House committee: No Benghazi scandal
The House Select Committee on Intelligence, following almost a two-year intense investigation, unanimously determined there is no basis for what has become known as the Benghazi Scandal.
The committee consists of 12 Republicans and 9 Democrats.
The pretend-scandal began Sept. 11, 2012, when terrorists raided the U.S. consulate, and killed the ambassador and three others.
Although there was confusion and the Obama administration didn't have all the facts when it began to inform the American people about the events and the causes, there was no evidence of anything even remotely linked to a scandal. However, as expected, the blathering mouths of the Extreme Right Wing media pundits and politicians, and those who blindly parrot their "talking points" in bars, on front porches and hunting lodges kept caterwauling about scandal.
Among the findings of the House Committee, all of which conflict with the manufactured propaganda by the Extreme Right Wing:
- There was no stand-down order given to any personnel - military or civilian - who tried to assist. This information is consistent with testimony provided to the House Armed Services Committee. In contrast, immediate response by the United States prevented additional injuries and deaths.
- Although intelligence agencies were warned about a possible threat, there was no advance knowledge of what was planned.
- The Extreme Right Wing attacked Ambassador Susan Rice for her initial reports, possibly worried that President Obama would nominate her to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was planning to leave the administration after more than four years.
Although there was a lack of coordination between the intelligence community, the Department of Defense and the White House, the Obama administration did not deliberately mislead the American people. Committee member Adam Schiff said evidence suggests, "The initial talking points provided by the intelligence community were flawed because of conflicting assessments, not an intention to deceive." As new information became available, the administration informed the people.
- All activities by the CIA were legal and authorized.
- There was no illegal activity or illegal arms trading that allowed any weapons provided by the U.S. to get into the hands of the terrorists.
Now, here is also what is known.
- In contrast to Extreme Right Wing allegations that the Obama administration has done nothing to find those who killed the four Americans, the person believed to have been the leader of the attacks, Ahmed Abu Khattalah, is in federal custody, awaiting trial. The United States has identified and is conducting operations to bring other terrorists to trial.
- Five months before the attack, Ambassador Christopher Stevens had requested additional military security. However, his request was denied. The reason? The Republican-led obstructionist Congress had earlier refused to fund additional personnel and budget for embassy and consulate security.
- During the George W. Bush administration, terrorists killed 60 personnel in 10 separate attacks at U.S. consulates and embassies. There were no outraged Republicans.
Within a week of the seventh anniversary of 9/11, terrorists killed 16 at the U.S. embassy in Yemen. Americans grieved but did not launch a barrage of lies and half-truths, nor try to politicize the deaths of the 60 Americans.
- The Extreme Right Wing, apparently worried that Hillary Clinton would become the leading candidate for president, has willfully and maliciously attacked her leadership during this crisis, hoping to tarnish her reputation and reduce the possibility she will become the nation's first female president.
Given the reality that a thorough investigation by a Republican-led House committee shows there is no scandal, you'd expect the rest of the House to drop its $3.3 million investigation that they increased for political purposes months before the November mid-term elections.
You'd also expect Fox News empty heads who have been screeching "scandal" almost 24/7 for two years to either admit they were wrong or to just shut up.
You'd expect that. But, you won't get it in an atmosphere fueled by hate and prejudice.
(Walter Brasch, an author and retired university professor from Bloomsburg, writes "Wanderings" for each Sunday edition.)