The Pelosi Presser and the Benghazi Select Committee

At the end of her press conference regarding the Benghazi Select Committee, Nancy Pelosi had the nerve to ask: “We’ve been there… done that…why are we doing this again”?

Her question echoes the laments of Hillary Clinton (“What difference at this point does it make”?); Tom Vietor (“Dude, this was like two years ago.”); Jay Carney (“Benghazi happened a long time ago.”); and Gwen Ifill (“There are so many important issues around the world which involves [sic] people’s lives, helpless people’s lives, that could use a little attention.”)

Pelosi claims that Republican attention to ObamaCare has run its course and focusing on Benghazi is a way to avoid discussion about creating jobs, building infrastructure, and addressing how we “educate our children, protect our neighborhoods, and secure our nation.  It’s all part of how we honor our responsibilities to the American people and [Republicans] don’t want to talk about that because they don’t believe in governance, they don’t believe in science and they want to stop Barack Obama at every step.”

Claiming that they had the votes in the House for immigration reform, ENDA, gun safety legislation, and the Voting Rights Act, she asks:  

”What are we doing instead? Spending a week getting attention on this subject, which, by the way, the American people care about jobs, they care about their families and their [sic] education of their children and the health of their families."

These certainly are kitchen table issues Americans care about and on which most elections hinge. But Pelosi conveniently overlooks the fact that these are the issues Democrats in Congress and Obama were supposed to have addressed for the last five years. In fact, during the first two years when Obama had a Democrat Congress and our economic ills were most acute, they funded the bailout, the stimulus, numerous jobs bills, and ObamaCare with trillions of dollars, all of which were supposed to address a failing educational system, unjust healthcare system, and ailing infrastructure that in someone’s fantasy were the cause and therefore the cure for all of our economic woes. 

I don’t think she realizes that she has just admitted that we still face the same economic problems she claims to have fixed and that her work in Congress and Obama’s efforts as president have been an epic fail.

Pelosi then continues with a plea that we not be “accomplices to this diversionary tactic, it’s all subterfuge because [Republicans] don’t want to talk about what our responsibilities are here and we have to make a judgment as to how dangerous we think they can be with their misrepresentation of the facts….”

The real diversionary tactic is being employed by the Democrats as they continue to ignore compelling evidence of a cover-up and label it a political stunt, instead. This trivializes the four lives that were sacrificed and the many injured that night in Benghazi. It also shows an utter lack of regard for the risks we ask people to take every day in the Foreign Service, the military, and in our intelligence communities. 

Contrary to her statement, Republicans do want to talk about our responsibilities to those who put their lives in harm’s way for the security of the nation, whereas Democrats prefer to talk about chaos in other countries, and, all of a sudden, jobs and the economy after five years of failure!  They’ll talk about their failures on the world stage and the destruction of our economy, but the last thing Democrats want to take responsibility for is Benghazi. Again, can you say “diversion”?

As for misrepresentations, I don’t think there is one lie or exaggeration by the Republicans regarding Benghazi that Pelosi can point to, certainly nothing as egregious as the mélange of misrepresentations, lies, obfuscation, and obstructions perpetuated by the Obama Administration regarding:  

  • a video being responsible for a protest run amok that morphed into an attack,
  • whose idea it was to peddle the video myth and why it continued for two weeks after the attack,
  • why an innocent man was incarcerated for the video and the terrorists have yet to be apprehended,
  • who prepared and changed the talking points used by Susan Rice,
  • the failure to produce documents and allow testimony,
  • where the President and Hillary were during the attack, what they did and did not do,  their exact communications with staff about the attack,
  • who gave the order to stand down and not send military assets.

But where Pelosi’s press conference really falters is in having the chutzpah to ask why we are revisiting this supposedly settled matter.

It is convenient now to identify Benghazi as a political stunt in anticipation of the 2014 election, but the reality is that Republicans have been banging the Benghazi drum steadily since September 11, 2012. The only reason the Select Committee has popped up this spring -- right before the November 2014 elections -- is because of the Ben Rhodes email which hadn’t previously been disclosed to the Congress and indisputably reveals that talking points about the video were provided to Susan Rice by the White House before her Sunday morning appearances.  This is new, bespeaks a cover-up, begs the question what other documents have not been disclosed and what further testimony must be pursued, and screams for a Select Committee.

Democrats can call it a game of political “gotcha” as much as they want, but once the truth about Benghazi is exposed, the Obama Administration, its Democrat supporters, and the press will be eating crow. And deservedly so. 

The answer to “why are we doing this again” and “what difference does it make” is simple but something Democrats at their core just don’t understand and Republicans, while fully grasping its import, neglect to mention every time they speak: Benghazi matters because it is about following through on our promises to the people who serve in the military, Foreign Service and the intelligence communities that, in exchange for living or working in dangerous, volatile, unsavory or hazardous parts of the world, we will keep them safe, provide them with state of the art security and communications equipment, med evac those who need medical attention, get them away from harm’s way as quickly and preemptively as possible, always have their backs, and never, ever leave them behind.

The Obama administration reneged on each one of these promises. 

As horrific as events in Nigeria, the Sudan, Ukraine, and Syria are; as pressing as revitalizing the economy, creating jobs, enforcing immigration laws, dealing with ObamaCare and our educational system are, if the people can’t trust the government and the government refuses to follow through on promises it makes to those of whom we ask the most, then the compact between the governed and those who govern is fractured. A government cannot make any policy without the support of its citizenry, it cannot fight wars without soldiers, administer programs without a bureaucracy, or raise funds without a tax base. If our government cannot be trusted, the people will not entrust it with anything. It will be a government with no bite.   

Benghazi goes to the heart of this compact, the heart of our faith in our leadership. It matters more than Watergate, Irangate, and Plamegate. It matters because four Americans who devoted their lives to public service were betrayed by the very government whose word they relied upon. The Obama Administration turned their backs on four men and abandoned them in their hour of need. Then, in the aftermath, the Obama Administration lied to their families and the country. And the press turned a blind eye. 

To lose, in one fell swoop, four good men, the trust of our government, and our faith in the press, is a travesty. But to have forfeited the credibility of this nation on the backs of the thousands of Americans who put their lives on the line for our collective security every day -- for the reward of another four-year term -- well, this is a disaster. This is why we pound the drums, this is why we are doing this again, this is the difference it makes, and this is why -- two years later -- it matters, dude. 

Even if the Stevens family wants to stay out of the political fray because they don’t believe it will bring  their son back -- and who could blame them -- to all the other sons and daughters heading out on the front lines the actions of the Obama administration and Democrat-Media Complex will have a chilling effect. 

But know this: you might not be a Republican or even like us, but the Select Committee seeks the truth on your behalf, for the good of the nation -- not for political gain. 

Why are we doing this?  Ask the families of Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glenn Dougherty. Thousands of Americans put their lives at risk every day in embassies, consulates, forward operating bases, in ships, in aircraft, and under cover. Asking the questions and getting the answers won’t bring back the fallen, but it might prevent this from happening to others working in harm’s way who are promised that, if anything goes wrong, we will do everything humanly possible to maximize their chances of survival before, during, and after things go down.

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