Republican Hypocrisy on Benghazi

Exclusive: Official Washington is obsessing over the Benghazi “scandal,” proof that the Republicans and their right-wing media can make the smallest things big and the biggest things small. It is a disparity that has distorted how Americans understand their recent history, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

You have to hand it to the Republicans and their right-wing media: they are persistent in pushing their conspiracy theories no matter how improbable or insignificant, just as they are relentless in covering up GOP wrongdoing even when that behavior strikes at the heart of democratic institutions or costs countless lives.

So, we have the contrast between the nine high-profile hearings about last September’s Benghazi attack and Republican determination to cover up Watergate, Iran-Contra, Iraq-gate, Contra-cocaine trafficking, and the two October Surprise cases (sabotaging President Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam peace talks in 1968 and subverting President Jimmy Carter’s Iran-hostage negotiations in 1980).

In those cases and others, Republicans not only suppressed evidence but mounted counteroffensives against brave whistleblowers, diligent government investigators and conscientious journalists. The GOP and its right-wing media took pleasure in punishing anyone who dug up troublesome truths, even a conservative Republican such as Iran-Contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh.

The Republicans also showed little or no interest in delving into the facts surrounding terrorist incidents on George W. Bush’s watch, including his failure to protect the nation from the 9/11 attacks, or examining his war crimes, such as his deceptive case for invading Iraq and his approval of torture against “war on terror” detainees.

Granted, part of the blame for those short-circuited investigations must fall on the Democrats and the mainstream news media for lacking the courage and integrity to pursue investigations in the face of Republican obstructionism.

With only a few exceptions, Democrats have shied away from confrontations with Republicans, sometimes fretting that a full accounting might not be “good for the country.” Mainstream news executives, too, have shown a lack of stomach for going toe to toe with angry Republicans and their ferocious propagandists.

Thus, there has been a systematic crumbling of investigative will when the subject of a scandal is a Republican. But near-opposite rules apply when the subject is a Democrat. No matter how flimsy the evidence, Republicans and the Right demonstrate a boundless determination to build a mountain of scandal out of a molehill of suspicions.

The cumulative impact of this investigative imbalance has been that the narrative of modern American history has been wildly distorted. [See Robert Parry’s America’s Stolen Narrative.]

Nixon’s ‘Treason’

For instance, few people know that Richard Nixon launched his extra-legal spying team in 1971 because he was frantically searching for a file that President Johnson had compiled on how Nixon’s campaign had sabotaged the Vietnam peace talks in 1968 to get an edge in that close election.

Privately, Johnson termed Nixon’s actions “treason,” but LBJ and his top aides agreed to stay silent out of concern that the story was so disturbing it might shake public faith in a prospective Nixon administration if disclosing the facts did not stop his election.

“Some elements of the story are so shocking in their nature that I’m wondering whether it would be good for the country to disclose the story and then possibly have a certain individual [Nixon] elected,” said Defense Secretary Clark Clifford in a conference call with Johnson on Nov. 4, 1968. “It could cast his whole administration under such doubt that I think it would be inimical to our country’s interests.”

However, staying silent also didn’t turn out to be very “good for the country.” After torpedoing Johnson’s peace deal, Nixon continued the Vietnam War for more than four years at the cost of some 20,000 more American dead, possibly a million more Vietnamese killed and the political discord that divided the U.S. population, turning parents against their own children.

Though not divulging Nixon’s dirty trick, LBJ did order his national security adviser Walt Rostow to remove the top-secret file containing the wiretap evidence of Nixon’s back-channel contacts urging South Vietnam to spurn the peace talks. Nixon later learned from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover of the file’s existence, but Nixon’s top aides, H.R. “Bob” Haldeman and Henry Kissinger, could not locate it.

The missing file became a point of urgency for Nixon in June 1971 when the New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, the secret history of the Vietnam War from 1945 to 1967, chronicling mostly Democratic lies that had ensnared the United States in Vietnam. However, Nixon knew something that few others did: there was a sequel that was arguably even more disgusting than the original.

That was the context for Nixon’s order to bring in ex-CIA officer E. Howard Hunt to organize a team of burglars. Their first target was to be the Brookings Institution where some of Nixon’s aides believed the missing file was hidden in the safe. Hunt’s team later spearheaded a series of spying operations that were exposed on June 17, 1972, when five burglars were caught inside the Democratic National Committee’s offices at the Watergate.

Over the next two years, the Watergate scandal led to Nixon’s political undoing, but the investigations remained focused on the cover-up, not the far-more-damning background of the foiled break-in.

