Emailghazipalooza starring Trey Gowdy, Partisan Hack

Used to scare small children.

Today, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, or as it is called internally, the House Permanent Committee to Find Stuff That Will Make Hillary Clinton’s Poll Numbers Go Down.

CSPAN3 will be carrying the inquisition live at this link:

Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which is investigating the events surrounding the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate there, in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others died.

Airing LIVE Thursday, Oct 22 10:00am EDT on C-SPAN3

UPDATE: The Clinton campaign will be Tweeting here: The Briefing 2016

From the Clinton campaign: Hillary Clinton is testifying on Capitol Hill today. Here’s what you need to know.

The Benghazi Committee, explained.

Hillary is on Capitol Hill today, testifying in front of the House Select Benghazi Committee. Here’s what it’s all about.

What happened in Benghazi

On September 11, 2012, a group of Islamic militia members attacked a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans were killed in the terrorist attack: U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glenn Doherty, and Tyrone Woods.

For Hillary, who was serving as secretary of state at the time, the tragedy is personal. She was the one who had asked the late Chris Stevens to serve as ambassador to Libya. She was with President Obama at Andrews Air Force Base when Marines brought home the caskets of the four Americans. Anyone who knows Hillary knows she isn’t the kind of person to stand around wringing her hands after a tragedy—she leapt into action immediately to prevent anything like this from ever happening again. […]

What you’ll hear today

“No one wants to find out what happened more than I do.”

Hillary, October 24, 2012

Hillary’s first priority is to get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi. That’s the right thing to do—and the way to make sure it doesn’t happen again. That’s why she has already testified on Capitol Hill about the tragedy (twice, in fact), and she has been asking to testify before the this committee for more than a year so that the public can hear her answers.

Republicans, on the other hand, are going to exploit whatever they can to mislead voters about Hillary’s record. They’ll grill her about emails and anything else they can think of to discredit her.

But here’s what Hillary is going to do: stay focused, clarify the facts, and offer some lessons that we can learn to protect Americans going forward. The men and women who serve our country deserve nothing less.

I think she will be ready:

“The Republicans finally admit it” …

McCarthy: “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee. What are her numbers today?”

“The Republicans have spent millions attacking Hillary because she’s fighting for everything they oppose, from affordable health care to equal pay, she’ll never stop fighting for you and the Republicans know it,”

More analysis and commentary below the fold …

Al Jazeera: As Clinton prepares to testify, Benghazi panel comes under fire

Clinton is expected to endure an hours-long grilling from the panel’s Republicans, who, since the committee’s formation in 2014, have aggressively questioned her actions, as secretary of state at the time, surrounding the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the deaths of four Americans.

But even as she takes the hot seat, the committee has become mired in controversy, with allegations swirling that it has become a nakedly partisan enterprise concocted by the GOP to damage Clinton’s presidential prospects.[…]

The perception that the committee’s work, at a cost of $4.5 million, has become overtly political has been fueled in part by comments from Republican lawmakers themselves.[…]

Clinton and her allies find themselves no longer on the defensive about the committee’s probe and are attacking the GOP for how it has been conducted. Earlier this month, during the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, Clinton called the panel “basically an arm of the Republican National Committee.”

Their claims are bolstered by the fact that she has been cleared of wrongdoing by seven other congressional committees, none of which have found evidence that she acted inappropriately.

“Republicans have now admitted repeatedly that they are spending millions of taxpayer dollars to damage Secretary Clinton’s campaign for president,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking member of the committee said in a statement on Monday, upon the release of a 124-page report by the panel’s Democratic members rebutting Republican allegations about Clinton. “It’s time to bring this taxpayer-funded fishing expedition to an end.”


Kurt Eichenwald at Newsweek just posted a blistering expose of the committee: Benghazi Biopsy: A Comprehensive Guide to One of America’s Worst Political Outrages

The historical significance of this moment can hardly be overstated, and it seems many Republicans, Democrats and members of the media don’t fully understand the magnitude of what is taking place. The awesome power of government—one that allows officials to pore through almost anything they demand and compel anyone to talk or suffer the shame of taking the Fifth Amendment—has been unleashed for purely political purposes. It is impossible to review what the Benghazi committee has done as anything other than taxpayer-funded political research of the opposing party’s leading candidate for president. Comparisons from America’s past are rare. Richard Nixon’s attempts to use the IRS to investigate his perceived enemies come to mind. So does Senator Joseph McCarthy’s red-baiting during the 1950s, with reckless accusations of treason leveled at members of the State Department, military generals and even the secretary of the Army. But the modern McCarthys of the Benghazi committee cannot perform this political theater on their own—they depend on reporters to aid in the attempts to use government for the purpose of destroying others with bogus “scoops” ladled out by members of Congress and their staffs. These journalists will almost certainly join the legions of shamed reporters of the McCarthy era as it becomes increasingly clear they are enablers of an obscene attempt to undermine the electoral process.

