Sunday, February 17, 2013

McCain, Graham, and phony Republican outrage over Benghazi.

The Hagel nomination has been held up by Republicans and one of the excuses that has emerged for holding it up,  especially by the two most outspoken Republicans opposing Hagel, John McCain and Lindsay Graham, are their assertions that they aren't getting the whole truth behind what happened at Benghazi. Over on the House side we saw the vein popping Republican Congressman Dana Rorharabacher make a fool of himself as he often does, during a recent House hearing on Benghazi by comparing the initial administration explanation of the attack at Benghazi to Watergate, the scandal that almost destroyed Rorharbacher's party when a Republican president, every White House aide including two White House chiefs of staff, a number of White House counsels and two Republican attornys general along with a Republican appointed Director of the FBI were all found guilty of multiple felonies including obstruction of justice, and who subverted the U.S. constitution with abuses of power never before seen in the U.S. government and were sentenced to prison.  To Rorharbacher, Susan Rice's initial statements on Sunday morning TV talk shows  repeating  initial information  given to her  by intelligence agencies  that proved to be incorrect, was the same thing.

The outrage expressed and continuing to be expressed by Republicans and their stated desire to get to the bottom of what happened over the deaths of four Americans is as phony and hollow as Rorharbacher's analogy. Because the facts show it's not the deaths of four Americans in a terrorist attack that really matter to any of them. Those deaths are nothing more than political fodder and smoke screen for Republicans to use against a Democratic administration and a Defense Secretary nominee who, as a Republican,  bucked the party over the war in Iraq. 

Republicans have hammered away at the same questions about Benghazi and have used them in part as an excuse to hold up the confirmation of Hagel as Defense Secretary, their childish  way of poking a stick in the eye of the Obama Administration and Hagel himself.  Graham and McCain claim they want to know why there wasn't more protection at the embassy in Benghazi and claim they are outraged that the deaths of four Americans were, accordingt to them,  the result of Obama Administration State Department negligence.  And, they claim, they want answers.

They point to requests to the State Department for more protection for the Benghazi embassy that were ignored, and warnings of potential threats in a part of the world that was clearly dangerous and filled with anti-American sentiment. They accuse the State Department and the Obama Administration of fudging, of hiding, of not being honest about what happened that night, about trying to dodge responsibility and engineering a cover up. As recently as tody's Sunday morning talk shows, McCain was saying he hasnt gotten the answers to crucial questions.  And Republicans, headed by McCain and Graham accuse the State Department and the Obama Administration of doing nothing, of not heeding the warnings and therefore  being responsible for the deaths of four Americans by not responding adequately to the threats.

We know what Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Dana Rorharabacher and other Republicans have demanded to know and are still demanding to know about Benghazi in their self-righteous anger, according to them,  over the deaths of the four Americans.But  here is what Lindsay Graham, Dana Rorharabacher, John McCain, Mitch McConnell and other Republicans in the House and Senate didn't want to know.

They didn't want to know 12 years ago, why George W. Bush, the president from their own party, and Condoleeza Rice, his national security advisor ignored nine months of terrorist warnings from every intelligence service in the United States, including warnings from the outgoing president, outgoing National Security advisor, the directors of the FBI and CIA, and  their own White House head of anti-terrorism that the United States was going to be attacked by Al-Qaeda who represented the biggest threat to U.S. national security in the world.
 Republicans didn't want to know why one month before the 911 attack, on August 6, 2001, Bush was given an intelligence report that not only told him Al-Qaeda was going to conduct a terrorist attack against the United States within the United States, but that intelligence agencies had observed Al-Qaeda operatives who were already  in the United States and were in New York City conducting surveillance on New York office buildings. Even more damning,  the intelligence report told Bush that Al-Qaeda's plan of attack involved the hijacking of U.S. airliners.
McCain, Graham, McConnell, Rorharbacher or any other Republican didn't want to know why Bush ignored these warnings and did nothing, why he didn't act on these intelligence reports and the dire warnings that were being received as a result of intercepts of Al-Qaeda chatter, chatter that Richard Clarke said had spiked to the highest level in 20 years.   They also didn't want to know why Bush ignored dire warnings in August of 2001 from the CIA  that these interecepts indicated an attack was imminent and in the words of one CIA translation, was going to be "spectacular".

 Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Dana Rorharbacher and others didn't want to know back in 2002 why, when Richard Clarke testified that the threat of an Al-Qaeda attack was so great and so  imminent   that he and CIA director George Tenant were "running around the White House like men with their hair on fire" trying to get Condoleeza Rice and Bush to do something and that not only did Bush and Rice do nothing, Bush refused to even see  or even talk to them while he was on vacation in Crawford at Rice did nothing.

Neither Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Dana Rorharbacher or any other Republican ever  wanted to know why.  And they never asked.

None of them wanted to know why a Republican president ignored warnings for 9 months that resulted in the worst attack on American soil and the greatest loss of life on American soil at the hands of a foreign enemy in American history. None of them wanted to know how  the worst case of gross, even criminal negligence in regards to the national security of the United States in the country's history committed by a president of the United States could have happened. None threatened to hold up  a single nomination or piece of legislation until they were given the answers. None demanded an explanation as to why Bush and Rice ignored all those  warnings for nine months when they clearly could have prevented the 911 attacks has they been taken seriously. None of them demanded accountability for 3,000 Americans killed at the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon.  But now they are demanding accountability for four.

Last week for the first time in American history, a cabinet confirmation was filibustered by Republicans, keeping the country from having a Secretary of Defense for the next ten days and forcing Hagel, who is in no danger of not being confirmed,  to miss an important meeting with his European counterparts in Belgium and they used Benghazi as the excuse. It was also payback to Hagel for having the gall to attack Bush for lying the country into war in Iraq, lying about the yellow cake Sadaam was supposedly importing from Africa, and using the 911 attacks that Bush could prevented,  as the dishonest excuse to go to war in Iraq.

Unlike McCain who was caught lying through his teeth about the progress  of the war and the  security situation in Iraq during what was revealed to be a completely phony photo op in Baghdad designed to show that the insurgency had been quelled at a time when the insurgents were still out of control, Hagel tore into Bush over his lying the country into the war, was proved right and made fools and marionettes out of McCain, Lindsay Graham and every other Republican. This is their payback for Hagel telling the truth when Republicans were  trying to hide it. That these actions by McCain and Graham  hurts the United States doesn't really matter to them. For Repblicans  its usually party before country. And politics before policy. And payback before anything else. Their silence over Bush's failures in the 911 attacks show it.

When it comes to phony Republican outrage over anything,whether it's  phony Republican morality, phony Republican patriotism,  phony Republican concern over the economy, it;'s never what they say that   matters, only what they do. And when it came to the gross negligence of a Republican administration in the worst attack on American soil by a foreign enemy in our history,  one that cost the lives of 3000 Americans, and then a phony war that cost another 5,000 lives with tens of thousands of injuries,  John McCain,Lindsay Graham and all their Republican cohorts sat in a corner and never said a word. But now they want answers from a Democratic administration over the deaths of four Americans at an foreign embassy and what they are trying to call a cover up. Something Republicans know a great deal about.

On Sunday on Meet the Press, McCain and David Gregory engaged in what almost became a shouting match when Gregory asked questions that pointed out the absurdity of McCain's inquest, namely the idea that there was a cover up with regards to Benghazi.  Gregory repeatedly asked,
"cover up of what"? to which McCain repeatedly answered, " don't you care about the deaths of four Americans, David"?

If demanding accountablity from a president and his administration in the deaths of four Americans at the hands of terrorists is the standard McCain is using, then McCain, Graham, and every other Republican joining in on the Benghazi inquest,when it comes to the deaths of Americans at the hands of terrorists didnt care very much about the 3,000 who were killed Sept.11,2001 when those deaths were  the result of gross negligence by a president of their own party.

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