With Rostow and other ex-LBJ aides still sitting on what they knew and with Republicans circumscribing the scope of the investigation and with the news media enamored of its new favorite saying, “the cover-up is worse than the crime” the Watergate inquiry never got around to explaining why Nixon started the burglary team in the first place, i.e. to conceal his blood-drenched “treason.”

Even four decades later, the conventional wisdom on Watergate that it was a one-off case of Nixon’s political paranoia followed by a foolhardy cover-up allows Republicans such as Sen. John McCain of Arizona to claim that the Benghazi case is worse than Watergate because no one died in Watergate. [For a fuller treatment of the real Watergate scandal and other Republican successes in frustrating investigations, see Robert Parry’s America’s Stolen Narrative.]

The Nothing Benghazi Scandal

But the absurdity of the Benghazi “scandal” is that like the intensely investigated Whitewater “scandal” of the 1990s this Republican obsession is a non-scandal.

Yes, four U.S. personnel died in what appears to have been a coordinated attack by an Islamic extremist group on a lightly guarded U.S. mission (which had become a base for CIA operations). And there are legitimate questions about levels of security for these quasi-diplomatic outposts.

However, the “scandal” part of the story has centered on an absurd notion: that the Obama administration conducted a cover-up because it didn’t want to admit that Islamic terrorists remained active after the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.

The “proof” of this Benghazi cover-up has been that UN Ambassador Susan Rice went on Sunday talk shows and made comments derived from “talking points” that referred to the confusing circumstances of unrest preceding the Benghazi attack and blamed the lethal assault on “extremists,” not “terrorists” or an al-Qaeda affiliate.

What makes this “scandal” absurd is that President Barack Obama had already counted the Benghazi attack as among those “acts of terror” that, he said, would not shake America’s “resolve.” He did so in the Rose Garden the day after the assault.

Thus, the Republican conspiracy theory about Obama seeking to black-out the terrorism connection to Benghazi because he wanted voters to believe that he had defeated al-Qaeda makes no sense. Obama himself inserted the terror meme, as Mitt Romney learned during the second presidential debate when the Republican  nominee famously blundered into a correction from CNN’s Candy Crowley.

A review of the various drafts of Rice’s “talking points” also reveals that the U.S. intelligence community believed, at the time, that the Benghazi attack was an outgrowth of similar protests raging across the Middle East against an American video that ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad. That impression of cause and effect also was common among major U.S. newspapers.

So, Rice appears to have been giving her rendition of the best available intelligence at the time. And she was doing so on TV talk shows, not in some official setting such as a congressional hearing or a legal proceeding.

In case no one has noticed, it is common practice on Sunday talk shows for political figures to spin the facts to benefit their favored positions. If the new standard for scandal is some misstatement on a TV talk show, there will be no end to such “scandals.”

Strange Testimony

The latest Benghazi hearing on Wednesday went off in a somewhat different direction, centering on the account of Gregory Hicks, the then-deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli who on Sept. 11, 2012 was some 400 miles away from the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. personnel.

Hicks’s chief complaint was that military commanders from the Africa Command overruled the leader of a four-member Special Operations team who wanted to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi to join the fight against Ansar al-Sharia, the extremist group that was claiming credit for the attack.

In melodramatic and self-serving testimony, Hicks recounted how the disappointed team commander told him: “I have never been so embarrassed in my life that a State Department officer has bigger balls than somebody in the military.”

However, Hicks also testified that he was worried about the dangers of rushing reinforcements to Benghazi. Embassy workers had learned that “the ambassador was in a hospital controlled by Ansar al-Sharia, the group whose Twitter feed said it was leading the attack on the consulate,” Hicks said, adding that he also got several phone calls saying “you can come get the ambassador, we know where he is.”

That prompted his concern about “wading into a trap,” and he noted that Ansar al-Sharia also “was calling on an attack on our embassy in Tripoli.”

Pentagon officials offered a parallel explanation for the decision to hold back on rushing the four-member team to Benghazi, claiming the team could not have reached Benghazi in time to help and was needed for the protection of the Embassy in Tripoli.

Anyone who has been involved with or has covered chaotic events like a surprise terrorist attack would understand how difficult it is to make split-second decisions with limited or contradictory information. To second-guess commanders hesitant to risk more loss of life by hastily dispatching soldiers into a dangerous and confusing situation is the sort of thing that gives Monday-morning-quarterbacking a bad name.

The GOP Legal Team

There also should be some red flags over Hicks’s choice of legal counsel, the highly partisan Republican husband-and-wife team of Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing. The two have played roles in both covering up Republican scandals and in ginning up Democratic ones.

For instance, Toensing was a leading force in smearing former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, who was an undercover CIA officer until George W. Bush’s administration exposed Plame’s CIA work as part of an effort to discredit Wilson for criticizing one of Bush’s false claims about Iraq’s WMD.

