Why Benghazi Isn’t, And Never Will Be, A Scandal

Ken AshfordCongress, Election 2016, Political ScandalsLeave a Comment

Balloon Juice nails it:

Here’s the one thing I don’t get about the whole Benghazi Snark hunt: fucking up a government job, and trying to paper it over,  is not now and has never been the basis of a scandal. The formula for a scandal is simple: crime + cover-up = scandal:

  • Watergate was a scandal because Nixon authorized a break-in (crime) to make sure he was re-elected, and then covered it up.
  • Iran-Contra was a scandal because it was arming contras was illegal, and Ollie North destroyed documents to cover it up. Eleven people were convicted of crimes – even though some were pardoned, it was a real scandal.
  • Whitewater was at least a candidate for a scandal because the Clintons were alleged to have gotten a sweetheart loan as a form of bribe (crime) and then Bernie Nussbaum supposedly removed documents from Vince Foster’s office after his suicide (cover-up). No convictions (of Executive Branch employees), but it had the raw materials for a scandal, even though it didn’t grow into a full-blown one.

Fucking up, which is all that is alleged in Benghazi, is not against the law (sadly). Covering up a fuck up is what DC insiders call “spinning” or “another day at the office”. I haven’t been paying close attention, but has there ever been a hint of a crime worthy of an alleged cover up here?

Obviously, the Benghazi witchhunt isn’t about a crime, or cover-up.  It’s trying to taint Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee of 2016.

Steve Benen weighs in:

So what was the point of yesterday’s theatrics, beyond giving far-right activists a morale boost and giving Fox News a ratings boost? What do we know now that we didn’t know 24 hours ago? Eight months after the attack itself, I know Republicans think there’s been a cover-up, but I haven’t the foggiest idea what it is they think has been covered up. For all the talk of a political “scandal,” no one seems capable of pointing to anything specific that’s scandalous. For all the conspiracy theories, there’s no underlying conspiracy to be found.

Kevin Drum:

Was Benghazi mishandled? Maybe. Are there lessons to be learned? Probably. Is there a scandal or a coverup? There’s never been any evidence of it, and there still isn’t. This is a show that goes on and on without end, but it never delivers a payoff. Issa and his colleagues need to start paying more attention to stuff that actually matters, and give up on the Fox-friendly conspiracy theories that never pan out. Enough’s enough.