The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee has concluded its investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi and found no evidence of wrongdoing. There was no “intelligence failure” before the attacks, and although the effort to assemble talking points for the president in the immediate aftermath were “flawed,” conspiracy theories like the stand-down order or denial of air support were found to be groundless. You can read the whole report here, if you have Asperger’s Syndrome. Or you can take the Washington Post’s word for it and consider the case closed. Or—and I’m just spitballing, here—you can call the report “garbage” and “full of crap,” as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–SC) did yesterday. But that is an advanced move.
Either Graham did not cite specific crap and garbage in the report, or Fox News did not report it. He complains that the Intelligence Committee report “puts all the blame on the State Department and absolves the intelligence community,” but he didn’t say how or even whether that was wrong. Don’t worry, though—the truth will out itself soon enough. I quote Fox News:
Many of the new report’s findings were similar to those in six previous investigations by congressional committees and a State Department panel. The eighth Benghazi investigation is being carried out by a House Select Committee appointed in May.
Probably this eighth investigation will reach conclusions that are A) different from those of the first seven and B) true. Then, finally, we will know for certain what we certainly knew all along: President Obama lied to the American people after Benghazi, or made the attacks worse while they were happening, or did something to cause them in the first place. It’s the only plausible explanation, because he is the president.
Or maybe, as Paul Waldman dares to hope at the Washington Post, the search for a scandal is finally over. As with Solyndra, Fast & Furious and the IRS, our appetite for Obama scandals—by which I mean the Republican appetite for Obama scandals—exceeds what the kitchen can produce. “Benghazi will be a vital part of the history of the Obama presidency,” Waldman writes, “not for what it says about the administration but what it says about the administration’s opponents.”
Is there a better metaphor for today’s GOP than Lindsey Graham demanding an investigation into Benghazi, then rejecting the findings of that investigation because they didn’t comport with what he already believed? As with climate change or evolution, inquiry is valuable only insofar as it proves what we already know. “All that is written is written for our doctrine,” the medieval church said. Fourteenth-century popes had nothing on Lindsey Graham.