On Feb. 18, 2007, Toensing went so far as to pen a Washington Post Outlook article “indicting” Wilson and other Americans who tried to hold Bush’s aides accountable for destroying Plame’s career. Besides denouncing Wilson, Toensing disparaged Plame’s undercover work at the CIA by contending that Plame did not qualify for protection under a law protecting the identity of covert intelligence officers. Toensing wrote that “Plame was not covert. She worked at CIA headquarters and had not been stationed abroad within five years of the date” of her exposure.

Though it might not have been clear to a reader, Toensing was hanging her claim about Plame not being “covert” on a contention that Plame didn’t meet the coverage standards of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Toensing’s claim was legalistic at best since it obscured the larger point that Plame was working undercover in a classified CIA position and was running agents abroad whose safety would be put at risk by an unauthorized disclosure of Plame’s identity.

But Toensing, who promoted herself as an author of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, wasn’t even right about the legal details. The law doesn’t require that a CIA officer be “stationed” abroad in the preceding five years; it simply refers to an officer who “has served within the last five years outside the United States.”

That would cover someone who while based in the United States went abroad on official CIA business, as Plame testified under oath in a congressional hearing that she had done within the five-year period.

Toensing, who appeared as a Republican witness at the same congressional hearing on March 16, 2007, was asked about her bald assertion that “Plame was not covert.”

“Not under the law,” Toensing responded. “I’m giving you the legal interpretation under the law and I helped draft the law. The person is supposed to reside outside the United States.” But that’s not what the law says, either. It says “served” abroad, not “reside.”

When asked whether she had spoken to the CIA or Plame about Plame’s covert status, Toensing said, “I didn’t talk to Ms. Plame or the CIA. I can just tell you what’s required under the law. They can call anybody anything they want to do in the halls” of the CIA. In other words, Toensing had no idea about the facts of the matter; she didn’t know how often Plame might have traveled abroad in the five years before her exposure; Toensing didn’t even get the language of the statute correct.

At the Plame hearing, Toensing was reduced to looking like a quibbling kook who missed the forest of damage done to U.S. national security, to Plame and possibly to the lives of foreign agents for the trees of how a definition in a law was phrased, and then getting that wrong, too.

Protecting Bush Senior

DiGenova, who along with Toensing sat behind Hicks during his congressional testimony on Wednesday, also has performed as a legal hatchet-man for the Republicans. For instance, after the 1992 election, diGenova was chosen by a Republican-controlled judicial panel to head up an investigation into President George H.W. Bush’s attempt to disqualify his Democratic rival, Bill Clinton, by digging up dirt in Clinton’s passport file.

Though the evidence of Bush’s dirty trick was overwhelming and Bush essentially admitted to ordering it diGenova found every imaginable excuse to let the ex-President off the hook. DiGenova’s investigation cleared Bush and his administration of any wrongdoing, saying the probe “found no evidence that President Bush was involved in this matter.”

However, FBI documents that I reviewed at the National Archives presented a different picture. Speaking to diGenova and his investigators in fall 1993, former President Bush said he had encouraged then-White House chief of staff James Baker and other aides to investigate Clinton and to make sure the information got out.

“Although he [Bush] did not recall tasking Baker to research any particular matter, he may have asked why the campaign did not know more about Clinton’s demonstrating” against the Vietnam War while he was studying in England, said the FBI interview report, dated Oct. 23, 1993.

“The President [Bush] advised that he probably would have said, ‘Hooray, somebody’s going to finally do something about this.’ If he had learned that the Washington Times was planning to publish an article, he would have said, ‘That’s good, it’s about time.’

“Based on his ‘depth of feeling’ on this issue, President Bush responded to a hypothetical question that he would have recommended getting the truth out if it were legal,” the FBI wrote in summarizing Bush’s statements. “The President added that he would not have been concerned over the legality of the issue but just the facts and what was in the files.”

Bush also said he understood how his impassioned comments about Clinton’s loyalty might have led some members of his staff to conclude that he had “a one-track mind” on the issue. He also expressed disappointment that the Clinton passport search uncovered so little. “The President described himself as being indignant over the fact that the campaign did not find out what Clinton was doing” as a student studying abroad, the FBI report said.

Bush’s comments seem to suggest that he had pushed his subordinates into a violation of Clinton’s privacy rights. But diGenova, who had worked for the Reagan-Bush Justice Department, already had signaled to Bush that the probe was going nowhere.

At the start of the Oct. 23, 1993, interview, which took place at Bush’s office in Houston, diGenova assured Bush that the investigation’s staff lawyers were “all seasoned prof[essional] prosecutors who know what a real crime looks like,” according to FBI notes of the meeting. “[This is] not a gen[eral] probe of pol[itics] in Amer[ica] or dirty tricks, etc., or a general license to rummage in people’s personal lives.”

