To call the entire Benghazi ordeal yesterday a fiasco would be an understatement. From the sheer length of the proceedings, to the absolute disrespect many members displayed toward Hillary Clinton, this was nothing more than a blatant attempt to try to catch the former Secretary of State in some sort of “gotcha” moment to use against her if she happens to win the Democratic nomination for president.
Needless to say, the GOP failed miserably at obtaining their goals and ultimately (via their childish behavior) just made Clinton look extremely presidential by the end of the day.
But out of everything said at the hearing on Thursday, some of the best commentary was put in by Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wa.) who absolutely destroyed the Republican party’s obsession with Clinton and the pettiness of the whole process.
“Again, I think we’ve seen that this committee is focused on you,” Smith said. “I’m the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee. I don’t see the Department of Defense here, I don’t see the CIA here. There were many, many other agencies involved in this and yet yours has been the one that they have obsessively focused on.”
That was a fact Clinton pointed out throughout the day as Republicans often asked her questions concerning matters that weren’t directly handled by her or the State Department.
Smith then brought up the 1983 bombing in Beirut that killed 241 service members during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
“A Democratic Congress at the time did a fair and quick investigation of what was an unspeakable tragedy,” Smith stated. “Two separate suicide bombings four months apart, and there was clearly inadequate security. But the focus there was not on partisanship, not on embarrassing the Reagan administration, but on actually figuring out what happened and on how we can better protect Americans.”
He also mentioned how there have been more investigations into Benghazi than there were the 9/11 attack.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) had some of the most memorable moments of the day, but I found Smith’s comments to be some of the most impactful. While Cummings expressed a lot of the emotional anger and frustration many on the left have felt about this entire Republican-led Benghazi circus, Smith simply expressed a few basic facts that blew holes in almost everything Republicans have been doing for the last three years.
These other agencies haven’t been put through the same paces Clinton has, even though many of them are just as responsible for the events leading up to the attack as the State Department was. Not only that, but I’m glad he pointed out that we’re putting more time and effort into supposed failures that led to four Americans dying in Libya than we did following the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history… that happened on our soil, resulting in nearly three thousand deaths. An attack that the Bush administration had several warnings about prior to it occurring – yet they did absolutely nothing of substance. I don’t seem to remember Republicans being all that concerned about putting the Bush administration on the hot seat to answer tough questions about that.
Could you imagine the GOP reaction if a 9/11-level attack occurred during Obama’s presidency – then we later found out that he was given intelligence beforehand warning him of the potential for attack – yet he did nothing? Impeachment would be the last of his worries, they would be pushing for actual prison time.
But while none of what happened yesterday is likely to change the minds of any Republicans, it was clear that Clinton emerged stronger than she was before. So while Republicans clearly had this set up as their moment to try to break the back of Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes, all they really did was showcase that these Benghazi hearings are nothing but a petty, partisan witch hunt that’s exploiting the deaths of four Americans for political gains – and the gains are going to Hillary Clinton.
Watch Rep. Adam Smith’s comments below:
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