Late last year, an independent investigation of the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi concluded, and its scathing criticisms of the State Department were striking. The panel tasked with getting answers pointed to “systemic failures” and “management deficiencies,” which culminated in four American deaths.
The review board, led in part by retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did not, however, tell Republicans what they wanted to hear. The independent investigation left Hillary Clinton largely unscathed, did not accuse Susan Rice of any wrongdoing, and left Republican conspiracy theories looking like “pure fiction.”
So, House GOP leaders, unsatisfied with independent analysis, decided it was time for a more partisan review of the facts as Republicans hoped to see them. And guess what? House Republicans found in their own report that former Secretary of State Clinton was partly to blame for the deadly attack after all. Imagine that.
Richard Shinnick was a member of the independent review board that reported the facts in December, and he appears unimpressed with the GOP’s findings. The former Foreign Services officer with 27 years of experience said of the Republican claims, “It’s all bull—-, it’s all total bull—-.”
It’s led House Democrats to take the offensive.
Republicans should apologize to Hillary Clinton for the “false accusations” that she personally signed off on security cuts at the Benghazi mission prior to last year’s attack, the top Democrat on the House oversight panel said Thursday.
The allegations are “false, extremely irresponsible, and lack even a rudimentary understanding of how State Department cables are processed,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote in a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “I respectfully request that you retract your erroneous staff report and apologize to Secretary Clinton on behalf of your Chairmen and your Republican conference.”
The apology may be warranted, but it’s not likely to happen – House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) yesterday promised to begin more Benghazi hearings in May. Why? Because the right still sees value in using the terrorist attack as a political cudgel.
What a farce.