The article is long and detailed and lays out the perfidy of the shameful Republican Congress enabled by the shameful press. His conclusion:

In their refusal to read documents or accept facts over fantasies, Republican conspiracy theorists have damaged this country in ways that cannot yet be fully comprehended. No doubt, the terrorists set on attacking America are cheering them on. Nothing could delight some terrorist sitting in a Syrian or Libyan or Iraqi hovel while hearing a top Republican congressman brag on television that a relatively small attack on a U.S.compound continues to threaten to transform a presidential election in the most powerful country in the world.

Ambassador Stevens and the three other men who died on that terrible day in Benghazi are not shiny objects to be dangled for political entertainment. They are American heroes. Serve their memories: Disband this inexcusable Benghazi committee, throw out the buttons and bumper stickers and fundraising letters. Allow the dead to finally rest in peace.

(Bolding mine)


Peter Daou and Tom Watson: Play By Play: The Spectacular Implosion of the Benghazi Committee

In our years as professional political consultants, it’s hard to recall an instance of a political party self-destructing so dramatically in the midst of an attack on an opponent.

Democrats and the media have always known that the House Select Committee on Benghazi was a partisan exercise aimed at barring Hillary Clinton from the White House. What no one anticipated is that in the weeks leading up to Hillary’s appearance before the committee, the GOP would spontaneously torpedo their own efforts, revealing the sham investigation in all its craven cynicism.

We’ve chronicled the process in recent weeks and have compiled the details below.

Click the link to see more.


ThinkProgress: Proof That The Benghazi Investigation Is Totally Unlike Any Other, In Two Charts

On Thursday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will testify in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, where Republicans will try to prove that the former secretary of state mishandled the events leading up to and following the 2012 terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.[…]

An analysis of Congressional attention to previous high-profile terror incidents suggests that significantly more emphasis has been placed on Benghazi than other terrorism acts. The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the 1996 Khobar Tower bombing, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and even the attacks of September 11, 2001 — all received less Congressional attention than Benghazi in the form of formal hearings and investigations into their respective causes.

On that point, more from Eichenwald’s Newsweek piece:

Congress convened 22 hearings about the 9/11 attack that killed almost 3,000 citizens working in the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan; this week, Congress will be holding its 21st hearing about an attack that killed four people working in Libya, with many more sessions left to come. Do Republicans actually think that terrorists killing four agents of the government who willingly assumed the risks of residing in one of the most dangerous places in the world is more important than terrorists murdering 3,000 unsuspecting civilians who were working at their offices in New York City?

In fact, no previous assault on a diplomatic outpost has received this kind of relentless expression of congressional outrage. There weren’t investigations that were anything on this scale about the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983 (63 killed), on the U.S. Embassy annex northeast of Beirut in 1984 (24 killed) or on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, in 2008 (18 killed). Republicans didn’t believe these exact same scenarios that took place under Republican presidents merited similar zeal to dig down to some unexposed, imaginary “truth.”

(Bolding mine)



  1. What do you think will happen?

    “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise, fear and surprise; two chief weapons, fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency! Er, among our chief weapons are: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, and near fanatical devotion to the Pope the Republican Party! ”

  2. “Democrats and the media have always known that the House Select Committee on Benghazi was a partisan exercise aimed at barring Hillary Clinton from the White House.” The media? Really? In my opinion the media have been complicit in this exercise, not critical of it.

    From what I’ve understood, the Republicans refused to increase funding for security at the more than 300 American embassies and consulates around the world, so the blame attaches to them, not to Secretary Clinton.

    Thanks for the diary, Jan! Well done. If I’m home, I’ll have a look at the hearings.

    • Republicans did defund embassy security. And really, who could have predicted that less security would lead to a breach at the embassy???? Surely not the Republicans.

      The media is complicit as Eichenwald pointed out:

      But the modern McCarthys of the Benghazi committee cannot perform this political theater on their own—they depend on reporters to aid in the attempts to use government for the purpose of destroying others with bogus “scoops” ladled out by members of Congress and their staffs. These journalists will almost certainly join the legions of shamed reporters of the McCarthy era as it becomes increasingly clear they are enablers of an obscene attempt to undermine the electoral process.

      I am not sure how much I will watch. I certainly can’t watch 8 hours of testimony! Plus I can’t look at Trey Gowdy … he gives me the creeps.

  3. More on the Benghaziiiiiii! Panel:

    Salon, Gary Legum: The raging disgrace of the Benghazi show trial: Today’s Hillary Clinton-Trey Gowdy showdown is theater for suckers

    No matter how often Clinton’s cleared of wrongdoing, the GOP’s convinced there’s more. Here we go again …

    Today Hillary Clinton will appear before the House Select Committee on Benghazi in a likely futile attempt to rebut the fever dreams of cover-up and conspiracy that the committee’s Republican members have gleaned from the comments section at Breitbart. It will be a fantastic piece of theater so far removed from the terrible events that occurred at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, that it might as well be occurring on the other side of a galactic wormhole. The hearing’s participants could speak gibberish for all we are really going to learn about the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. Assuming there even is anything more to learn that seven prior congressional investigations have not turned up.


