Friday, October 30, 2015

Des Moines Register Editorial: Benghazi Committee "Nothing But A Political Tool For The GOP"

The Des Moines Register editorial board criticized the House Select Committee on Benghazi, writing that it's time to "cut bait" on the endeavor because its most recent "exercise" proved that the committee is "nothing but a political tool for the GOP."

The committee, which Fox News clamored for and helped along by running over one thousand mostly myth-filled segments in the 20 months following the attack, has attempted to maintain its credibility despite admissions by prominent Republicans and Fox News itself that its intentions are "political" and aimed at hurting Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential chances.

The Register's October 29 editorial discussed the committee, and specifically Clinton's testimony at its October 22 hearing, and explained that while the 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya "was a matter deserving of close congressional scrutiny," answers to questions about the attack "were answered definitively more than a year ago." The editorial also criticized Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) for seeming "more and more like a conspiracy theorist and less and less like a congressman" in light of his many questions at the hearing about the personal relationship between Clinton and Sidney Blumenthal. The editorial continued:

The exercise seemed to confirm only what House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said recently, praising the committee's work as it relates to Clinton's then-declining poll numbers.

In defending the committee's work, Gowdy says he has interviewed 41 witnesses that no other committee interviewed, including seven who were eyewitnesses. But this claim simply underscores the fact that Gowdy has strayed far afield of previous investigations, broadening the scope of previous inquiries while still producing nothing of substance.

In fact, Gowdy says he is now focused on Clinton's emails -- but only, he insists, those that "relate to Libya and Benghazi." It's hard to conceive of any emails that would shed any sort of light on the tragedy in Benghazi. His time would be better spent looking into congressional refusals to provide funding, requested by the State Department, for additional security at foreign installations.

Now top Senate Democrats are asking the Republican National Committee to reimburse taxpayers for the committee's expenses. The Democratic request is political theater that only serves to heighten the partisan divide in Congress, but the Democrats are justified in their outrage.

The House Select Committee on Benghazi proved itself to be nothing but a political tool for the GOP -- one that cost the American taxpayers almost $5 million.

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