According to a report in USA today, Senator Lindsey Graham started out his day Tuesday morning by sending out this tweet shortly after 5:00a.m.:
I think the dam is about to break on #Benghazi. We’re going to find system failure before, during and after the attack.
However, his prediction wasn’t confirmed during the hearing on Wednesday to any degree beyond what the Accountability Review Board report and five congressional committee investigations have already determined.
Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-Penn) said in a live interview on MSNBC after the hearing that Republicans have given a new twist to the term “mountain out of a molehill”, because they have been blindly invested in making a “mountain out of nothing.”
Wednesday’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing was chaired by Sen. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) and co-chaired by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).
The USA Today report, indicates that Republicans have been intent on proving their hypothesis that President Obama and then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton were conspiring to hide the truth from the American people in a cover up of evidence in order to protect Obama’s reelection effort and claims that he had al-Qaida on the run.
The so-called “whistleblowers” were Mark Thompson, Greg Hicks and Eric Nordstrom, who had not spoken at any previous hearings. They gave riveting and sometimes emotional personal testimony from their own experiences regarding the 9/11 anniversary terrorist attack on Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans—but there was no bombshell information produced from the six hours of Q & A.
Former Secretary Clinton was brought into the debate during several opportunities, even though she was not always mentioned directly by name.
However, as noted in the Washington Post, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) articulated the snippet of Clinton’s previous hearing testimony earlier this year, after hours of questions trying to nail her down on specifics, including the use of the term “terrorism”. She asked in exasperation, “what difference does it make?” That question was seized upon by conservatives without context of her follow on response.
“If anyone wants to ask ‘what difference does it make’, it always matters whether or not you can trust your government,” Gowdy said. “And to the families, we’re going to find out what happened in Benghazi, and I don’t give a damn whose career is impacted. We’re going to find out what happened.”
Here is Hillary Clinton’s full statement via Politifact:
What difference does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator. Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this, but the fact is that people were trying in real time to get to the best information. The IC has a process, I understand, going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out. But you know, to be clear, it is, from my perspective, less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on in the meantime.
Clinton also took full responsibility for the Benghazi failures and she vowed to make that every correction proposed by the Accountability Review Board would be addressed.
Republicans will continue to seek “the truth” about their perceived Benghazi-gate conspiracies, but critics are skeptical and see the ongoing crusade as nothing more than a partisan effort to tarnish Hillary Clinton, in the event she is the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016.
The hearing will air again tonight on C-Span 3.