As Hillary Clinton testifies before Trey Gowdy’s (R-SC) House Select Committee on Benghazi, the entire sordid Benghazi investigative hearings that have gone on for more than three years have simply collapsed of their own partisan weight.  The past couple of weeks have not been kind to Gowdy or Republicans with overheard conversations (McCarthy R-), fired Committee staff member, Major Bradley Podiska,  and the CIA, no less, undermining the legitimacy the proceedings as “investigatory” as opposed being simply designed to derail Hillary Clinton’s run for President. 

The CIA’s pronouncement, is particularly damaging.  Gowdy publicly released an e-mail from Clinton’s server (allegedly – at this point it wouldn’t surprise me if the entire correspondence was ginned up by a Gowdy staff member) that he claimed, contained not only classified information but revealed the name of a CIA informant, a very serious claim..  And, as Scooter Libby discovered during the Bush Administration, revealing the name of a CIA operative is a felony and can lead to jail time.  The name had been redacted by Gowdy or his staff in the released e-mail in an effort to highlight the seriousness of the matter and the possibility that Hillary Clinton had committed an impeachable offense, which is a popular, current conservative meme directed at Hillary. 

Unfortunately for Gowdy, the CIA responded by telling him and the entire Select Committee (not just the Dems or the Repubs since the agency sent a letter to both sides) that, no, there was no classified information contained in the correspondence and no reason that it should be classified and that the name of the CIA informant had been known publicly for over a decade.  So that pretty much blew Gowdy’s latest non-partisan attempt to smear Clinton pretty much dead in the polluted wasteland that is the Select Committee on Benghazi.

But there’s more.  In a recent Washington Post article, they lay out a whole bunch of other attacks on Clinton, associated with Benghazi but not (allegedly) associated with Gowdy or the Committee.  For example, did you know that an ad shown frequently of late and produced by the “Stop Hillary PAC” showed images of the four dead Americans as a narrator intoned “Dear Hillary Clinton, I’d like to ask you why you ignored calls for help in Benghazi and then four Americans were murdered?”  Needless to say, in the 17 official reports and analyses that have been done over the Benghazi tragedy, every single one has debunked the nonsense that Clinton ignored “calls for help.”  But that this ad was shown during the House Select Committee’s ostensibly “non-partisan” hearings just shows how Citizen’s United has not only corrupted the election process, but has allowed paid for lies to spew out over the airwaves during what is supposed to be a serious Congressional investigation.

Then there’s the PAC contributions from the “Conservative Action Fund,” the “Special Operations Speaks PAC,” and the “Tea Party Leadership Fund” each of whom donated $2,000 to Gowdy’s campaign fund on the same day last May.  Gowdy, apparently aware that these contributions might damage his perceived “objectivity,” returned these donations.  But then too there’s the “Stop Hillary PAC” who used Gowdy’s name and image in a fundraising solicitation urging donors to “Support Trey Gowdy & Continue the Select Committee on Benghazi.”  Gowdy’s lawyer sent a letter to the group demanding that they stop using his name and Gowdy refused a donation from them in July. 

But since January of this year, the Stop Hillary PAC has raised $800,000 and Federal filings show that the group spent $100,000 this month on a national campaign ad opposing Clinton and conducted $10,000 worth of automated phone calls last month in support of Gowdy and his investigative committee. 

All of this is legal – after all these PAC’s are “issue organizations” and have the right to “comment” on any and all issues and Hillary Clinton is certainly as issue.  Okay, okay.  Sorry.  It’s Benghazi that’s the issue.  I guess.  But in the Wild-Wild West-Gunslinger political environment that Citizen’s United has dropped on us, I can’t help wondering if during what is supposed to be a serious investigation into what happened in Benghazi and how such a tragedy might be prevented in the future should such “campaign issue ads” be allowed?  After all, Grand Juries receive testimony and information in secret and judges often prevent public reporting on controversial cases in order not to prejudice folks and a case isn’t tried in the media.  Isn’t a Congressional investigation into the deaths of four Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador, deserving of the same considerations?

The entire investigation into Benghazi is simply about making sure Hillary does not become the next President of the United States.  Pure and Simple. 


I just came across this non-Benghazi post:

By REBECCA SHABAD CBS NEWS October 20, 2015, 10:54 AM

GOP conservatives unveil debt ceiling hike that comes with steep price.
A group of conservative House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a proposal to raise the debt limit through March 2017 that also calls for mandatory spending cuts.
The Republican Study Committee's "Terms of Credit Act" would raise the debt ceiling by roughly $1.5 trillion -- to a total of $19.6 trillion -- through March 2017.
But the committee is setting a steep price for the debt limit increase. The bill would require congressional committees to produce legislation within 90 days that would cut more than $3.8 trillion in mandatory funding over the next decade. Mandatory funding covers programs like Medicare, Social Security and food stamps.
They also have a condition to impose on their colleagues in the Senate: the measure would eliminate the filibuster for an initial procedural vote on spending bills any time after Oct. 1. The legislation would also freeze all regulations until July 1, 2017, several months into the next presidential administration.
Congress has only two weeks left before the Nov. 3 deadline to raise the debt ceiling before the nation's borrowing authority runs out. Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is expected to bring up a "clean" debt ceiling increase before he leaves Congress.
President Obama wants Congress to pass a "clean" bill, which has no conditions, but many conservatives don't want to raise it without passing significant spending reforms.



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