The conspiracy theory that just won’t fade

Updated
The conspiracy theory that just won't fade
The conspiracy theory that just won't fade
Associated Press

It is, of course, 9/11 and many political figures are turning their attention to the anniversary of a deadly terrorist attack.

No, not that one.

Conservative lawmakers seized on the first anniversary of the embassy assault in Benghazi that killed four Americans as a new opportunity to advance their assertion that the White House is hiding something about the 2012 attack.

In a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told the gathered reporters that the Obama administration’s unwillingness to provide evidence or witnesses about the Benghazi attacks suggested there was evidence that the White House didn’t want the public to see. […]

Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL), who joined Gohmert at the press conference, pointed to theories advanced by conspiracy web sites like InfoWars and World Net Daily: The CIA was helping transfer arms from Libyan rebels to Syrian rebels and that could explain what motivated the attack that killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and others.

Gohmert and West are fringe figures who are easy to ignore, but note that House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is scheduling yet another round of hearings on Benghazi; a variety of congressional Republicans can’t even engage in a debate over U.S. policy in Syria because of their preoccupation with Benghazi conspiracy theories; House Republicans continue to gather signatures – they’re up to 170 members – for a special committee to investigate what other committees have already investigated; notable GOP lawmakers like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) exploit right-wing suspicions with foolish Benghazi op-eds; and Fox’s obsession is never-ending.

This really isn’t healthy. The questions have been answered; the deadly incident has been closely examined; and the allegations have been discredited. There’s just no point in pretending otherwise. Even some congressional Republican staffers have begun openly mocking GOP lawmakers who can’t let go of this nonsense.

But the usual suspects can’t help themselves.

Looking back over the last several months, Republicans, most of whom seem to realize that this conspiracy theory is baseless, have periodically latched onto other shiny objects that come to their attention. But as they come and go, Benghazi has become the fallback “scandal” – it’s the one the right returns to when they have nothing else to do.

Politico reported in early July, “After months of fiery hearings and vows to get to the bottom of Benghazi, House Republicans are now barely making a peep when it comes to an issue they once couldn’t stop talking about.” And that was true at the time because GOP lawmakers had found other things to do. But notice that, when given half a chance, the party goes right back to the story.

It’s obvious this simply won’t go away. Ever. There are those who believe the Clintons killed Vince Foster; there are those who think the moon landing was faked; and there are those who argue there was a Benghazi cover-up they can neither identify nor explain.

It is a theory impervious to fact and evidence, and nothing will change that.

Benghazi

The conspiracy theory that just won't fade

Updated