Benghazi Hearings Now a Trip Down Memory Lane

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Jonathan Allen on the Trey Gowdy clown show better known as Benghazi! hearings:

Republicans finally stripped away any pretense that they are more interested in the Benghazi attack than in attacking Hillary Clinton. With the nine-hour interrogation of bit player Sid Blumenthal Tuesday, they jumped the shark.

The House Select Committee on Benghazi deposed the Clinton confidant in a closed hearing room in a sub-basement of the Capitol. Blumenthal’s never been to Libya. He doesn’t know anything special about the Benghazi attack. He did sometimes forward “intelligence” memos from an ex-CIA officer to his longtime friend Hillary Clinton.

Not surprisingly, the committee — tasked with investigating the Benghazi assault — learned absolutely nothing from Blumenthal about the terrorist attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, in September 2012.

However, by spending all that time on Blumenthal, they met someone who does know something about Hillary Clinton. Indeed, Blumenthal’s appearance on Capitol Hill — where he was last a prominent figure during Bill Clinton’s impeachment saga — felt like part of a national time warp in which Americans are forced to relive the partisan warfare of the 1990s, when Republicans summoned Clinton aides to testify about an endless string of investigations. A Clinton confidant testifying before Congress is the only thing more ’90s than a Bush and a Clinton running for president.

Apparently the questioning of Blumenthal was so transparently aimed at gathering campaign material against Hillary that Democrats on the committee want the full transcript released. They probably also want it released because Republicans in the past have had a bad habit of selectively releasing tiny little parts of transcripts purpose-designed to make Democrats look bad.1 Best to nip that in the bud.

There are so many things that I thought Republicans would eventually calm down about. Obamacare. Benghazi. Climate change. Iraq. Putin. Obama’s betrayal of Israel. But no. Granted, campaign season is upon us, and that’s when things always get hot, but still. Benghazi? Seriously? How many metric tons of evidence does it take for them to admit that it was a tragedy but not an act of treason?

1Though, in fairness, I don’t think Gowdy has ever done this.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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