What Was Benghazi Investigation Really For?
After almost two years of incessant Conservative hawking of the Benghazi tragedy for political purposes, FINALLY… just listen for a minute… can you hear it? That’s the sound of stunned “what do we do now?” silence from the Right and their political media suck-ups as one more scandal balloon deflates. In fact, Chairman Issa’s “oversight” batting average should have sent him back to the minor leagues long ago.
It seems the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has concluded its Benghazi investigation, and voted to declassify their report which, according to Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) via the San Francisco Chronicle finds:
– Intelligence agencies were “warned about an increased threat environment, but did not have specific tactical warning of an attack before it happened.”
— “A mixed group of individuals, including those associated with al Qaeda, (Moammar) Khadafy loyalists and other Libyan militias, participated in the attack.”
— “There was no ‘stand-down order’ given to American personnel attempting to offer assistance that evening, no illegal activity or illegal arms transfers occurring by U.S. personnel in Benghazi, and no American was left behind.”
— The administration’s process for developing “talking points” was “flawed, but the talking points reflected the conflicting intelligence assessments in the days immediately following the crisis.”
Conservatives have done their best to keep the Benghazi balloon in the air with endless committees and investigations, as Steve Benen reports:
“… the deadly violence in Benghazi two years ago has now been investigated by the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, the independent State Department Accountability Review Board, the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform, and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
What Did the Benghazi Investigation Cost Us?
So what did this political witch hunt/swamp-walk by the “fiscally responsible” party cost taxpayers? According to the Associated Press:
The Pentagon says Congress’ multiple investigations of the deadly 2012 attack… have cost the department millions of dollars and thousands of hours of personnel time.
… the Pentagon described repetitive requests for information from about 50 congressional hearings, briefings and interviews…
On top of that, if Boehner’s House Select Committee goes ahead with their scheduled hearings in September, that will chalk up another $3 million or so.
In 2010, after becoming Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Darrell Issa told Politico:
“I want seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks.”
… he isn’t looking to catch witnesses off guard, saying that “oversight should be done with a balance for the American people and not as a gotcha.”