    Heidi M Przybyla, USA TODAY Benghazi politics may be bigger albatross for Gowdy than Clinton

    Trey Gowdy was once described as the “most valuable Republican of the 2016 election cycle so far.’’

    That was according to an August tweet by conservative columnist Bill Kristol, who made the assessment about the leader of a special Benghazi committee that appeared poised to discredit Hillary Clinton’s record as secretary of State, and by extension, her 2016 presidential bid.

    Two months later, Gowdy is the one under siege.

    House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s comments linking the committee to Clinton’s declining poll numbers ignited a firestorm over whether the committee was, from its inception, intended to damage Clinton’s 2016 presidential aspirations. What’s not in dispute is that the committee’s work has become a bigger albatross for Republicans recently than for Clinton.

    Democrats are hoping to galvanize support from Clinton’s nationally televised appearance on Thursday before the committee through a variety of methods, including a rapid response operation, broadcast and online ads and a strategy by committee Democrats to use the event to highlight erroneous information about Clinton’s role in Benghazi.


    The voters weigh in:

    White House contender Hillary Clinton heads into Thursday’s congressional hearing on the 2012 Benghazi attacks with most U.S. Democrats agreeing with her accusation that the Republican-led probe is politically motivated, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

    Fifty-four percent of the 598 Democrats surveyed said they believed the U.S. House of Representatives investigation into the attacks and Clinton’s actions was entirely or mostly about discrediting the former U.S. secretary of state.

  4. NPR on the (obvious) high stakes:

    Campaign ads will be made based on what is said Thursday in room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building.

    That’s where the House Select Committee on Benghazi will hear testimony from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — possibly as much as six to eight hours of testimony. And there’s no question superPACs, opposition researchers and presidential campaigns, including Clinton’s, will be watching closely, parsing every word and facial expression.

    Even before the much-anticipated testimony started, the proceedings became a political mud pit. The stakes for this committee aren’t just high for Clinton but for the legitimacy of the committee itself.

    The Select Committee will not be the first Republican entity to try to cash in and come up short over this tragedy. Who can forget “Please proceed, governor”?

    Obviously, the Republicans. Facts and history are not one of their strong suits.

  5. I just listened to Hillary’s opening statement, which was great, but I find it probably impossible to watch much of the rest of this – I’m sure she’s going to be great, but listening to these Republicans is not good for my blood pressure.

    • Ha! I just came to the same conclusion. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), ranking member, had a great opening statement and Secretary Clinton’s was quite excellent. I don’t want to hear a bunch of Republican congressmen berating her. If they had any sense, they would take Rep. Cummings advice and shut the damn thing down. :)

      I will try to find YouTubes of just those statements.

      p.s. nice touch with Gowdy saying “I did not cut you off, Madame Secretary, during your LENGTHY opening statement”. What an ass!

  6. I found a way to kind of take in most of the hearing while playing WOW – I mute the speaker on the C-Span feed while the Repugs are asking a question, then turn it on again when Hillary responds. Alas, I missed what sounds like some real kick-ass moments from Rep. Lewis just before the break, I hope that will be on the internet soon.

  7. I just have to say, in the words of the gaming world, the Republicans have just been powned by Hillary – she has taken them to the cleaners on this all damned day. If you hear nothing else of her testimony, try to listen to her description of what happened that night in Libya – it was a very moving moment, and Gowdy’s cheap political response afterward tells you everything you need to know about these Republicans. They are just not anywhere close to her league.

    • That description of the day of the attack was moving. Too bad it was wasted on the heartless Republicans champing at the bit to ask Secretary Clinton why Chris Stevens did not have her cell phone number but SID BLUMENTHAL did!!

      She is holding up quite well and certainly shows a contrast for the people watching: professional vs partisan hacks.

      I can’t decide who I dislike more Pompeo or Roskam.

      There should be good clips of all the key testimony. CSPAN usually creates snippets that can be embedded.

      • I want to hear that – her description of the day of the attack – but I’ll wait until you or puts out a clip of it. (And I saw a tweet from Kos on the hillaryhq site that said, “On a panel of stupid, Pompeo wins top prize.” The boy has a way with words. heh)

      • I just now realized that the hearing is being held in the House Ways and Means Committee room, 1100 Longworth House Office Building. I spent 7 years on the Ways and Means staff, and I sat, during the markup of the Social Security bill in 1983, at the same table Hillary Clinton is sitting at now (STILL! after 9 hours of this!). I feel honored to have shared that space with her – she is simply kicking Republican butt today.

    • You and millions of others (including me) feel the same way. I saw a shift on Twitter. I follow a lot of people, mostly Democrats. Some were unsure about Hillary Clinton, some were Bernie supporters – they all felt much more positive towards her.

      I was worried when she started coughing (about 10 hours in!) but when the chairman asked if she needed some time, she croaked “no, need lozenge” reached over and got it and started back up. You are NOT going to see her give in to mere physical discomfort.

      The photo from the end, with her smiling and gladhanding the Democrats … and Trey Gowdy, sweatboy, slithering out, all alone, speaks volumes. Winner and BIG loser.

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