Thursday, October 22, 2015

GOP's Hyper-Partisan Benghazi Witch Hunt Is Blowing Up In Their Faces-- Spectacularly So


Once Grayson lodged a formal ethics complaint against Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Benghazi Committee chair Trey Gowdy-- much to the chagrin of House leadership (including decorous-Democrat Steny Hoyer)-- several things happened. Within 24 hours McCarthy withdrew his bid to follow Boehner as House Speaker and then Gowdy started trying to clean up the mess tying him to the hyper-partisanship inherent in his witch hunt against Hillary Clinton. He cancelled several fundraising events that were based on exploiting his work on the committee and last week-- six months after taking the loot-- Gowdy finally returned large "campaign contributions" he had taken from cronies of his who are connected to the Stop Hillary PAC, the one that has been running the horrific GOP ads exploiting the deaths of 4 Americans in Benghazi and trying--like Gowdy's committee-- to blame Clinton. The PAC raised nearly $800,000 using Gowdy's name and photo and a Gowdy associate pocketed a good deal of it-- hey, we're talking about Republicans here-- and about $100,000 went into the ad and thousands more were funneled into GOP campaigns-- like $10,000 worth of automated calls to voters in Gowdy's South Carolina congressional district on his behalf.
On Friday, Gowdy’s campaign returned three donations after the Washington Post inquired about links to a political action committee that aired a controversial ad about the Benghazi attacks during last week’s Democratic presidential debate.

The ad produced by the Alexandria, Va.-based Stop Hillary PAC showed images of the four Americans killed in Benghazi, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, as a narrator spoke in their voice: “Dear Hillary Clinton, I’d like to ask you why you ignored calls for help in Benghazi and then four Americans were murdered. . . . But Mrs. Clinton, I can’t.”

The PAC’s treasurer, Dan Backer, previously served as treasurer of a now-defunct fundraising committee affiliated with Gowdy. He is the treasurer of three other PACs-- the Conservative Action Fund, the Special Operations Speaks PAC and the Tea Party Leadership Fund-- that each donated $2,000 to Gowdy’s campaign on the same day in May.

...Backer’s role in Gowdy’s former “leadership PAC,” a fundraising vehicle commonly used to generate goodwill and influence by doling out money to favored colleagues and causes, represents another tie between the men.

...[T]he links had the Benghazi panel’s ranking Democrat, Elijah E. Cummings (Md.), fuming after they were disclosed Monday in the Washington Post: “These are shocking new revelations that directly contradict the promise we made to the families of the four brave Americans,” he said in a statement.

...“I think we should take the chairman at his invitation, which is judging the committee by its work, and its work has been obsessively focused on Secretary Clinton,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), a panel member. “I think that ultimately Benghazi is going to become synonymous with the abuse of congressional process.”
Yesterday Senate Democrats started demanding that the RNC pay for the Benghazi Committee-- which has already wasted close to $5 million of their partisan bullshit and which several of them besides Gowdy are using as a tool for political fundraising. In a letter to the RNC, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer and Patty Murray wrote that "Over the past several weeks, several House Republicans have made clear what many observers have suspected all along: that the Select Committee has conducted a political inquisition aimed at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton... We firmly believe the Committee should be disbanded, and that every penny of taxpayer money that has financed this purely political committee ought to be repaid."

But what's really driving Gowdy and his co-conspirators insane is that their whole scheme is backfiring, and not just backfiring in general but backfiring in ways that are damaging the reputations of Gowdy and the other Republicans behind the attempt to derail Clinton. And, according to a brand new Associated Press-GfK pol, not only do nearly 8 in 10 Democrats say they have a positive opinion of Hillary, but that "Three quarters of Americans think Clinton could win in a general election, including two-thirds of Republicans" and that "less than half of Americans said they think any of the Republican candidates for president could win in a general election." It's almost like the more Gowdy pushed his hyper-partisan line, the more Americans rallied around Clinton. The committee's goals to derail her are not working-- and not working spectacularly.

