Darrell Issa admits, in effect, that his over-hyped Benghazi hearing was a big nothingburger
If Darrell Issa looks at least slightly pained in the photo above, THIS might explain his expression:
House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) tacitly admitted on Wednesday that his hearing on the Benghazi terror attacks the same day didn’t turn up any new information.
“I’m curious, did you learn anything new today?” Fox News host Greta Van Susteren asked Issa in an interview after the hearing. After meandering around for a bit, Issa finally got to the hearing’s grand revelation — Benghazi was a terror attack.
While indeed, former deputy chief of mission Greg Hicks’ testimony detailing his experiences as the attacks on the Benghazi diplomatic mission unfolded was new and riveting. But it didn’t have much to do with what Issa himself said the mission of the hearing would be: expose more Obama administration failures and perhaps even some kind of cover-up (of what, is unclear exactly). “Our hearing will examine new facts about what happened and significant problems with the administration’s own review of Benghazi failures,” Issa said previewing the hearing last month. “This committee will expose what they did and hold them accountable to the public.”
There’s “no question,” Issa said two days before the hearing, that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s staff or even Clinton herself, was involved in a Benghazi “cover-up” (there was no cover-up of any kind, by anyone).
However, Issa’s hearing didn’t expose anything, except perhaps how fact-free a number of right-wing Benghazi conspiracy theories are, including the idea that Clinton personally signed off on cables denying additional security for the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
Issa’s hearing seemed to target Hillary Clinton more than Barack Obama, as we see HERE:
In case you have any lingering doubt about the true agenda of House Republicans in yesterday’s Benghazi hearing, check out these numbers*:
- 15: Number of times President Barack Obama was mentioned during the hearing
- 71: Number of times fmr. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was mentioned
If this were still before election day 2012 and Mitt Romney were still the GOP’s great hope, those numbers would be reversed—the president would have been the one getting five times as many mentions as Hillary. But this is 2013 and Mitt Romney is history, so they’ve decided to focus on their next political target—and as you can tell from this tweet by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, they’re positively giddy about it: “Reading the news today, a lot of the Benghazi questions for Hillary to answer.”
Steve Benen has a good take on the matter HERE:
One of the key challenges for House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and his congressional Republican colleagues yesterday was expectations. There have already been multiple hearings and reports on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, and Americans already know what happened. For those willing to look past silly and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, there really aren’t any remaining unanswered questions.
But wait, Issa and his friends said, this hearing will be different. Now we have whistleblowers. This is will be The Day Everything Changes. This was a hearing so significant, so monumental, that Republican staffers on Capitol Hill felt the need to make movie posters to help promote it.
Issa over-promised and under-delivered. The dramatic hearing that Republicans and Fox News hoped to use to bring down the Obama presidency and permanently derail Hillary Clinton’s still-unknown ambitions did neither — there’s still no conspiracy; there’s still no cover-up; there’s still no political scandal.