Once the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee issued its report on the deadly 2012 attack in Benghazi, there was a sense of finality to the process. GOP lawmakers on the panel themselves described the findings as “definitive.”
Every possible question has been answered. Every conspiracy theory has been discredited. Every wild-eyed allegation has been proven false. Every House committee, every Senate committee, every State Department investigator, and every inquiry launched by independent news organizations have reached the exact same conclusion. There’s a general feeling, even among many Republicans, that it’s time to just move on.
But that’s not going to happen. Not only is the House on track to spend at last another $1.5 million – of our money – on yet another committee, but many GOP lawmakers have decided to reject the findings of other GOP lawmakers.
Some of the loudest torch-and-pitchfork wielding Benghazi investigation enthusiasts weren’t satisfied. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on CNN he thought the report “is full of crap” and that the House Intelligence Committee had done a “lousy job of policing their own.”“I’m saying that anybody who has followed Benghazi at all knows that the CIA deputy director did not come forward to tell Congress what role he played in changing the talking points,” Graham said. “And the only way we knew he was involved is when he told a representative at the White House, I’m going to do a hard review of this, a hard rewrite.” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) agreed, telling the Salt Lake Tribune that Graham “is probably right.”
He’s really not.
And while it’s certainly interesting to see Graham and Chaffetz reject the exhaustive findings prepared by their colleagues from their own party, no one seems quite as hostile to the evidence as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), arguably Congress’ most zealous conspiracy theorist.
The Kentucky Republican wrote an op-ed for a right-wing website this week, and I hope readers will take a moment to appreciate Rand Paul’s approach to logic in all its glory.
The Associated Press claims the report debunks, “A series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.”None of these accusations contain even a modicum of truth?
It’s important to appreciate Paul’s intellectual rigor: there are lots of allegations, and even though the evidence proves the allegations false, maybe, since there are so many of them, one of them is a little true?
As Simon Maloy noted, the Republican senator proceeded to suggest his own GOP allies may be “helping the Obama administration cover-up the truth about Benghazi.”
That’s right, it’s come to this: Republicans have uncovered a conspiracy so vast, it involves Republicans who went looking for evidence of a conspiracy.
I get the feeling that the Beltway media considers Rand Paul so “interesting” that his antics, no matter how ridiculous, simply cannot be disqualifying. But that’s a shame – his approach to Benghazi is itself a cringe-worthy embarrassment.