As the interview ended, two of diGenova’s assistants Lisa Rich and Laura Laughlin asked Bush for autographs, according to the FBI’s notes on the meeting. Naturally, the ever-appeasing Democrats did nothing to challenge diGenova’s cover-up in defense of the well-liked ex-President.  [For details, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege.]

In other words, diGenova and Toensing are personifications of Official Washington’s double standards on investigations. When the target is a Democrat (or someone causing trouble for a Republican), the husband-and-wife legal team twists whatever facts are available into some terrible scandal. Yet, when a Republican has engaged in illicit activities, diGenova and Toensing find a way to spin those facts in the most innocent of ways.

The Benghazi “scandal” is just the latest example of how Democrats fall through the ice when a Republican would skate away.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

36 comments for “Republican Hypocrisy on Benghazi

  1. Elsie
    May 12, 2013 at 14:51

    One thing in common concerning all these mistakes is that it is our government, albiet, Dem or Rep making the bad choices. We donate billions to our enemies but cannot spend the money neccessary to save our citizens.

  2. Tony
    May 11, 2013 at 10:49

    End result of these investigations: Politicians are found to be engaging in politics, and spinning things to make themselves look favorable. I’m shocked, shocked I say!

    It would be entertaining if the entire book was opened on Benghazi-particularly what went on there during previous years (e.g. if it was an rendition site).

    • Don Bacon
      May 11, 2013 at 11:41

      Oh yeah, it was a rendition site. Why can’t they just forgive and forget? And Stevens was in the middle of it — he had two previous tours in Libya, including back when Gaddafi was an ally (as late as 2010) and was doing some torture for the US.

      One of the suspects in the Benghazi attack is Ahmed Hamouda bin Qumu who is a graduate of Gitmo, sent back to Libya, nurtured by Stevens to do the anti-Gaddafi thing (Gaddafi was now an enemy), and was recently injured in Libya. Talk about turn-about.

      Hey, stay tuned, the militias the US spawned attacked the French embassy last month and now threaten the US embassy in Tripoli. It ain’t over ’til it’s over, as the bad results of yet another US military attack develop, as they always do. Meanwhile there will be no end to the lies and coverups by the righteous few.

      • F. G. Sanford
        May 11, 2013 at 12:23

        You’re right. What cracks me up is that they keep referring to it as “the embassy” in Benghazi. Benghazi was a consular annex, not the embassy. As head of the diplomatic mission in Libya, Stevens would have had no legitimate reason to be there. Both sides are “covering up” the real “cover-up”. It’s a farce, and both sides know it.

        • Don Bacon
          May 11, 2013 at 14:49

          Immediately after the attack neither Clinton nor Rice nor anybody in government called this CIA nest a “consulate” but it was often referred to as such. In fact the White House – Carney – recently said that the only change the WH wanted on the talking points was to change ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic post.’

          Of course it wasn’t a ‘diplomatic post’ either any more than Raymond Davis was a ‘diplomat’ after he offed two Pakistani agents. But traditionally State gives cover to CIA which is what they have done in Benghazi. and so State is taking the fall for CIA. And the Repubs know it, but they want to get them some Dems. Even talk of impeachment, now, of Obama.

          Currently the US embassy in Tripoli is threatened — stay tuned.

  3. Tony
    May 11, 2013 at 10:46

    For the right-wingers posting here, do you really think these “investigations” into Benghazi would be going on if Romney or McCain were in charge? Before you answer, please consider the number of these sorts of attacks/deaths that happened under Bush.

  4. Don Bacon
    May 11, 2013 at 10:44

    Ambassador Stevens was involved in CIA activities in Benghazi, where there was a CIA operation. It wasn’t a consulate. CIA wqas responsible for security in Benghazi, but they blew it. But since the US can’t talk honestly about CIA, State is taking the fall for a CIA failure.

    Daily Beast, May 10, 2013
    In Benghazi, CIA Trusted Local Militia That Melted Away
    The agency seemed unaware prior to the attack of how unreliable or possibly compromised the February 17 militia actually was, reports Eli Lake.

