State, national columnists

Benghazi seems to be Republicans’ only fallback position

By From page A8 | May 19, 2014

The elders in my family had a saying when someone repeatedly came to them whining about the same old thing.

“Shut up,” they’d say. “Don’t bring that mess here, ‘cause I’m tired of hearing it.”

That’s what I feel like saying every time I hear a Republican mention the word Benghazi.

It’s as if what happened there in 2012 is the Republicans’ only fallback position whenever they’re at a loss for ways to attract more media attention, arouse their base and energize donors.

So, here we go again.

The speaker of the House has appointed another committee to investigate the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

So far the committee consists of seven Republicans. Democrats haven’t decided if they’ll participate in what many see as a farce, revived for the political stage primarily because the healthcare issue – which the GOP was hoping to ride to victory this election year – seems to have played out.

With “Obamacare” proving not to be the failure Republicans had hoped for, they have returned once again to Benghazi in an attempt to convince Americans that there is a White House scandal, one which will tarnish the president and, at the same time, implicate Hillary Clinton.

It doesn’t matter that we’ve had several investigations already, as long as some leaders on Capitol Hill think one more will add to their political capital.

Republicans have so politicized this tragedy that it ought to be an embarrassment for them. But, no, they have no shame when it comes to grandstanding, even on the graves of some dead Americans.

I frankly find it disgusting that they use the name of Stevens as some kind of banner for their ignoble cause.

Stevens was an honorable public servant who, from all accounts, had genuine respect for other cultures and the people in the countries where he served. He had endeared himself to many Libyans in the short time he served there.

It must not go unnoticed that while some armed radicals attacked the consulate, it was other Libyans who found Stevens that night and tried to save his life by getting him to a hospital where he died of smoke inhalation.

Those who are using the Benghazi tragedy for their political purposes dishonor Stevens’ memory. Its almost laughable when I hear some of them praise this ambassador, knowing full well they have little or no regard for anyone associated with the Obama administration.

If the House Select Committee on Benghazi must go on with its “witch hunt” or “kangaroo court,” as it’s been called, so be it. But please don’t do it in the name of Stevens.

It is my hope that Democrats in the House will not join in this charade. They should not give an ounce of credence to it. Democrats in the Senate wisely have blocked the attempt to make the committee a joint House-Senate venture.

Political parties do desperate things during an election year when they hope to make gains in Congress, so the appointment of another investigative committee doesn’t surprise me. About the only thing they don’t do is pass meaningful legislation that would benefit the whole country.

It would be great if members of Congress spent as much time talking about immigration reform as they have spent discussing Benghazi and trying to destroy the new health care law.

But, I don’t expect to see any changes anytime soon, as the partisan divide is so wide I can’t imagine this Congress doing what is best for the people rather than what is best for their respective parties and their individual campaigns.

They will keep doing the same thing, putting forth the same distractions (like Benghazi) until American’s stand up and tell them loudly and clearly: “Shut up. Don’t bring that mess here, ‘cause we’re tired of hearing it.”

Bob Ray Sanders is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Readers may write to him at 400 W. 7th Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102, or via email at [email protected]

Bob Ray Sanders


Discussion | 37 comments

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  • mike kirchubelMay 18, 2014 - 9:13 am

    I couldn't have said it better. Thank you for saying what most Americans are thinking.

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  • JagMay 19, 2014 - 1:19 pm

    Most Americans in California New York Washington and Colorado maybe,

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  • JagMay 19, 2014 - 1:25 pm

    Who cares about Clinton Elizabeth Warren is going to get the democratic nomination anyway,

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  • Salty DogMay 19, 2014 - 4:28 pm

    Mike: May be in your small liberal world that is what so called americans are saying

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  • mike kirchubelMay 19, 2014 - 10:13 pm

    Mr. Salty, most Americans dont live in the bubble. Look around. Do you see any normals?

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  • @ Michael What is "normal" suppose to mean?May 20, 2014 - 7:15 am

    Not you, you partisan piggy at the trough. Have you read Web of Debt or The Public Bank Solution?

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  • rlw895May 19, 2014 - 11:57 pm

    SD: Why don't you tell us how you really feel?

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  • rlw895May 19, 2014 - 2:00 am

    It seems like Benghazi is morphing--finally--away from "why" it happened to "how" it happened. The Republicans have spent enough time wallowing in the Susan Rice rabbit hole. It's not Democrats fault it took them so long to start asking better questions. But now after the passage of time and all the previous investigations, most people have lost interest who aren't rabidly partisan.

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  • Salty DogMay 19, 2014 - 4:26 pm

    row: The saddest thing is that you and your liberal Obama lovers do not care that 4 Americans were murdered In Benghazi, and will do every thing in your power to protect President Obama.

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  • rlw895May 19, 2014 - 6:44 pm

    SD: Once again, you lose all credibility when you make statements like that.

