Much of the left is crowing about a report issued by the House Select Intelligence Committee under Congressman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) (R-AL)' chamber='house' mcid='R000575' ] on Benghazi. As might be expected from a supine committee that wallows in the sweet essence of comity they came off looking like Sergeant Schultz asserting that they know nothing. Via Kevin Drum of Mother Jones:
Is any of this true? The House Select Intelligence Committee—controlled by Republicans—has been investigating the Benghazi attacks in minute detail for two years. Today, with the midterm elections safely past, they issued their findings. Their exoneration of the White House was sweeping and nearly absolute. So sweeping that I want to quote directly from the report's summary, rather than paraphrasing it. Here it is:
- The Committee first concludes that the CIA ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi....Appropriate U.S. personnel made reasonable tactical decisions that night, and the Committee found no evidence that there was either a stand down order or a denial of available air support....
- Second, the Committee finds that there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks. In the months prior, the IC provided intelligence about previous attacks and the increased threat environment in Benghazi, but the IC did not have specific, tactical warning of the September 11 attacks.
- Third, the Committee finds that a mixed group of individuals, including those affiliated with Al Qa'ida, participated in the attacks....
- Fourth, the Committee concludes that after the attacks, the early intelligence assessments and the Administration's initial public narrative on the causes and motivations for the attacks were not fully accurate....There was no protest. The CIA only changed its initial assessment about a protest on September 24, 2012, when closed caption television footage became available on September 18, 2012 (two days after Ambassador Susan Rice spoke)....
- Fifth, the Committee finds that the process used to generate the talking points HPSCI asked for—and which were used for Ambassador Rice's public appearances—was flawed....
- Finally, the Committee found no evidence that any officer was intimidated, wrongly forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement or otherwise kept from speaking to Congress, or polygraphed because of their presence in Benghazi. The Committee also found no evidence that the CIA conducted unauthorized activities in Benghazi and no evidence that the IC shipped arms to Syria.
It's hard to exaggerate just how remarkable this document is. It's not that the committee found nothing to criticize. They did. The State Department facility in Benghazi had inadequate security. Some of the early intelligence after the attacks was inaccurate. The CIA should have given more weight to eyewitnesses on the ground.
Indeed, the document is remarkable for just how much it flies in the face of what has already been revealed, in public testimony under oath.
In fact, it is such a stretch that it has provoked even Lindsay Graham
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday blasted a House GOP-led investigation that recently debunked myths about the 2012 Benghazi attack.
“I think the report is full of crap,” Graham said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The House Intelligence Committee released a report on Friday evening, which took two years to compile, that found there was no outright intelligence failure during the attack, there was no delay in the rescue of U.S. personnel and there was no political cover-up by Obama administration officials.
After Graham was asked whether the report exonerates the administration, he initially ignored the question, and then eventually said “no.”
Fortunately, this report is dispostive of exactly nothing. It is one of several haphazard investigations carried out by various House committees before House Speaker Boehner created a select committee to investigate Benghazi.
The left desperately needs this problem to go away. Any first tier candidate they put forward in 2016, such as Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, was up to their eyeballs in the Benghazi cover up. If this does not go away... and if Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) is worth his salt... his committee's investigation, the only one that really matters... he can keep this story alive throughout most of 2015 so it will be fresh in the public's mind as Hillary makes her decision to seek coronation.