    CIA officers at the Benghazi mission’s annex had responsibility for vetting the Libyan militia that they counted on, but failed to arrive, as one of the first responders on the night of the 9-11 anniversary attacks last September, according to U.S. intelligence officers and U.S. diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

    Yet the CIA has managed to avoid much Congressional scrutiny as House Republicans turn attention to the dramatic testimony of two new State Department whistleblowers this week that testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

  5. Speed
    May 11, 2013 at 10:08

    When are people going to wake up and realize that our elected officials – from both parties – are merely puppets and figureheads, and that the vast unelected government is actually in the driver’s seat? God only knows what kind of black ops the CIA and Pentagon are running over there. Just as dissident groups in the 60s were loaded with government infiltrators, informants and agents provocateur, “Al Qaeda” and similar “terrorist” groups today are mere puppet shows. Educate yourself about Operation Gladio, America, before it’s too late. Obama and Bush are in office for a brief time, but the National Security State lives forever.

  6. May 11, 2013 at 00:16

    Fluent Arabic speaking US Diplomat Died for Our Sins

    When four US navy seals defying orders came in and tried to rescue Ambassador Stevens they couldn’t find him, but when Liberians who liked the US came in afterwords they had no trouble finding a choking from smoke I think self appointed martyr. His death and the perception among most Muslims that the least guilty American was the first American killed in retaliation for the hate Mohammad smear, cooled the riots from getting 100 times worse in tit for tat violence, followed by al Qaeda taking a new step foreword in repressing a wayward woman mowing one down gangland style.

    For an earlier more detailed version of these comments google “Ambassador Stevens is a hero, Four Heroes who ended a Helter Skelter Chain”

    A boyish looking man with no facial hair was called in a tent and spouted a well-manicured Renascence Christ-like beard, and was meticulously clean like the Renaissance religious images but became wild and woolen and blood splattered by the last scene.

    A less successful peace martyr was a friend I knew in Philadelphia a generation ago. Kathy Chang wrote and danced for peace year after year but then she changed her name to Kathy Change and hand delivered her book length series of writings to all the papers and magazines in the Philadelphia area, then set herself on fire in front of the peace statue at the University of Pennsylvania, only the University City News published excerpts of her writings. Thank you Kathy and Ambassador Stevens for dying so the rest of us can live.

    • Don Bacon
      May 11, 2013 at 10:31

      There were no “Navy Seals” on scene — they were CIA mercs.

  7. james a christmas
    May 10, 2013 at 22:48

    you people make me sick …… when are you going to realize both parties need to be held accountable for their screw ups. the current admin. got caught lieing it that simple . you are suppose to take care of the people your in charge of but you don’t hang them out to dry and then lie about it. you people remind me of the football fans argueing over who has the better team the so called parties are doing as they please while you argue over what party is better. wake then maybe this country can get back on track when we stop argueing and hold all politicains accountable ……

    • Don Bacon
      May 11, 2013 at 10:30

      But State apparently “wasn’t in charge of” its own ambassador when he went rogue, working again for the CIA in Benghazi when his proper place of duty was Tripoli. State-CIA — like a bad marriage.

  8. Tom Blanton
    May 10, 2013 at 22:29

    That political cult tells bigger lies than my political cult.

    So, vote for my cult leaders because they aren’t as evil as the leaders of that other cult.

    Besides, my cult leaders only lie when it’s for the greater good.

    • Don Bacon
      May 11, 2013 at 10:33

      The soap-powder the Dems are selling is that they could do a proper job if the Repubs would only let them. I’ve got this bridge . . .

  9. mark phelan
    May 10, 2013 at 21:55

    hoping to read about why the site
    was attacked, what was going on
    there, etc. more than rehash of how
    the atlantic ocean isn’t big because
    there’s the pacific..

  10. Susanna
    May 10, 2013 at 19:53

    It should be obvious by now that in the republicans we are dealing with a pack of devious and, ultimately, dangerous-to-this-country sociopaths. The reason d’être for their latest scam is, I believe, that they know that if Hillary runs in 2016 they won’t stand a chance to regain the presidency. How best to circumvent that outcome? Side-line her now. It’s a transparent ploy that I hope becomes very obvious to the voters. Shame on the republicans for continuing to waste our time and money on their sick games!

    • Don Bacon
      May 11, 2013 at 10:36

      But what about the lies? A US ambassador died while he was involved in shipping arms to Syrian rebels and the administration lied about it, and tried to cover it up — blaming it on a movie, no less.

      • gregorylkruse
        May 11, 2013 at 13:52

        Most of the commenters are unaware of Parry’s oft-repeated theme: Republican sociopaths cause chaos and destruction, and Democrats help them hide the results because they think the truth will cause too much chaos and destruction.

  11. F. G. Sanford
    May 10, 2013 at 19:21

    What an obsequious little creep Hicks showed himself to be in the hearing: “Yes, sir, no sir, three bags full, sir, and sir, did I mention that I have big balls, sir? Not that you wouldn’t have deduced that, sir, by looking at my frighteningly masculine pecker-head tonsure, sir”. Obviously, the little repartee between him and the panel had been thoroughly rehearsed. Toensing is of course a despicable charlatan and the whole thing is a farce, but if there is one silver lining, it would be that that cackling old hag Hillary and that hissing viper Susan Rice won’t be on the 2016 presidential ticket.

