Thanks to Clay Bennett
Hillary Clinton Testifies At Benghazi Committee For 11 Hours
(BuzzFeed) Hillary Clinton spent 11 hours on Thursday answering questions from a politically fractious House panel that used the opportunity to grill the presidential candidate on the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi and her use of private email during her time as secretary of state…
“Madame Secretary, I understand some people — frankly in both parties — have suggested this investigation is about you,” [Trey Gowdy, the committee chairman,] began. “Let me assure you it is not.”
[Democratic member Elijah E.] Cummings, however, directly contradicted Gowdy’s defense of the committee, calling it “an abusive effort” by the GOP to derail Clinton’s campaign.
“Everyone on this panel knows the accusations are baseless, from our own investigations and all investigations before it, yet everyone on the committee remains silent,” Cummings said.
What Hillary’s Benghazi hearing revealed about life inside the Republican bubble
(Paul Waldman, The Week Magazine) The ridiculously lengthy discussion about Blumenthal illustrates the problem Republicans have had with this entire investigation: They’re stuck in their own bubble, unable to see what things might look like from outside it.
In case you don’t know, Sid Blumenthal is a former journalist and longtime friend (and sometime employee) of the Clintons. For a variety of reasons, some more legitimate than others, Republicans regard him as a singularly sinister character. When it emerged that he had sent Hillary Clinton lots of emails about Libya (and other matters), they could barely contain their glee, going so far as to subpoena him to testify privately. He apparently failed to give them what they wanted, because up until now committee Chair Trey Gowdy has refused to release his testimony to the public…
This is what happens when you start an investigation that you’re sure will uncover evidence of nefarious goings-on. When you can’t find any malfeasance, you convince yourself that even mundane things are nefarious, like the fact that Hillary Clinton has a friend you don’t like.
Why the Clinton Benghazi testimony isn’t accomplishing what Republicans hoped
(Paul Waldman, The Plum Line, Washington Post) It’s too early to say exactly how we’ll remember this hearing. Perhaps because it has (so far) lacked any fiery moments that make for good sound bites, it will get discussed only for a day or two and then fade from memory. If this hearing does provide a coda to this controversy, it will surely become a symbol for conservatives of how feckless and ineffectual their congressional leaders are, and a symbol for liberals of Republicans’ obsession with faux scandals.
Hillary Rocks Republicans and Rolls the Benghazi Committee
(Brent Budowsky) It is very possible that historians will someday view the last two weeks as the time that Hillary Clinton, who should now become the second Clinton to be called the comeback kid, won the Democratic nomination and potentially the presidency…
The highlight, or low point, of the inquisition against Ms. Clinton that Republicans had planned for more than a year was an attack against Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal that had nothing to do with what caused the Benghazi tragedy or how to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.
If Republicans think they will win a presidential campaign by attacking Sidney Blumenthal they are dreaming. As I said in a television interview on NewsMax TV on Thursday evening, voters are more likely think Sidney Blumenthal sells automobiles in New Jersey than to think he should matter in a presidential election!
What will matter in a presidential election is that if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee and debates a Republican, she will ask why so many Republicans supported cutting the budget of the embassy security program from pre-Benghazi levels by $200 million to $300 million, as proposed in a GOP budget offered by Rep. Paul Ryan.
Ms. Clinton will politically obliterate any GOP nominee who argues that the way to prevent future tragedies like Banghazi is to impose these Draconian budget cuts that would eviscerate America’s ability to protect embassies in trouble spots around the world.
Thanks to Kevin Siers
Benghazi Hearing: While Republicans Barked And Snarled, Hillary Smiled
(Joe Conason) To watch Hillary Clinton’s Republican antagonists during Thursday’s public hearing of the House Select Committee on Benghazi was to wonder how they could possibly behave the way they did. As representatives of the American people, they not only failed miserably to fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to them, but exposed their own blithering ignorance of basic aspects of government.
Determined as they were to encourage doubt about Clinton’s presidential candidacy, they instead elevated her and raised hard questions about their own knowledge, character, temperament, and intellectual capacity to serve in Congress…
Gowdy appeared to believe – or perhaps pretended to believe – that if only the Secretary of State had ignored [her personal friend Sidney] Blumenthal’s emails, the Benghazi attack might somehow have been prevented…
[H]er communications with Blumenthal were, and are, entirely irrelevant to the matters that Gowdy purports to be investigating. Should Gowdy ever really wish to know why it is difficult to protect our embassies, consulates, and foreign service officers abroad, he might investigate himself and all the other Republicans who – as Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) acknowledged on Thursday – voted repeatedly to slash hundreds of millions of dollars from the State Department’s security budget.
Benghazi Chair Can’t Name Anything New Learned From Clinton Hearing
(BuzzFeed) “I’d have to go back and look at the transcript,” said Trey Gowdy, the committee chairman, after Hillary Clinton answered questions for eight hours in an 11-hour hearing…
Throughout the hearing, the Democratic members on the committee attempted to frame the endeavor as a political exercise, producing nothing of value that could help strengthen security protocols or prevent future attacks. After a final two-and-a-half-hour round of questions, the committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings, questioned the point of the hearing in an exasperated closing statement.
