In a piece published by Americans Against the Tea Party last week, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was quoted saying he was going to block any administrative nominations by President Obama until all of his questions about Benghazi had been answered. Now it seems Graham’s fellow witch-hunter Rand Paul has boarded the formerly dead horse known as Benghazi. In an ABC News report posted online yesterday, Paul is quoted:
“Her failure to provide our ambassador and his mission with adequate security should preclude Hillary Clinton from ever holding high office again,” Paul said Tuesday during a speech for The Citadel’s Greater Issues Series.
Without naming names, Paul said he believes the decision not to send reinforcement troops into Benghazi on the night of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack was made by a “politician,” not a military commander, and suggested that politician should not be allowed to serve as commander-in-chief.
Rand Paul has been a regular feature on national media outlets recently for his alleged propensity to plagiarize in speeches and written articles. Paul has said that, from now on, he would “footnote everything as if it was a college paper.” And, according to a Mediaite report, the posted transcript of his new speech contains 33 footnotes with references to a variety of media sources.
The Sept 11, 2012 Benghazi embassy attack that killed four Americans including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, has been the subject of a conservative tidal wave of questions, conjecture, and innuendo. Seemingly endless congressional hearings have been called by Republican leaders in an effort to “get to the bottom” of the attack. In May of this year, GOP investigators rounded up their ultimate A-Team of witnesses to finally put an end to the issue and to permanently end any further political ambitions for then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
Gregory Hicks (former deputy Chief of Missions at the Libyan embassy), Mark Thompson (acting deputy assistant secretary for counter-terrorism), and Eric Nordstrom (Diplomatic Security Officer and former Regional Security Officer in Libya) were called by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa. These three men were supposed to be the “whistle blowers” that would seal the deal against both Obama and Clinton.
Instead, these witness definitively debunked almost all of the Republican claims. The question about the failure of the President and Secretary Clinton to provide special forces reinforcements to the embassy for instance, was dismembered by Mr. Hicks. Think Progress recently reported:
During questioning, Hicks confirmed that the (Special Forces) team was ready to be deployed — not to join the fighting at the CIA annex — but “to secure the airport for the withdrawal of our personnel from Benghazi after the mortar attack.” Hicks also confirmed that it was the second such team to be readied for deployment, with the first having proceeded to Benghazi earlier. Despite the second team not deploying, the staff was all evacuated first to Tripoli, then to Germany, within 18 hours of the attack taking place.
But Senator Rand Paul is apparently still not convinced. Like his cohort Lindsey Graham, Paul still has “unanswered questions.” Paul is still “troubled” by the whole incident, but especially about the role of Secretary Clinton.
One could easily infer that Hillary Clinton’s prominence in discussions about the Democratic Presidential Ticket in 2016 has had an impact on Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul’s suddenly renewed sense of concern. Clinton is the apparent front-runner for the Presidential nomination and conservatives are not happy about it. Their anti-Hillary war has been going on for a very long time and the failure of that effort to permanently demonize her has certain GOP leaders flummoxed.
And so it seems “Benghazi-Gate” still has a few coals in the tender and America needs to brace itself for even more prominent Tea party conservatives to board the train. The thunderous uproar about Benghazi has calmed some in recent months, but some on the right wing still see it as their best bet against Hillary-2016. If this sounds a little like “Whitewater” to you, you’re not alone. It’s hard to stop a starving lion when the sweet smell of red meat wafts through the air.