Republicans Can't Give Up the Benghazi Lust

You can't unfuck yourself. Once you've fucked, you can't go back. You can claim you are a virgin, sure. You can even make some kind of magical pledge to your god, who has nothing better to do than wave his wand, like the Wizard of Oz, and say, "There. You're unfucked." But you know the truth: you've fucked and been fucked. So the best thing you can say is that it was a mistake and hope everyone moves on. Or you could just claim that, despite all evidence to the contrary, you remain unfucked and always have been.

Republicans can't unfuck themselves on how they've used the events of September 11, 2012 at the United States's temporary mission facility in Benghazi, Libya. They have crowed endlessly about how the deaths of four Americans is the product of incompetence, a cover-up, or outright evil. They have come up with conspiracies about why then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice dared to use talking points that were based on incomplete intelligence when she spoke to Sunday talk shows in the aftermath of the attacks. Republicans have been fucking Benghazi for over two years. It hets up the blood of the base over how that nigra president personally ordered the murder of our Libyan ambassador or something. And it makes Hillary Clinton look like she's some kind of America-hating supervillain.

Except report after report has said the whole thing is bullshit, a political game. But, in the wake of the latest report by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, at least we know the rules of the game. They're something like, "Never give up. Never surrender." Truly, with seven reports now saying pretty much the exact same thing - no cover-up, no intelligence failure, nothing beyond a few preventive security fuck-ups that will be corrected - Benghazi is like climate change for Republicans. No matter how many facts are proven, the true believers will never say that reality is real.

This one, released Friday, was an actual bipartisan effort, led by Republicans and the committee's chair, Mike Rogers. You know how everyone supposedly wants a golden age of hand-holding in accomplishing something in DC? This report is it. And it's blissfully clear in taking on all the bullshit that has been flogged by Benghazi-bungling believers. There was no stand down order, no denial of air support, no intelligence failures because there was no intelligence of a specific attack. "The CIA received all military support that was available," it says on page 23. No officers were forced to stay silent or polygraphed. No super-secret CIA activities, including a "no" to Rand Paul's allegation that the CIA was using Libya to ship arms to Syria.

The worst things you can say are that the State Department should have provided more security (always a solid hindsight conclusion) and that the intelligence was such a clusterfuck right after that anyone speaking about the incident was going to get shit wrong. Was Susan Rice supposed to say, "No comment" on the attack? The report says, "In fact, intelligence assessments continue to evolve to this day, and investigations into the motivations of the individual attackers are still ongoing." You got that? We still don't know everything. And, to remind you, that's in a bipartisan report from a committee with a majority of Republicans.

So, of course, in his individual statement on his own committee's report, Mike Rogers keeps the conspiracies going, especially as they relate to Susan Rice and the State Department because, well, as you can read above, you can't unfuck yourself. So he blames the Obama administration for not providing enough security (the budget for which was cut by the Republicans in Congress) and for having a "failed" foreign policy (although you might want to check the scorecard on dead Americans in Libya with Reagan). Sure, Rogers says, all that shit we said you did is demonstrably false, as my committee's report shows, but, fuck it, "there is responsibility for the tragedy," which somehow involves telling David Gregory what you were told happened.

The report prompted the Senate's prettiest debutante, Lindsey Graham, to go full Scarlett on CNN yesterday. Calling the report "full of crap" and "garbage" and "a lousy job" by the House committee, he said that everyone is being lied to by the CIA, that people were told to stand down, and that Susan Rice and those talking points are the gravest threat to the nation since the Great Taffeta Shortage of 1985. Graham added (and if you believe certain things about Graham's personal life, you will be delighted), "If the things I'm saying about this episode fail to bear fruit, it will blow up in my face. But I know Benghazi pretty well. And I can tell you that the people who have been looking at Benghazi in a stovepipe fashion have not come up with what I think is a reasonable explanation for all the shenanigans and the lack of being prepared on 9/11."

Don't worry, dear, sweet Graham and all the conspiracy theorists. There is still another report to come from the House Select Committee on Benghazi. You don't have to worry about unfucking yourselves until that one clears the Obama administration, too.