Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

Seriously, boys? Benghazi again? Still? Time to give it up


U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Select Committee on Dead-Horse Flogging, has announced through a spokesman that his panel's report on the Benghazi tragedy won't be completed until sometime next year.

Surprise surprise surprise.

"Next year?" Why, that would be 2016, with the presidential campaign in full flower, when  former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the presumptive Democratic nominee. That would be four years after the 2012 attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya. It would also come after seven previous congressional investigations and two executive-branch investigations into the attack, not to mention an FBI criminal investigation.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee has investigated it.

The House Armed Services Committee has investigated it.

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs has investigated it.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has investigated it.

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has investigated it.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has investigated it.

The Senate Armed Services Committee has investigated it.

The State Department's Accountability Review Board has investigated it.

The State Department's Inspector General has investigated it.

And yet according to Gowdy and House Speaker John Boehner, the Select Committee on Dead-Horse Flogging won't be able to complete its report this year because, as Boehner puts it, "the administration has made it virtually impossible to get to the facts surrounding Benghazi."

They truth is that they have the facts. They just don't like the facts. As every previous investigation has concluded, the facts contradict almost all of the allegations invented by right-wing media and politicians regarding the attack and its aftermath. They just can't bring themselves to admit that truth, either to themselves or to the GOP base.

Just last month, Gowdy and his gang of post-mortem equine abusers demanded that Clinton agree to a private interrogation by the committee by May 1. Clinton has refused.

You could, I suppose, twist that into a refusal to cooperate with the investigation or an attempt to delay its work. However, just as she has done since November, when Gowdy's panel was appointed, Clinton offered to testify to the panel in public, before TV cameras and the American people, as soon as possible.

“There is no reason to delay her appearance or to have her testify in a private interview,” Clinton's attorney told the panel in a letter. But of course that's not true. There is a reason to delay the appearance; there is a reason to avoid doing it in public, where everyone can witness the testimony.

It is an attempt to avoid admitting that after all this time, and after all this smoke and mirrors, they've got nothing. They've been gunning for Hillary Clinton for more than two decades now, like a gang of Elmer Fudds out to bag that wascally wabbit, and they don't seem to have any idea how pathetic it has become.


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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.