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Democrats dismiss new Benghazi committee as 'a waste of time'

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff called House Republicans' latest investigation into the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi "a colossal waste of time."
A view inside the burnt US consulate building in Benghazi, Libya on September 13, 2012.
A view inside the burnt US consulate building in Benghazi, Libya on September 13, 2012.

California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said Democrats should refuse to participate in the House Republicans' latest investigation into the 9/11/2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, calling it "a colossal waste of time."

"We've had four bipartisan investigations of this already," Schiff said on Fox News Sunday. "The Republican conference is so fractured there's really only two things they agree on. They don't like "Obamacare," and we've had 50 votes on that, and they do like talking about Benghazi, so we've had four investigations on that. But I don't think it makes sense, really, for Democrats to participate. I think it's a tremendous red herring and a waste of taxpayer resources."

At least seven congressional committees have looked into the attack already, but on Friday House Speaker John Boehner announced the formation of a new select House select committee to look into the incident. Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens were killed in the attack. Although inquiries into the event have concluded with harsh criticism of the Obama administration -- including that the attack itself could have been avoided -- Republicans are convinced that there are yet nefarious White House schemes to be uncovered. Republicans are also hoping to use the incident to derail the presidential hopes of Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time of the attack. 

David Plouffe, a former senior adviser to the White House, told ABC News on Sunday that the attack has "been politicized like we’ve never seen before." 

A new email from the time of the incident was released last week that showed deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes arguing that the talking points "underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy." The Benghazi attack occured contemporaneously with protests around the Middle East sparked in part by an anti-Muslim video on the Internet. The CIA initially believed the Benghazi attack was linked to the video, but Republicans are nevertheless convinced that Rhodes email proves the White House was determined to cover up the incident. 

Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham told CBS News in an interview Sunday that the Rhodes email proved Obama administration was still "hiding things."

There are effectively two Benghazi attacks now, msnbc host Chris Hayes said this week. One is the incident that actually occurred, and the other is the way it happened in the imaginations of the Republican Party base, which Hayes calls "hashtag Benghazi." 

"Hashtag Benghazi isn't a real place where real people died horrible deaths," Hayes said, "It's the alternate universe of endless conspiracy theorizing and propaganda that has sucked the entire right wing media into a paranoid vortex."