Skip to comments.House approach on Benghazi: Crazy — or plain stupid?
Posted on 06/16/2013 7:46:56 PM PDT by smoothsailing
June 16, 2013 09:52 PM EDT
Sometimes watching Speaker John Boehner and his House Republican leadership team in action calls to mind that scene from Forrest Gump in which Bubbas mother looks incredulously at Forrest and asks: Are you crazy or just plain stupid?
More than six months ago, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) introduced a proposal to create a House Select Committee on the terrorist attack in Benghazi, a select committee being generally regarded as the best way to ensure an intelligent, well-coordinated, bipartisan investigation without fear or favor.
Six months later, Wolfs proposal is still stalled because a certain powerful interest group is blocking it. The powerful group keeping the House from doing the right thing is the House Republican leadership.
Boehner and his team are foolishly insisting on letting all six House committees that can claim any bit of jurisdiction for investigating what went wrong with Benghazi do so Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Armed Services, Homeland Security and Oversight and Government Reform despite the fact that each is restricted to its own narrow scope. This wastes time, duplicates effort and stymies clear focus.
Why insist on investigating the Benghazi scandal in such a maladroit manner? Because it: 1) frees Boehner from having to decide who should chair the investigation, thereby saving him from possibly offending the ones not selected; 2) enables six different committee chairs to bask in the spotlight as star of their very own investigation; and 3) gives every member who serves on one of these six committees all 239 of them, or more than half of the House a chance to appear on prime-time national television.
Focusing on profile, lacking in courage, Boehners way is all about big egos and little fiefdoms. By insisting on this ill-advised approach, Boehner and company are abrogating their responsibility to the country.
Benghazi is a very serious and complex matter. More serious and more complex than Watergate was and its scope is much wider. Getting the lessons of Benghazi right has profound implications for national security. The core questions delve deeply into the military and intelligence capabilities of the United States and how well we execute those capabilities. The range of other questions includes such matters as how we protect our diplomatic service and how the decision-making process operated at the Defense Department, State Department, CIA and the White House during this crisis.
The effort to get to the truth about Benghazi needs to be equal to the seriousness of the issue. The free-for-all effort being insisted upon by Boehner is not. The select committee effort proposed by Wolf is.
Boehners approach all but guarantees chaos, confusion, excessive bickering and a needlessly long, drawn-out process with minimal prospect of a constructive end result.
Each committee can deal with but part of the puzzle. Some committees have overlapping jurisdiction, which means uncertainty over which part of the incomplete puzzle they look at. Some committees especially Intelligence and Armed Services would certainly have to take a fair amount of testimony in secret, which means the others couldnt get an idea of the whole puzzle no matter how hard they tried.
And what if one of these six committees didnt conduct an investigation? How could we ever put the pieces over which it has jurisdiction into the puzzle?
So Boehners hope is at best for six separate sections of a puzzle to emerge. Anyone interested in Benghazi could then try to join the puzzle sections together. Good grief!
Washington being Washington and politicians being politicians, imagine all the fun and games as a half-dozen committees compete against one another to schedule their hearings for the best TV time slots and compete over scheduling news conferences. What if one committee wants to grant immunity to a witness while another committee did not?
Whereas Boehner proposes to give the country a silly spectacle, Wolfs proposal is for a 19-member select committee, consisting of a Republican and a Democrat from each of those six committees of jurisdiction, plus five members appointed by the speaker and two appointed by the speaker after consultation with the minority leader. The speaker would appoint the chairman. It would have full subpoena power and be able to completely investigate all Benghazi issues across all jurisdictions.
Supporters of Wolfs effort to do the investigation right include:
More than two out of three House Republicans 158 of them.
Family members of Americans murdered in the attack.
The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, representing 26,000 federal law enforcement officers including Diplomatic Security Service officers, FBI agents, U.S. marshals, Secret Service agents and Border Patrol agents.
Special OPS OPSEC, an association of more than 700 retired Special Operations officials.
It makes no sense for Boehner and his team to block a more intelligent, more sensible, more efficient and more effective approach and insist on pursuing such a dimwitted one. By doing so, they are guilty of complicity in the Obama administrations ongoing coverup efforts.
Besides being such poor government, its also mind-bogglingly idiotic as political strategy.
Boehners way is a gift to Barack Obama. It enables the president and his apologists to deflect attention from the core issue by railing against how the Republicans have unleashed not one but six separate committees with 133 Republican members all trying to damage him. It guarantees a mess that will assist Obama in his attempt to dismiss investigating Benghazi as nothing but a sideshow and it will embarrass all Republicans and turn off the general public.
Crazy? Or just plain stupid?
Perhaps its time for the two-thirds or more of House Republicans who have the good judgment and political savvy to be with Wolf rather than Boehner on this to find new leaders who understand the meaning of the word.
Fred J. Eckert is a former Republican congressman from New York and twice served as a U.S. ambassador under President Ronald Reagan.
© 2013 POLITICO LLC
Yeah. That's the ticket.
Kinda like the 9/11 c0mmission.
To show their lack of partisanship, they could apppoint Victoria Nuland to be on it.
Boehner’s lack of action is still a decision made.
It is no different than an order to “Stand Down” during the assault at Benghazi
The indecision and lack of accountability is what infuriates those who care about what happened in Benghazi
Boehner should be replaced and a leader installed
It is a surprising source.
I learned all I needed to know about GOP House Leadership when they wailed to the heavens about the “grave consequences” of the FBI searching Representative William Jefferson’s office for what turned out to be proof of his bribery.
Crazy like a fox. This way he gets six bites of the apple. Maybe one will taste good!!
I said from the beginning that the GOP would screw up every single one of these investigations. Issa is the most incompetent at this point.
I love your Bubba Gump analogy. Perfect.
Anyone wanting on or off this ping list, please advise.
Profiles in Stupid!
Boehner is as totally inept at being Speaker as Obama is at being President.
It’s just as easy to stonewall six committees as one. As long as they keep consistent team Obama should have no problem lying to six committees. Besides, who’s even interested? Old news...
That my friend is merely a pipe dream. The cry baby house leader is more the single cell amoeba type than the fox.
Bring back Allen West, that’s the Speaker I want!
Ding, ding we have a winner!
Amen! Allen West would kick ass and take names as Speaker.
RINO’s need to realize that if revolution comes, they will be guilty of aiding and abetting the oligarchy. For the consequences of that, they might want to listen to Netanyahu’s remarks he recently gave in Europe.
When I see John Boehner, I see Ted Baxter.
A guy with good hair, good teeth, a good voice, and a gaudy tie who is clearly in over his head.
Just like Ted Baxter, he works very hard pretending that he knows what he is talking about.
In media and politics, it is all about how you look and how you sound,the coherent content of what you say means very little.
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