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  • rlw895May 19, 2014 - 6:54 pm

    To say nothing of the fact that my comment does not protect Obama. I'm criticizing the Republicans for not going after the issue properly. "How" has always been the better question. But maybe "why" was picked up by someone in the right-wing media and the Republicans dutifully followed suit. If so tells you a lot about how low that party has sunk.

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  • Teach5thMay 19, 2014 - 6:40 am

    Spin...spin....spin...from Jay Carney to Bob Ray to Mike to RLW to Susan Rice (danged if I know ) joking about what this new committee hopes to find out, to Hillary's (what difference does it make?). Let me explain it again to those who don't know why another committee is needed: it took 19 months for important e-mails to be exposed -not because those in charge gave them due to a subpoena, but because Judicial Watch sued for them to be given over and won. What other answers will be given when Trey Gowdy has subpoena power to get Hillary and Susan Rice to a hearing? Why were we still in Libya after all the other embassies had been closed? Why didn't the greatest military in the world actually DO SOMETHING except "assess the situation" until 4 of our finest had been killed? We never got answers to Fast and Furious questions (duh -what's Fast and Furious?); we will be getting answers from "I did nothing wrong" Lois Lerner who went on to plead the 5th (again, because she did nothing wrong!) Make fun and spin all you want - that's what Mike, RLW, and CD do best.

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  • just sayin'May 19, 2014 - 6:48 am

    I agree. Now if only Bob Ray Sanders had been so he could have a view of the real tragedy, not that he would have lived to tell us. How easily the DemWits want us to forget Americans were Killed, quite possibly by the Obama/Clinton lack of leadership.

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  • CD BrooksMay 19, 2014 - 7:20 am

    More T5 D&R trash. The saddest thing here is that you really don't care that people died. The real tragedy here is you and those thinking as you do are more interested in "getting" Clinton and Obama for something. Anything to claim your assertions accurate which they rarely if ever are.

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  • Salty DogMay 19, 2014 - 4:25 pm

    CD : The saddest thing is that you and your liberal Obama lovers do not care that 4 Americans were murdered In Benghazi, and will do every thing in your power to protect President Obama.

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  • CD BrooksMay 19, 2014 - 5:04 pm

    Salty Dog, call a whaa-mbulance.

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  • Salty DogMay 19, 2014 - 7:13 pm

    CD you just proved my point that you do not care that 4 americans were murdered in Benghazi by your foolish and childish responce. I guess we can expect nothing less from you

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  • CD BrooksMay 20, 2014 - 6:07 am

    Salty Dog, you don't make any points that need proving they've all ready been shown to be irrelevant much like yourself. You bring nothing to these boards. Become a Democrat you'll be smarter, better looking and your life will improve over night! :)

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  • KenRMay 19, 2014 - 12:35 pm

    Teach5th, your ignorance on all things shows by your mention of all the things Fox has been paid to get you to believe. Turn the channel and don't watch "news" if you are so gullible to believe that which is not supported by the true facts of all you have mentioned. You'll continue to be in the dark about anything true in the world unless you stop watching that gruop which is paid to deceive you at every opportunity.

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  • Salty DogMay 19, 2014 - 4:29 pm

    KenR: The saddest thing is that you and your liberal Obama lovers do not care that 4 Americans were murdered In Benghazi, and will do every thing in your power to protect President Obama.

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  • KenRMay 19, 2014 - 8:11 pm

    SD, I certainly care about them more than you do, I just am not deluded by talking points to make the giant leap to an avoidable scandal, since the GOP cut the funding for security and wouldn't listen to reason.

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  • Larry williamsMay 19, 2014 - 8:59 pm

    Don't blame Benghazi on the GOP. If the Obama administration cared they could have spent less on their lavish vacations and applied that money to protect those who were placed in harms way with no backup.

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  • Larry williamsMay 19, 2014 - 6:49 am

    I would not say that the health care law is a success yet. We have no idea how much it will cost and how much the hard working tax payers will have to pay for other people's care. My problem with Benghazi is that this administration lied to us about the attack. Those folks on the left are quick to attack people who bring up problems in this presidency. What happened to the misery index? I have not heard that mentioned since Bush was president. This administration used the IRS to target political opponents. What do you think will happen when they have our lives in their hand if by controlling health care spending and approval for life saving treatment? Should anyone think of running for office you might check with your physician first, because your health history will be used against you. We should all be very worried except for those who are on government support.

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  • rlw895May 19, 2014 - 6:57 pm

    I agree with you about ObamaCare. But see my comments above about Benghazi.

