There are still, despite a media effort to deny it, a lot we do not know about Libya and Benghazi. Only now do we have Ambassador Stephens’ emails. Only recently did we learn that Hillary Clinton was being privately advised by people with financial interests in the Libyan outcome.
For example, it is clear from Hillary Clinton’s emails that the Obama Administration did not want regime change in Libya initially. But Hillary Clinton came under pressure from outsides interests to agitate for regime change and then did so. How exactly did that outside influence shift the White House strategy? That is a relevant question.
So too are the relevant questions about security in Benghazi. Other committees claimed to have reviewed the information, but they did so without any emails from Ambassador Stephens.
Those questions should be answered and the hearings should not be a waste of time, but they are.
The hearings are a waste of time because everything about it is politicized and nothing is going to happen. There will be no scalp collection. In fact, it is clear from today’s hearing that Trey Gowdy and Peter Roskam seem to be the only two people on the committee of either party who are capable of asking exacting, precise questions. Most of the rest of the committee just wants to grandstand for the folks back home as either prosecutors of or defenders of Hillary Clinton.
Mrs. Clinton too is far too bright to be trapped in this or any questions. There have been some, by Trey Gowdy typically, that have clearly caused Mrs. Clinton to be flustered, but the long term effects of that will be to make her a martyr to her own side. But the fact is, Democratic voters are not going to reject Mrs. Clinton even if she were to admit that she had flown to Benghazi and joined Al Qaeda in the attack.
The media, of course, has already defined this whole thing as a spectacle and witch hunt by the GOP to rough up Hillary Clinton. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s comments played into that and discredited this episode before it began in the minds of the press.
So we’ll go through today’s hearing and the GOP will think there were sterling moments of gotcha brilliance. The Democrats will think there were sterling moments of fundraising opportunity for Hillary Clinton. The press will ignore it all. And the 70% of Americans not on twitter or following the hearings today will go on with their lives.
It was all a political spectacle. God bless Trey Gowdy for trying to learn the facts and understand what happened. But the rest of it was just a carnival road show of back bench congresscritters playing to the cameras and Hillary Clinton working hard to play persecuted victim.