    • gregorylkruse
      May 11, 2013 at 13:49

      That just about covers it.

  12. Don Bacon
    May 10, 2013 at 19:10

    Ambassador Chris Stevens thought he could play CIA-agent again, as he had previously against Gaddafi, so he went to the CIA nest in Benghazi to coordinate some arms traffic to Syria including contact with his old jihadist buddies.

    Stevens was dabbling in affairs he thought he could control, but these affairs killed him. Call it symbolism for the whole failed US experience of using jihadists and then have them come back and bite the US.

    Is the administration going to come clean and present the full facts of why Stevens was in Benghazi getting himself killed? Of course not. So Clinton and the rest have had to take the fall caused by people (Republicans) who know full well why Stevens was in Benghazi, and so they’re enjoying themselves.

    May 10, 2013 at 18:55


  14. David Wergin
    May 10, 2013 at 18:33

    I am so sick of arguments like this argue that the Republicans coverups justify the Democrat coverups.
    Leftist media types like you are complicit in that you provide cover to Obama and Clinton when they probably
    Are trying to hide much more significant lies than Watergate. And by the way, I recall that it was Republicans joining
    Democrats in threat of impeachment that allowed the Republican leadership to persuade Nixon to resign. No Republicans
    Are no better than Democrats but the difference is that today the media is acting like a mouth piece for Obama. Where is
    the Bob Woodward of the Bengazi story? There must be someone with the guts to dig out the truth on this story. Unless of course
    They don’t really want the truth?

  15. A
    May 10, 2013 at 18:11

    drip, drip, drip, drip…

  16. Republicult
    May 10, 2013 at 18:09

    The Republicans really need to clean up their own terrible mess of appalling scandals first. You’ve touched on one of two scandals of the Reagan administration that have never been fully exposed and resolved. The first started with Reagan’s lies during the 1980 campaign with his ad nausea repetition of his campaign’s mantra, “No negotiations with terrorists!”. It is easily the greatest lie ever told to America, given the facts that Reagan had been secretly negotiating with the Ayatollah Khomeini to keep Americans held hostage until after the 1980 election. Reagan had agreed also to ship America’s military weapons to this one terrorist nation, whose American nightly news coverage featured Iran’s mantra, “Death to America.”
    The second collection of lies were all about the Beirut/Grenada debacle, and included Reagan’s disarming of the Marines stationed in Beirut, the bombing of the Marine barracks, the attempt to coverup the fact he had forbidden the Marines to have loaded weapons in civil war torn Beirut, his lying to America that the Marines had “defended themselves against the attackers”, the subsequent invasion of Grenada and killing of many civilians as a ploy to change the subject from Beirut to
    the victorious conquest of Grenada…

    These horrific scandals have never gotten their due. The gravity of the lies and the failures of policy dog us to this day. But as treason is still a crime without a statute of limitations, these Republicans need to get on with convicting and punishing the “perpetraitors” while the remaining American criminals are still alive.

    May 10, 2013 at 17:42

    The hypocrisy is in the Republican and the Democratic silence on the illegal invasion of Libya which did not have the supposed Congressional approval. Only Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader and Ron Paul were among the very few public figures who called for the impeachment of Obama for his illegal actions. Obama, because of his complicity in the illegal invasion of Libya is responsible for the deaths of more Africans than any US President in recent history.


    “Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton appeared like ghoulish despots at a Roman Coliseum, reveling in their Libyan gladiators’ butchery.”

    Last week the whole world saw, and every decent soul recoiled, at the true face of NATO’s answer to the Arab Spring. An elderly, helpless prisoner struggled to maintain his dignity in a screaming swirl of savages, one of whom thrusts a knife [4] up his rectum. These are Europe and America’s jihadis in the flesh. In a few minutes of joyously recorded bestiality, the rabid pack undid every carefully packaged image of NATO’s “humanitarian” project in North Africa – a horror and revelation indelibly imprinted on the global consciousness by the brutes’ own cell phones.

    Nearly eight months of incessant bombing by the air forces of nations that account for 70 percent of the world’s weapons spending, all culminating in the gang-bang slaughter of Moammar Gaddafi, his son Mutassim and his military chief of staff, outside Sirte. The NATO-armed bands then displayed the battered corpses for days in Misurata – the city that had earlier made good on its vow to “purge Black skin” through the massacre and dispersal of 30,000 darker residents of nearby Tawurgha – before disposing of the bodies in an unknown location.

  18. Uncle Sam
    May 10, 2013 at 17:04

    LOL the obligatory blame the “Military Industrial Complex” post. I am wasting my time here. Cheers Comrads!

    • gregorylkruse
      May 11, 2013 at 13:46

      Good riddance.

  19. Jon Shafer
    May 10, 2013 at 17:00

    The following was sent to USA Today in response to their article Thursday, May 9, 2013, about Benghazi. Some of the contents quote Robert Parry.

    With regard to Mr. Gregory Hicks and the whistle-blowing finger pointing over the U.S. ambassador killing, there is an explanation.

    One is that our foreign policy is run from the CIA/military industrial complex, and that the State Department, once the supreme cabinet post, is little more today than a mouthpiece for the Pentagon. We are driven by our preemptive war military lust for regime change and the business-of-war, inasmuch as it seems the U.S. economy runs on war profiteering as the world’s largest exporter of weapons of war.

    Then the political finger-waving from Republican and Democratic leaders, intermixed with the wavering admissions: at first, just a violent protest, then suddenly it was terrorism. Funny how our State Department can just instantly redefine the circumstances to suit the occasion which, of course, is more consistent with keeping the “war on terror” on its tracks as justification, and pretext, for whatever new military conflict we can engage in to keep the war dollars spilling in.

    In other words, our State Department is a club whose membership is essentially trained and professional liars. Worse, our complicit media sucks this propaganda up without question.

    How? Not once did I see in this Thursday account anything about CIA involvement. Maybe that helps explain Mr. Hicks’ anger at internal “retaliation” against him, that he knows things he really can’t talk about. That there are internal matters that are forbidden as open public discussion.

    Or Israel.

    Heaven forbid any connection to THAT coming up.

    Which brings us to a French journalist, Theirry Meyssan, who reported in Global Research some background of that controversial film said to enrage Muslims, and Israeli agents involved in the violence.

    Quoting Meyssan: “The controversial Muslim film “was produced by a Zionist group composed of Jews of double Israeli-American nationality and by an Egyptian Copt. It was completed several months ago but was released at a calculated moment to provoke riots targeting the United States” and adding that Israeli agents were deployed in several large cities with a mission to channel the rage of the crowd against American or Coptic targets (though not Israeli ones).”

    “Not surprisingly, their maximum effect was attained in Benghazi, the capital of Libya’s Cyrenaica region. This time, he says, the manipulation of the Benghazi crowd by Israeli agents had as its goal the assassination of the U.S. Ambassador, an act of war not seen since the Israeli bombardment of the USS Liberty by the Israeli Air Force and Navy in 1967.”

    If there is truth in this report, one can immediately understand all the cover-your-ass mentality going on between the State Department and the Pentagon. Not to mention right wing neocon Republican versions vis-a-vis Democratic confusion over a president who, aside of winning the black vote handily for reelection, somehow continues the preemptive war policies of Bush, his predecessor.

    Then Meyssan goes on to observe: “This constitutes the first assassination of an ambassador in the line of duty since 1979. The act is all the more grievous considering that in a country where the current central government is a purely legal fiction, the U.S. Ambassador was not merely a diplomat but was functioning as Governor, as the de facto head of state.”

    True, this is beginning to sound pretty wild. But this might further help explain the uproar and political finger-pointing prompted by Mr. Hicks’ testimony and frustrations before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee over the violence and assassination of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and others.

    Did all of this erupt over a movie, or was there a purpose behind the movie to create a reality and a context from it from which to pursue, and create, a “terrorist” atmosphere that is more deliberate fabrication for political and military objectives. And if so, whose?

    But we’re not done yet.

    And, separately, from Consortium News comes this report from Robert Parry, an investigative reporter who broke many of the Iran Contra stories of that period:

    “The Benghazi affair boils down to an easily resolved question as to why the U.S. intelligence community withheld some of the details in the immediate aftermath of the attack last Sept. 11.”

    And continuing: “The answers seem to be that the Benghazi consulate had evolved into a CIA base for secret operations and that U.S. intelligence didn’t want to tip off the attack’s perpetrators regarding how much the agency knew about their identities. So, the word “extremists” replaced specific groups and the CIA affiliation of two slain Americans was withheld.”

    This, then, seems to further explain the cover-your-ass mentality that runs through the U.S. Department of State culture, and not for public consumption. The CIA involvement, the reported involvement of Israeli operatives, that Ambassador Stevens may have been functioning as something much more than simply a diplomat.

    Of course, extreme nervousness over possible Israeli-Mossad involvement would keep our mainstream media, including USA Today, from considering these possibilities. We wouldn’t want to upset AIPAC, would we?

