Thursday, May 9, 2013
You Got Your Benghazi Hearing,Now What?
I’m delighted that Gregory Hicks, Mark Thompson, and Eric Nordstrom were given a chance to give their version of the Benghazi September 11,2012 attacks. They were all career diplomats, who seemed to shy away from the polarization of the hearing by sticking to the facts, as they knew them. I think that their testimony was truthful, but they didn't offer any new facts.
I’m glad that every rock has been upturned, but the issue will not go away because the GOP will hang on to it for dear life. Wing nut Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said this issue is ten times worse than Watergate, and Iran Contra put together. I wonder if Mike Huckabee still thinks President Obama will get impeached over Benghazi? Then again, any president can be impeached; it's the removal part that’s difficult.
This morning, I was surprised that Joe Scarborough quoted the New York Times because he usually calls it a liberal rag that always quotes the democratic talking points. He held up the front page of the paper to show the headline, " Diplomat says Questions Over Benghazi Led to Demotion "and then went on to say that the administration would suffer dearly for that. Gregory Hicks said he was given a scathing review over his management style and yelled at by Sec. Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills for talking to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) without a State Department lawyer being present. Richard Wolffee, MSNBC contributor, called out Joe, reminding him that Cheryl Mills was known for screaming at people she was in command of, so that wasn’t a big deal to which Joe Scarborough told him that he was quoting democratic talking points and resorted to his bullying tactics of trying to shout over an opposing view . Joe Scarborough omitted the part in the article where a State Dept.spokesman,Patrick Ventrell said that the department had not and will not retaliate against Mr. Hicks. He also said Hicks had requested to shorten his assignment in Libya(understandable) and that he is on a temporary assignment with the same pay and has submitted his next job preference. Joe Scarborough still thinks the White House didn’t immediately call the attacks "terrorism" because it somehow would weaken the president’s foreign policy credentials in a presidential race. I disagree,mistakes were obviously made in informing the American public in their initial response but I think it was more about being cautious about overstating some facts that were not yet clear.
I watched the hearings on my iPad (without commercials) and followed my Twitter feed to get comments. Those on the right were highly upset that CNN, MSNBC and the other three networks were not covering the hearing gavel –to- gavel. Those on the left were questioning the necessity of the hearning;calling it a “witch hunt.” I can only image what went on Facebook.
I still don’t know why the three diplomats were called whistle blowers because they didn’t reveal anything damaging. At one point, it became the talking points Susan Rice gave but that’s been litigated, so we just heard about Gregory Hicks emotions when he heard Susan Rice say that the attacks were motivated by a video. The 22- year diplomat said more could have been done but the military says it was unaware of possible second and third forthcoming attacks and didn’t have the resources which could respond in a timely fashion anyway. We certainly had a security failure, and intelligence was lacking but that’s not what the hearing was about.