Republican members of the House and House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy react after the election for the Speaker of the House was thrown into chaos on Capitol Hill, Oct. 8, 2015. 
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Benghazi Committee Chair gives away the game

Updated
As the House Republicans’ Benghazi committee enters its third year, no one seems to be able to explain exactly why the partisan panel still exists, when it’ll wrap up, or even why it was created in the first place.
 
Quotes like this one, published by USA Today, raise questions anew about this pointless waste of time and resources.
There was nothing the military could have done on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, to stop the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, but the special House committee investigating the terrorist incident will continue to probe the Pentagon’s actions that night, the committee’s chairman said Tuesday.
 
“Whether or not they could have gotten there in time, I don’t think there is any issue with respect to that. They couldn’t,” Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., told Fox News.
Wait, hold on. As regular readers know, the whole point of the right-wing conspiracy theory is built around the idea that the military could’ve done more to intervene in Benghazi the night of the September 2012 attack, but it didn’t for political reasons. It’s the basis for the ridiculous “stand down” nonsense right-wing activists have pushed for years without proof.
 
Military leaders, the State Department, and multiple congressional investigations all concluded that the conspiracy theory is wrong, but House Republicans don’t care, which is why they created a committee, led by Trey Gowdy, to tell conservatives what they want to hear.
 
Except, even Gowdy, who’s spent more than two years exploring his party’s conspiracy theories, doesn’t believe the core question at the heart of the investigation. Neither, we learned this week, does his committee’s former top attorney.
 
The panel’s ranking Democrat, Maryland’s Elijah Cummings, said in a statement, “Chairman Gowdy has finally admitted what we have all known for years. The central Republican allegation that the military was told to withhold assets that could have saved lives in Benghazi for political reasons was wrong.”
 
If the committee is investigating a conspiracy that the committee’s own chairman rejects, then maybe it’s time to call it a day? And maybe now the many Republicans who’ve pushed the bogus line that U.S. forces could’ve gotten to Benghazi in time – I’m looking at you, Marco Rubio – are willing to apologize?

To reiterate a point from earlier in the week, though I find the Republicans’ Benghazi Committee ridiculous, I’m not suggesting the deadly terrorist attack in Libya, which left four Americans dead, is unworthy of investigation. Just the opposite is true – Congress had a responsibility to determine what happened and take steps to prevent similar attacks in the future.
 
But therein lies the point: seven separate congressional committees investigated the Benghazi attack before Gowdy’s Select Committee was even created. This was already one of the most scrutinized events in American history. Republican lawmakers, however, didn’t quite care for what the evidence told them, so they effectively concluded, “Maybe an eighth committee will tell us something the other seven committees didn’t.”
 
But even now, Republicans can’t substantiate their conspiracy theory, which Gowdy himself has now dismissed.
 
Republicans have already admitted the Benghazi panel is a partisan exercise. It’s long past time for the farce to end.
 
 

Benghazi, Conspiracy Theories and Trey Gowdy

Benghazi Committee Chair gives away the game

Updated