Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Scandal #1 - Benghazi

We have a couple of new 'scandals' here, and maybe the Republicans have just cried wolf too many times, but I've been struggling to find a reason to care.

Sure, four Americans died in Benghazi, and that's terrible. But more than 6,000 Americans have died in Iraq, and where are the hearings about that? Where's the outrage about the Bush Administration lies that got us to invade an innocent country?

Even in Benghazi, the real issue is whether or not we're protecting our diplomatic staff as well as we should. But that hasn't been the focus of Republican critics, maybe because they've been busy cutting spending on security, or maybe because we saw far more attacks - with almost three times as many Americans killed - during the Bush years.

So what's the latest? A journalist "quoted" government emails which he hadn't seen himself. Instead, Republican sources described what was in those emails,... and that so-called journalist believed them. As it turns out, they lied.

Keep in mind that this is just about the "talking points" supposedly used by the Obama Administration immediately after the attack, when they really didn't know a whole lot about it, not for sure. Well, why would you expect otherwise? And frankly, I'd be upset with our government if they didn't coordinate such things.

Lying would be different, of course - we had more than enough of that during the Bush Administration - but there's no indication that anyone lied. There was, no doubt, a lot of concern about covering their asses, with the CIA wanting to shift any blame to the State Department, and vice versa. But again, what would you expect?

But Republicans are desperate to attack the State Department, because the Secretary of State at the time was Hillary Clinton, who's the odds-on favorite to run for president in 2016. That's all this is about. And Republicans are quite willing to lie if that will help them politically. Well, we've see that over and over again, haven't we?

As Richard Eskow points out, Dan Rather lost his job for reporting a story that turned out to be untrue. He didn't know it was untrue, but Republicans demanded his head. And now, when the shoe is on the other foot? You know that no journalist will lose his job for this, because the phony story was aimed at Democrats.

He also points out that it was a Republican appointee from the Bush Administration who wrote those emails in the first place. Do you really think a "Dick Cheney appointee" is going to help Barack Obama cover up a scandal which might help the Republican Party? Really?

At any rate, there's absolutely no evidence of that. But if you need more about this, here's Stephen Colbert:

That's a lot funnier, at least, huh?

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