Benghazi Committee Screws Up Again

Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime confidant to former President Bill Clinton and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, arrives on Capitol Hill on June 16 to face questions from the House panel investigating the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.Susan Walsh/AP

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Jeff Stein reports on yet another bad day for the Benghazi committee:

Already wobbling with accusations, some by its own Republican members, that it’s been running a Hillary Clinton hit squad since May 2014, leaders of the panel struggled Sunday to fend off new charges that they had mischaracterized the former secretary of state’s handling of sensitive intelligence.

Indeed, according to committee correspondence reviewed by Newsweek, the CIA did tell the panel on Saturday that it had reviewed 127 emails between Clinton and her close friend and outside adviser, Sidney Blumenthal, and none of it was deemed classified.

“The CIA reviewed the material in question and informed State that it required no redactions,” the agency informed Susan Sachsman Grooms, staff director and general counsel for the panel’s Democrats, on October 17.

What a shocker. Sidney Blumenthal didn’t have access to classified information. Who could have guessed?

Pretty much everyone, I suppose. But Blumenthal is a longtime Clinton confidante, and one of the great white whales of the Clinton inquisition of the 90s. When his name popped up, Republicans reacted like Pavlov’s dogs, panting and drooling despite the fact that there was zero chance Blumenthal had the slightest connection or insight into the Benghazi attacks. Still, it was Sidney! Gotta be a scandal in there somewhere.

But no. No scandal, no classified info, no favoritism. It was just Sidney doing what he does: offering information and advice—solicited or otherwise—to one of the Clintons. No worries, though. If it’s not Sidney, it’ll be someone else. Republicans are just sure they’ll find a blue dress in there somewhere.

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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.

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