A picture shows the damage inside the burnt US consulate building in Benghazi on Sept. 13, 2012.
Photo by Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty

When even ‘definitive’ isn’t enough for the House GOP

Updated
Towards the end of the House Intelligence Committee’s report on the 2012 attack in Benghazi, the document notes that the panel’s findings were the result of two years of “intensive investigation,” which included careful review of thousands of pages of materials, 20 events and hearings, and extensive interviews.
 
“The report,” the Republican-led Committee concluded, “is therefore meant to serve as the definitive House statement on the Intelligence Community’s activities before, during and after the tragic events that caused the deaths of four brave Americans.”
 
And yet, even now, the House Republican leadership just doesn’t care.
House Speaker John A. Boehner announced Monday he will re-appoint Rep. Trey Gowdy as chairman of the Select Committee on the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya in the 114th Congress.
 
“On September 11, 2012, four Americans were killed in a brutal terrorist attack in Libya. Two years later, the American people still have far too many questions about what happened that night – and why,” Boehner said in a statement.
To date, Boehner, who didn’t want the Select Committee in the first place, has failed to identify even one of these questions that has not already been answered.
 
Several Senate Republicans don’t care, either.
Senate Republican leaders are under pressure from GOP lawmakers with presidential ambitions to join the House in investigating the 2012 Benghazi attack.
 
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), three young rising conservative stars who are weighing 2016 bids, say the Senate should participate in a joint investigation with the House.
This really is getting embarrassing.
 
As we talked about yesterday, the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, and the State Department’s independent Accountability Review Board have all published reports on the 2012 attack, and each found the same thing: none of the conspiracy theories are true.
 
In addition, the attack has been scrutinized by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Homeland Security Committee, the House Oversight Committee, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, each of which has held hearings, and each of which failed to find even a shred of evidence to bolster the conspiracy theorists.
 
Do Boehner and other Republicans believe their own allies are somehow in on the conspiracy? That GOP lawmakers in the House and Senate have somehow been co-opted into hiding imaginary evidence?
 
The “definitive” report, prepared by House Republicans on the Intelligence Committee, makes it painfully obvious that this story has run its course. It’s over. Done. Stick a fork in it.
 
And yet, there’s the hapless House Speaker, pointing to questions he can’t identify, saying what the nation really needs is … another committee.
 
The irony is, the far-right went looking for a scandal, and in the process, they created one themselves. The political scandal isn’t the attack that left four Americans dead in Libya, it’s the ugly exploitation of the tragedy by mindless partisans looking for electoral and fundraising gimmicks, raising the prospect of important questions that have already been answered repeatedly.
 

Benghazi, Conspiracy Theories and John Boehner

When even 'definitive' isn't enough for the House GOP

Updated