Fox News “liberal Democrat” Dennis Kucinich could have (and should have) taken a lesson from Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) today when he appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss the Benghazi controversy before Kucinich did. Unlike Kucinich, Smith was able to both raise questions that still need to be answered about Benghazi and defend against the partisan witch hunt that Republicans have turned Benghazi into – with Fox News’ enthusiastic participation.
Smith told host Chris Wallace:
I really think that this has just become a very, very partisan-focused, scandal-focused attack by the Republicans investigating this instead of trying to figure out exactly what happened. The most interesting question to me is who are these violent, extremist elements (who attacked the consulate at Benghazi)? …As Al Qaeda has metastasized beyond just what was in Pakistan and Yemen, there’s a whole bunch of groups out there. We don’t have as much information as we need to about which ones threaten us. I think that led to Benghazi as much as anything. But the president never said, ‘No terrorism, no Al Qaeda.’ There was a dispute about how soon to leap to specific conclusions that now is being made into Watergate and Iran/Contra? I think the desire of the Republicans to create a scandal here has really undermined the ability to have a credible look at what actually happened.
Notice how Smith is not only not praising the Obama administration’s handling of Benghazi but is suggesting there may have been intelligence failures that need to be examined. But he also honed right in on the larger picture as a more important factor, especially given that he’s on Fox News. He made that more explicit later in the segment:
Look, clearly, there were more changes made than (Jay Carney’s) statement made. What Jay Carney knew about who made those at that particular moment? But, again, we’re talking about talking points. There was no question this was a terrorist attack. They didn’t deny it.
I would much rather get into investigation of the groups that threatened the U.S., how we can figure out who they are, and how we can stop them instead of debating how one memo was put together in the immediate days after the attack.
So how did Wallace respond? By saying, “Let’s pick up on that,” and turning to his Republican guest, Rep. Mike Rogers, with the “question:”
Congressman Rogers, the fact is, here we are eight-plus months later, not a single person has been brought to justice—not a single person has been brought to justice for the Benghazi attack. Has the administration done everything it could? And does the fact that these people have gone free, play a role, and the fact that we’re now seeing militias running wild and U.S. personnel being pulled out of Libya?
Well done, Congressman Smith.
I know that Fox News and what we know today as right wing talk radio didn’t exist, but I certainly don’t recall any negative reaction from the right towards President Reagan or his then Secretary of State George Shultz.
And, I’ve forgotten. How long did it take for there to be Congressional hearings on the LIES perpetrated by the Dubya/Cheney cabal regarding Iraq—an event which took the lives of far more than a mere 4 dead Americans?
Perhaps Louise would like to explain how that’s anything but blatant, cowardly propaganda.
Absolutely the truth. And that ‘shot’ occurred at an extremely critical time. This failure is driving the morons into a frenzy, the very same type of frenzy caused by the GOP’s failure to prove Bill Clinton guilty in the 90’s.
Bottom line, the rightwing has nothing….and they’re going to suffer from Benghazi Fever until they can manufacture another constitutional crisis.
Having trouble controlling your anger or remembering you lost an election? Ask your doctor if Benghazi is right for you.
I do agree with her that both Dems and GOP politicians were upset about the people killed at the Benghazi consulate. And I appreciate that she’s noting that the disagreement here is about talking points of discussion after the attacks – which means its an argument about politics rather than substance. There is no sane argument to be made that anyone deliberately endangered or abandoned the Benghazi consulate. And while Gregory Hicks may have disagreed with the call, the military command stated that they could not get security forces into the area any sooner than they arrived. All the rest is Monday morning quarterbacking and backbiting over what was said on Sunday talk shows.
The entire argument that somehow the whole election spun on the way the Benghazi attacks were discussed during two weeks in September is bizarre on its face. There were plenty of GOP voices being heard at the time saying that they didn’t believe President Obama for whatever reason. The loudest of those voices outside of the AM radio spectrum was Mitt Romney, who tried this tactic in the second debate only to be humiliated in front of millions of viewers and voters. The fact is that the GOP already had their shot at this argument and it failed. Repeatedly bringing it up now does nothing to honor the memory of the people who died, and does nothing to undo the losses the GOP suffered in 2012 when they tried this before.