Richard Greene

May 10, 2014

Delusional minority or determined truth-seekers?

New congressional investigation of Benghazi has risks for both sides.

“Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi — ever notice if you say it really fast 10 times, it sounds like Republican desperation?”

The above message arrived on my Facebook page after I posted a suggestion that Richard Nixon would be known today simply as a former president instead of a disgraced former president had his administration’s Watergate burglary cover-up stories simply been accepted as truth.

The Obama White House is not going to budge from the spin they have put on the cause and aftermath of the tragic loss of American lives from the attacks on our Benghazi consulate.

But as much as the president and his vanguard of supporters in Congress and the media (and my Facebook friend) would like for it to all go away simply because they have declared it all over and completely settled, it’s not.

With the latest and long-delayed release of new White House email that some have declared to be new evidence of concocted and coordinated cover stories immediately following the terrorists’ assaults, the stakes have now been raised.

South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy — a respected prosecutor and dynamic member at previous House of Representatives hearings — is now chairing the new, bipartisan select committee and will, according to Speaker John Boehner, break through the stonewalling of the Obama administration and root out all the facts.

One thing seems certain — there will be losers and winners in the outcome. If the renewed congressional investigative initiatives find nothing new, my friend’s declaration of Republican desperation will make him look like a sage.

And President Barack Obama’s campaign strategist David Plouffe’s already-announced conclusion that the continued pursuit of the Benghazi “nonscandal” by a “loud, delusional minority” will further enhance his reputation as a political genius.

On the other hand, if the committee turns up persuasive evidence of Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s negligence on the night of the attacks, the political landscape for the foreseeable future will be transformed.

Former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson responded to Plouffe’s dismissive comments by saying the White House strategy was well-orchestrated and, “The key words they use, such as conspiracy and delusional, are in my opinion clearly designed to try to controversialize a legitimate news story and a legitimate area of journalistic inquiry.”

Fox News legal analyst and former New York judge Jeanine Pirro has called for Obama’s impeachment. She cites his motivation for obfuscation thusly: “Barack Obama [was] campaigning as a war hero, a real commander-in-chief, claiming al Qaeda was on its heels. Obama loses all credibility if the nation thinks al Qaeda destroyed our consulate and killed four Americans.”

Let me quickly answer those who dismiss anything connected to Fox News by saying that the liberal media, especially the likes of MSNBC, are tightening the protective shield around Obama and Hillary, so you need not worry that things are getting out of hand.

There’s seemingly an endorsement from that media for congressional Democrats and White House officials boycotting new hearings and attempting to delegitimize the committee’s findings — whatever they may be.

The risk of that strategy is that the American people will see it as the Democrats’ own kind of desperation and regard their absence from the hearings as fear of what might be discovered.

In the end, it will all be in the hands of those who will choose our leaders in this year’s elections and, yes, the even bigger decisions in 2016. Jobs and the economy will top the list of issues, but Benghazi could run a close second.

Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.

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