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  • Nobody asks the main question...May 19, 2014 - 7:47 am

    Why was Obama taking out Libya in the first place... Google..french rothschild kill gaddafi

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  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3Mu_UFpwZQ&list=UUhZRoC9bMegevAxFmee1oSAMay 19, 2014 - 7:51 am

    Still Report #258 - Gowdy Pummels Silent Media on Benghazi

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  • http://www.corbettreport.com/libya-war-what-they-dont-want-you-to-know/May 19, 2014 - 7:56 am

    Libya War: What They Don’t Want You to Know 9 Apr 2014 Corbett report....This is exactly the case with the NATO-led invasion of Libya in 2011, which once again we were told was about a heartfelt concern for the well-being of the Libyan people............................If this compassion for the plight of men and women in Libya was so heartfelt, why is it that you have heard nothing whatsoever about Libya in the last two years from the same politicians and talking heads who persuaded you that dropping bombs on the country was the only way to save it? Is it because the situation was resolved with the death of Gaddafi and the virtuous western-backed freedom fighters have established a happy, prosperous, functioning society of peace and happiness? Of course not..................... Once again, the public was lied to just enough to convince them that war was necessary to maintain peace, and now that the real mission has been accomplished and Libya’s gold has been stolen and its central bank has been established and its AFRICOM-resisting leader has been killed and it has been established as an operations base for NATO’s Al-CIAda mercenaries, they couldn’t care less about the lives of the Libyan people........................................ Earlier this week, Faraj Muftah, a spokesman for the largest Arab tribe in Libya, the Warfalla tribe, joined me on The Corbett Report to discuss what life is like in Libya now that the NATO powers and their foreign jihadist assets have taken over the country.................................... There are those who have been trying to spread the word about this grim reality to anyone who will hear it, but unsurprisingly they have been ignored, shunned, and even threatened by the same US government that once mouthed its concern for Libya. A prime example of this phenomenon are James and JoAnne Moriarty, two Americans working in Libya since 2007 who became first-hand eyewitnesses to the bloody war waged against the Libyan people in 2011 and the aftermath of cover-up perpetrated at the highest levels of political office.

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  • DanielMay 19, 2014 - 8:13 am

    Obama was still peddling the incoherant Youtube video that no one could figure out as an anti-Islam video 2 weeks after the deaths in front of the entire U.N. he even carried the facade out as far as ordering a staged-for-tv arrest of the anaymous incoherant video producer, why?

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  • JohnMay 19, 2014 - 9:31 am

    I agree with Mike.Why can't they just let us finish sweeping it under the rug and move on? They can walk around the pile of...

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  • rlw895May 19, 2014 - 7:05 pm

    John: If we could only be assured that the eighth investigation--this one run by a Republican-controlled House with a tea party prosecutor chairing it--would satisfy your standard for not "sweeping it under the rug," then it might be worth it to pause and not move on. But conspiracy theorists don't believe anything that doesn't confirm their pre-conclusion. Are you of that ilk or are you different?

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  • BalancerMay 19, 2014 - 7:26 pm

    rlw895, just knock off the "tea party" crap. Trey Gowdy is not, repeat NOT, a tea party activist. The tea party folks like him because he is effective at his job, a fact which scares the hell out of the Benghazi bozos who allowed 4 Americans to be brutally murdered then tried to pass it off as some sort of joke. And if he gets started on the IRS lawbreakers, Democrats will have conniption fits. Beware, Democrats, you can lie, cheat, and steal just so much and then you are going to get caught.

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  • rlw895May 19, 2014 - 9:06 pm

    B: Yes, not tea party, only tea party people love him and helped elect him. And meanwhile, while you're distracted, notice how the Republicans do nothing for the middle class.

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  • Danny BuntinMay 19, 2014 - 2:17 pm

    We are talking about words that were or were not spoken after the attack, right?

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  • KenRMay 19, 2014 - 8:24 pm

    UnBalanced, why do your ilk keep bringing up these non-issues, like they are going to mean something someday, when they are not. Go after something real. Bringing up Benghazi should evoke calls for improvement in security for all of our foreign missions. And you should want to know why a political organization qualifies for tax exemption. And in fact no organization was denied that tax exemption, so, where is the scandal?

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  • Rich GiddensMay 19, 2014 - 6:19 pm

    How disgusting it is that the Obamaites have trivialized a major diplomatic / military mission failure along with failing to bring those responsible to justice and to give a full truthful accounting of what happened. Yep, that's low. 4 of our guys died. There was no effort to rescue them despite lots of assets in Italy. Even the FBI didn't show up at the crime scene until a month had passed. If this is the best Obama can do in the conduct of Diplomacy and War then righteous contempt should be levied against him and his failures. And Obama's defenders and excuse makers? They can't be counted on to defend te USA---in fact, it appears they are on the enemies side! After all, wev'e just learned Hillary's gang at the State Department failed to put Boko Haram on the terrorist list (that would have triggered statutory requirements and consequences.)

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  • KenRMay 23, 2014 - 6:35 am

    Where was your fake indignation when thousands of our soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people died in the lie to find weapons of mass destruction. You do not mourn truthfully. There is no scandal here, just tragic circumstances.

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  • mike kirchubelMay 24, 2014 - 9:29 am

    Kenr, you hit it right on the button.

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