    So just in case my comments here stir the expected anti-semitic accusations that would keep USA Today silenced on this subject, not to mention The NY Times or Washington Post, some further thought from Rabbi Michael Lerner, head of the progressive Jewish think tank, Tikkun, based in Palo Alto, CA.

    And these are the Rabbi’s words, not mine:

    “… the idea that Israel is under constant threat, like the Jewish communities in Europe throughout the centuries, and that the IDF is the sole guarantor of our national and even individual security.”

    “Many people consider this a manipulation, as indeed it is. Under Netanyahu, says Tikkun, this has reached new heights (or depths). Jewish victimhood is bandied about as a totem that sanctifies all our policies: the occupation, the settlements, the oppression of the Palestinians, the rejection in practice of peace based on the two-state solution.”

    “It is also a political ploy. The constant reminders of existential dangers – in Iran, in Syria, in Egypt and elsewhere – are designed to rally the population around the leadership. In the recent election campaign, Netanyahu presented himself as a “strong leader for a strong state”. Never mind that he is actually a weakling, notorious for succumbing to foreign and internal pressures. Fear-mongering is his most effective instrument.”

    “The only real dangers facing Israel come from within. Mad policies, the continued occupation, the permanent war, the encroachment of fundamentalist religion – these are the real causes for worry.”


    A respected Rabbi’s words. And, yes, my own as well. We are living in an age of political bullshit in Washington, CIA/military industrial complex psy-ops government apologists on U.S. foreign policy based on a “terror” threat that is a self-sustaining producer of anti-Americanism, so we can wage preemptive war. It comes from the bowels of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, to torture, to ordered assassinations of anyone, domestic as well as foreign, without international rule of law or due process according to the very Constitution our president, members of Congress, the Supreme Court, Justice Department and the judiciary of the United States swear to “preserve, protect and defend.”

    George W. Bush once called the Constitution “just a goddamned piece of paper.”

    President Obama is, or was, a Constitutional lawyer. Has he, like Bush, violated his oath of office in continuing the Patriot Act, Homeland Security, NDAA and all that has happened since 9/11?

    (NOTE: Jon Shafer is a former Indiana newspaper government and political writer, UPI statehouse correspondent, newspaper editorial page editor. He’s served on a governor’s staff, on congressional staff, and limited broadcast news, radio and TV. He was among 144 signers, journalists from 39 countries in support of Wikileaks by the Global Investigative Journalist Network.)

    Further note: I have written on the bin Laden Navy Seals operation as a massive fabrication involving the CIA. There are substantial prior reports that bin Laden died in 2003 or before.

  20. Uncle Sam
    May 10, 2013 at 16:51

    Emails have been released that now show this administration fabricated the story of the spontaneous demonstration in order not to appear incompetent for not protecting our ambassador and his staff. As Noonan’s column points out, this also fit with the campaign’s them that Obama had defeated terrorism. I suspect now that Hillary, the suspected fabricator of the demonstration yarn, was thrown under the bus at today’s “Deep Background” briefing today. I understand partisanship can be a good thing but now is the time for all Americans to accept the truth and do what is best for our great country.

  21. s
    May 10, 2013 at 16:27


      May 12, 2013 at 10:38

      this is such crap… i dont give a sh-t what happened yrs ago . i care what didnt happen with this administration. they flat out lied to AMERICA AND HAVE BEEN CALLED OUT FOR IT!. quit the crap . own up to these pathetic claims of hypocrisy.. you people spin it any way to make your self feel better when in fact YOU KNOW this administration lied and didnt do the job.. ONE OF THE BIGGEST MISTAKES BY OUR COUNTRY IN MY LIFETIME WAS THE ELECTION OF OBAMA.. HE IS BY FAR THE WORST PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THIS NATION…

      • F. G. Sanford
        May 12, 2013 at 10:50

        Yes, Richard, and by contrast, Bush told…the truth?

        May 12, 2013 at 11:22


        • SB
          May 13, 2013 at 13:41

          @ Richard,

          We’ll own our so-called hypocrisy, when you own yours. The point FG is making that people such as yourself said nothing when Bush LIED about WMDs, needlessly killing THOUSANDS of Americans. Where was/is your outrage over that? Why weren’t Republicans (and Democrats alike) calling for the impeachment of Bush? Additionally, there were several embassy/consulate attacks under Bush, were you angry and demanding answers then? I seriously doubt it. Furthermore, why aren’t you outraged that Congress cut funding for embassy security? The Repulbicans are politicizing this tragedy plain and simple. I long for the day when people, such as yourself, pull their heads out of their a$$e$ and stop this blithering BS.

          • Elsie
            May 14, 2013 at 22:10

            In a nut shell, our government, both parties have turned against our people.

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