The Select Committee on Benghazi aims for impeachment of the President

There have been—so far—nine investigations into the incident in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Five House committees and two Senate committees have looked into it along with the Accountability Review Board of the State Department and the FBI.

The House Oversight Committee chaired by Darrell Issa (my congressperson) has not yet finished its investigations and just a few days ago Issa subpoenaed John Kerry to testify. Republicans, however, have grown impatient with Issa's clumsy and ineffective attempts to tie Benghazi firmly to the White House. They have finally realized that he will not give them what they want: solid grounds for impeachment.

Later today the House will vote, along party lines, to establish a select committee consisting of 7 Republicans and 5 Democrats to conduct a new investigation, subsuming all the evidence gathered by the previous five House Committee hearings. Only the Republicans will have the authority to call witnesses. The chair of this select committee will be South Carolina's Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor, known as a bulldog in the courtroom. The effort to build him up as an incorruptible lawyer with impeccable credentials has begun in the media.

The goal here is not an objective investigation of what happened at Benghazi, but an attempt to find a plausible charge on which the House can vote to impeach the President. If, as expected, the GOP wins control of the Senate in November, the Senate—which would try Obama— would be controlled by the Republicans and have a much better chance to convict him.

It is a risky strategy, but one with significant payoff. First it might add luster to the 2014 campaign and enhance the already substantial chances of taking the Senate. The election can be touted as a way to clean up a corrupt administration. Secondly it can be used to hurt Hillary Clinton and improve the chances of a Republican President being elected in 2016. That is something for which the big donors will give significant amounts of money. Finally, if successful, it would leave Presidential politics firmly in Republican hands for some time to come—the Democrats would be saddled with two successive Presidential impeachments, something that has never happened. 

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A popular but inaccurate quote: "Democracy is that form of government where everybody gets what the majority deserves." (attributed to James Dale Davidson)

Make that "...what the majority of those who bothered to actually vote deserves."

Not quite right even then: that supposes that the voters make a free, educated, fully informed choice, and aren't lied to and manipulated.

Those who can vote, but dont are getting what they deserve too, As are thise who vote without trying to inform themselves, and those who vote based on yard signs or TV ads.
Okay, why don't we get a select committee together to investigate war crimes and leading the nation to war under false pretext against former President Bush and his cabal of neocons?

Their actions make Benghazi look like the tempest in a teapot that it is.

CS, do you suggest a Senate or House select committee?

America won't prosecute war crimes committed by Americans. Other nations might if any of the perpetrators go abroad.

Remember this: a Democratic administration lied us into war in Viet Nam and a Republican administration lied us into war in Iraq. Both parties take bribes from and extort money from those who have it.

Only with a national initiative and referendum will we the people clean up the national gov't.

Do you know why the constitutions of few if any eastern states have initiative and referendum provisions and those of most western states do?

Eastern states don't have such provisions because America's founders saw democracy as mob rule.

I lived in [now-crazy] Arizona and know its history. Its pro-statehood people in 1910 saw the political corruption in eastern states and wanted to prevent it.

@ Tom - There were founders who indeed felt that the running of the young republic could not be left to the unwashed masses. There were those like Paine and Jefferson who felt that the common man's aspirations and desire to be free of Kings and their cronies was the reason for the revolution in the first place.

Given some of the right wing whacks like Goldwater and McCain and the crazy immigration policies of AZ I really can't see what initiatives really provides as a safeguard against bad governance.

Vietnam was fueled by the containment policy of Kenner that Ike bought into as did Kennedy and Johnson and Nixon. That was just the belief in the monolithic Communist plan that all cold warriors were locked into.

The invasion of Iraq was done under the false pretext that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11. That he was preparing to use WMD, even against the mainland U.S. The whole folley was fueled by neo-cons who felt that since we had enabled the fall of the Soviet Union that U.S. exceptionalism and some good 'ol Manifest Destiny entitled us to be a great hegemon, or if you will engage in a new era of American Imperialism.

By the way, all this right wing hubris ties in with America as the new land of Moses crap that is a spin on English Imperialism.

These fascist loving neo-liberal/theocratic 1%ers won't be happy until they have achieved a feudal society with better technology.

... the crazy immigration policies of AZ I really can't see what initiatives really provides as a safeguard against bad governance.

CS, the Bill of Rights supersedes initiative-enacted law.

And as I recall, people referred to AZ's monstrous anti-immigrant act with something like "SB 1070", which means the state legislature did it.

There were founders who indeed felt that the running of the young republic could not be left to the unwashed masses.

Among them was James Madison, who thought that the principal conflict would always be between the "opulent few"  and the majority. He saw the Senate with longer terms of office as a bulwark against innovations that might upset the balance in favor of the majority:

 …our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability.

There were those like Paine and Jefferson who felt that the common man's aspirations and desire to be free of Kings and their cronies was the reason for the revolution in the first place.

And more, CS.

The people who looked ahead, past wanting freedom from kings and their cronies, saw more,

They knew that if the Revolution succeeded, the western lands (the Appalachians) that England had been keeping for the natives, would be available for settlement by the non-natives.

That meant money for land speculators, who typically bribe legislators and get undeveloped land at prices much lower than the prices they will sell it for.

Wikipedia has an article on the Yazoo land frauds in the 1790s.


I subscribe heavily to Howard Zinn's interpretation of our history as one of class struggle. The land grab was well underway long before western expansion.

@ Ted - I don't know why more Americans didn't rally behind Dennis Kucinich and his effort to impeach Bush.

There's no profit in it.  Congress is not about justice -- its about power, and nobody gains power by going after an ex-President.

Misinformation always abounds. Just the other day a veteran told me that the main man Obama let out of Guntanemo is the one now over in Iraq cutting off everyone's heads. With no more than this bizarre sentence, I ask you what "main man" that was? Why are we not hearing about the beheadings or the man's name? Is the media in on keeping "Obama's secret?" Maybe this just goes in with more of the "get Obama" tactics. Like Ted says, nobody gains by going after an ex-president.




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