The Upstaging of Judge Gowdy
(h/t Democratic Underground)
I have to tell you, Roasters, that I am more than a little sad that Judge Gowdy’s Benghazi! BENGHAZI!! Select Committee is shaping up to be one of this season’s more spectacular entertainment duds.
Since early May, I have been looking forward to a summer of popcorn and microbrews by the pool and daily doses of Judge Gowdy on the YouTube; but now it looks like I’m going to be stuck with Speaker Boehner’s Impeachment Tort or reruns of the McCarthy Hearings.
So much has happened since those heady days in May—Speaker Boehner’s bold announcement that he was appointing a Select Committee to re-re-re-re-reinvestigate the tragedy at Benghazi; Nancy Pelosi’s tough decision to boycott the committee or not; the formation of the Benghazi Truth Pac . . .
That last item—The Benghazi Truth PAC—was just the kind of Republican sideshow that suckered me into believing that we were about to witness the Greatest Show on Earth with a ringside seat in Judge Gowdy’s Kangaroo Kourt.
The BT PAC was the brainchild of Buzz Jacobs, a Bush White House operative and 2008 McCain Campaign manager currently realizing the American Dream of small business ownership. Buzz’s biz, which is essentially raising-money-for-republicans, is something called Strategic Storytelling Company.
And Mr Jacobs has selflessly appointed himself to protect Judge Gowdy and his select committee colleagues from the inevitable smear campaigns that Liberals are bound to launch because . . . Libruls!
We are preparing to help defend them from unfair and untrue attacks.
There will be teams of people looking into their backgrounds and pulling things out of context and making major issues out of them and there needs to be some balance to that.
Jacobs said he fears Democrats loyal to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will try and “smear” the Republicans on the committee in order to protect Clinton.
He said he bases his concern on critical comments from Democrats after the special committee was created, and historically, how independent counsel Kenneth Starr was criticized during his investigation of former President Bill Clinton’s administration.
Jacobs fears that:
When we find out how disconnected the government was . . . it will not reflect well on Hillary Clinton. The left will try to distract from it and attack the messenger.
Gowdy, the object of Jacobs “strategic storytelling” said:
This investigation isn’t about my political career or anyone else’s. I do not approve of this PAC’s involvement nor do I desire to have their help in defending against attacks.
Oh DC! it isn’t really pretty what a town without pity can do. Nevertheless, Jacobs, unbowed by adversity and politically resilient said he respects Gowdy’s view on the super PAC.
If I was in his position, I would approach my job in the same way.
However, as a private citizen with White House-level national security experience, I am interested in doing what I can, within the law, to educate people about the truth and to defend those seeking the truth.
Then there was Judge Gowdy’s warm-up act in which he called a presser, then proceeded to humiliate the journalists he’d convened with Gowdy’s List of Liberal Media Failings, while the cameras rolled catching Gowdy’s every rhetorical flourish and the journos’ slack-jawed speechlessness.
The man’s a shameless ham but the base positively swooned, the following day, over their new hero spanking the Lamestream Media.
See what I mean? I was expecting months of this kind of entertainment.
Hell, at one point Judge Gowdy promised to keep his Special Committee investigation going through the 2016 election. I would venture a guess that it is, indeed, his party’s fervent wish that the investigation would last that long—not to say that anyone involved is capable of politicizing such a tragic and weighty matter . . .
Unfortunately, it would appear that the Benghazi Select Committee Investigation has been overtaken by events, as they say.
Not the least of which was Rep. Darrell Issa’s either bumbling or brilliant sabotage of Judge Gowdy’s new committee before it was a month old:
A still-classified State Department e-mail says that one of the first responses from the White House to the Benghazi attack was to contact YouTube to warn of the “ramifications” of allowing the posting of an anti-Islamic video, according to Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The memo suggests that even as the attack was still underway—and before the CIA began the process of compiling talking points on its analysis of what happened—the White House believed it was in retaliation for a controversial video.
As Brian Beutler reported:
The White House is thrilled with this revelation because it supports the view that their early citations of the YouTube video were sincere—not intended to whitewash the truth, that American public servants had been victims of a terrorist attack. The claim that this YouTube business was all a big lie is central to the entire convoluted Benghazi conspiracy, and something Select Committee chairman Trey Gowdy has harped upon in the past.
But, then . . . the coup de grace!
The flawlessly executed capture of Ahmed Abu Khatallah, a senior leader of the militant group Ansar al-Shari’a, by U.S. Special Forces and law-enforcement personnel in Libya. Khatallah, who is believed to be one of the ringleaders of the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, is currently being held in the US, awaiting trial.
And poor old Judge Gowdy is down yet another focus for his Benghazi probe.
As Simon Maloy of Salon reported:
Really, there were only a few avenues of inquiry that offered some legitimate opportunities for oversight, and the lack of action in pursuing the people responsible for the attacks was one of them.
After the House voted to approve the committee in May, Gowdy issued a statement indicating that he would try to nail down that question. “No one has been arrested, prosecuted, or punished for the murders of our fellow Americans,” the statement read. “These outstanding questions, and others, are legitimate, and seeking the answer to these questions should be an apolitical process.”
That “outstanding question” is now moot.
Which is good news, I guess, for Democrats and bad news for those who get our kicks watching Republicans wig out.
I’m afraid Simon Maloy is probably correct in saying:
Fewer avenues to investigate Benghazi mean fewer opportunities for the select committee to politicize the proceedings and generate headlines. It means fewer opportunities for Trey Gowdy to make angry or emotional statements for the cameras and then post the videos to YouTube. Khattala’s apprehension and the demise of silly conspiracies are obviously in the public interest, but they’re counter to what Republicans want politically.