Benghazi Hearings Now a Trip Down Memory Lane

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


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.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate