunity to hurt Kevin McCarthy and leverage some of their members into leadership positions, not much can be done until Democrats control the House again.
If you want to hold Republicans accountable for this waste of time and taxpayer money, the best way to do so is to vote next November.
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