“I don’t know what we want from you!” he said to Clinton. “We are better than that!”
Earlier in the hearing, Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff flatly told his colleagues, “The reality is that after 17 months, we have nothing new to tell the families.”
Thanks to Jeff Danziger
Republicans Revive Debunked ‘Gun-Running’ Conspiracy Theory At Clinton Benghazi Hearing
(Right Wing Watch) There were two types of questions that House Republicans posed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at yesterday’s hearing of the Benghazi Special Committee: 1) questions that had nothing to do with Benghazi (see Blumenthal, Sidney), and 2) questions that were already thoroughly assessed and answered in the seven previous investigations into the 2012 attack.
As an example of one question of the latter sort, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., asked Clinton whether the targeted U.S. facilities were being used to send weapons to armed Syrian groups…
The Benghazi gun-running conspiracy theory has already been evaluated and debunked — much like the mythical “stand down order” — by a Republican-led congressional investigation.
Hillary Clinton’s Email to Chelsea Stars in Benghazi Hearing
(Wall Street Journal) The private email to Chelsea Clinton, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) said, was at odds with the message in the official statement put out by the State Department that same night under Mrs. Clinton’s name.
Thanks to Pete McGowan
Clinton’s Greatest Moments — And More — From The Benghazi Hearing
(Eric Kleefeld, The National Memo) By going through a gauntlet of partisan attacks face to face, and maintaining her composure throughout, Clinton will likely win over a whole new group of sincere supporters who hadn’t been on board with her before.
A Comprehensive Guide To Hillary Clinton, Benghazi, And Those Emails
(Media Matters) In their relentless drive to find a scandal that doesn’t exist, media have spent the last three years pushing numerous myths surrounding Clinton’s alleged role in the attacks and her legal use of her personal email account.
The Biggest Losers
(Paul Krugman) [T]he real losers here are the reporters and centrist pundits who let themselves be played, month after month, by Trey Gowdy and company. I mean, anyone who took these chumps seriously has proved himself an ever bigger chump than they are.
From the right-wing media, per Media Matters – Caro:
Fox News Reporter Praises Clinton: “She Did Look Presidential, She Did Look In Command”
Shep Smith: Gowdy’s Obsessive Questioning Not Related To What Happened At Benghazi
Fox’s Erick Erickson Says The Benghazi Hearings Are “A Waste Of Time”
Erick Erickson Gives Up On The Benghazi Hearings, Says Clinton “Far Too Bright To Be Trapped”
Fox’s Shep Smith: Gowdy’s Obsessive Questioning About Blumenthal Is Not “Very Helpful When Finding Out What Happened At … Benghazi”
Fox Hypes Debunked Allegation That Clinton Intentionally Misled About Attacks
Matt Drudge Pushes Hillary Clinton Health Conspiracy After Benghazi Hearing Coughing
Fox Is Obsessed With Pushing The Debunked “Smoking Gun” Claim That Clinton Intentionally Misled The Public About Benghazi Attackers’ Motivations
“Bombshell”: Fox’s Kimberly Guilfoyle Hypes Debunked Allegation That Clinton Intentionally Misled About Cause Of Benghazi Attacks
Fox’s Kilmeade Claims Unanswered Questions About Benghazi Remain Even After Clinton’s Testimony
And, of course:
Fox News Was The First Cable News Network To Cut Away From The Benghazi Hearings
(Media Matters) After years of Benghazi hype, sensationalist lies, and attacks on Hillary Clinton and other officials, Fox News gave up on the Hillary Clinton’s testimony to the Benghazi committee before the hearings were even over.
But, other than among right-wing crazies, is sanity starting to prevail? (Also from Media Matters) – Caro:
Media Condemn “Sham” Benghazi Committee Hearing
CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin Calls Out Benghazi Committee’s “Bizarre Obsession” With Sidney Blumenthal
MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle: Had The Benghazi Committee “Been In Charge Of The Watergate Hearing, Richard Nixon Would Have Finished His Term”
Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah Blasts Benghazi Committee’s “Never-Ending Scandal”
Predictable Republican reactions to the testimony, from BuzzFeed – Caro:
Huckabee: McCarthy Made Benghazi “Political Football,” Handed Democrats Talking Points
Ben Carson: Hillary Clinton Won’t Be Nominee Because She “Can Well Be In Jail” Soon
Thanks to Occupy Democrats
The Secret Weapon Behind Hillary’s Dramatic Resurgence
(HillaryMen.com) Through the ups and downs, eventually, it all comes down to the candidate. No campaign structure, no amount of money, no slick ads, no digital wizardry – and certainly, no strategists – can substitute for authentic grit, tenacity and talent when the chips are tossed on the stage and the klieg light glare hits one person and one person alone. This is especially true in presidential races at the top of the field…
When the history books are written, October 2015 will be remembered as a major inflection point in the 2016 presidential campaign.
That inflection point came because Hillary Clinton used her secret weapon: Hillary Clinton.