Worse yet, on one level, by forcing out the e-mails on Clinton's private server, the British press has been reporting that Bush and Tony Blair were plotting to drag the U.S. and U.K. into an unprovoked war with Iraq long before they ever told the public that was what they were planning. Largely ignored by the U.S. media, the Brits are looking at bombshell memos and revelations that expose-- thanks to Gowdy-- the lies both leaders told in the sunup to the Iraq War.
The damning memo, from Secretary of State Colin Powell to President George Bush, was written on March 28, 2002, a week before Bush’s famous summit with Blair at his Crawford ranch in Texas.

In it, Powell tells Bush that Blair ‘will be with us’ on military action. Powell assures the President: ‘The UK will follow our lead.'

...A second explosive memo from the same cache also reveals how Bush used ‘spies’ in the Labour Party to help him to manipulate British public opinion in favour of the war.

The documents, obtained by The Mail on Sunday, are part of a batch of secret emails held on the private server of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton which U.S. courts have forced her to reveal.

Former Tory Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: ‘The memos prove in explicit terms what many of us have believed all along: Tony Blair effectively agreed to act as a frontman for American foreign policy in advance of any decision by the House of Commons or the British Cabinet.

‘He was happy to launder George Bush’s policy on Iraq and sub-contract British foreign policy to another country without having the remotest ability to have any real influence over it. And in return for what?'

...The Powell document, headed ‘Secret... Memorandum for the President,' lifts the lid on how Blair and Bush secretly plotted the war behind closed doors at Crawford.

Powell says to Bush: ‘He will present to you the strategic, tactical and public affairs lines that he believes will strengthen global support for our common cause,’ adding that Blair has the presentational skills to ‘make a credible public case on current Iraqi threats to international peace.'

Five months after the summit, Downing Street produced the notorious ‘45 minutes from doom’ dossier on Saddam Hussein’s supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction. After Saddam was toppled, the dossier’s claims were exposed as bogus.

Nowhere in the memo is a diplomatic route suggested as the preferred option.

Instead, Powell says that Blair will also advise on how to ‘handle calls’ for the ‘blessing’ of the United Nations Security Council, and to ‘demonstrate that we have thought through “the day after” ’-- in other words, made adequate provision for a post-Saddam Iraq.

Critics of the war say that the lack of post-conflict planning has contributed to the loss of more than 100,000 lives since the invasion-- and a power vacuum which has contributed to the rise of Islamic State terrorism.

...The memo was included in a batch of 30,000 emails which were received by Mrs Clinton on her private server when she was US Secretary of State between 2009 and 2013.

Another document included in the email batch is a confidential briefing for Powell prepared by the U.S. Embassy in London, shortly before the Crawford summit.

The memo, dated ‘April 02’, includes a detailed assessment of the effect on Blair’s domestic position if he backs US military action.

The document says: ‘A sizeable number of his [Blair’s] MPs remain at present opposed to military action against Iraq... some would favor shifting from a policy of containment of Iraq if they had recent (and publicly usable) proof that Iraq is developing WMD/missiles... most seem to want some sort of UN endorsement for military action.

‘Blair’s challenge now is to judge the timing and evolution of America’s Iraq policy and to bring his party and the British people on board.

'There have been a few speculative pieces in the more feverish press about Labor [sic] unease re Iraq policy… which have gone on to identify the beginnings of a challenge to Blair’s leadership of the party.

'Former Cabinet member Peter Mandelson, still an insider, called it all "froth." Nonetheless, this is the first time since the 1997 election that such a story is even being printed.'

The paper draws on information given to it by Labour ‘spies,' whose identities have been hidden.
More bad news for Jeb Bush's faltering campaign-- courtesy of Trey Gowdy and the Republicans' latest obsessive Keystone Cops escapade against the Clintons.

UPDATE: GOP Will Pay A Price

Two new polls came out this morning. One in Iowa for the Des Moines Register shows that feelings for the efficacy of the Benghazi Committee run along party lines:

A national CNN/ORC poll found that most Americans agree-- by a lot-- that Gowdy's committee is overly partisan and using the investigation for political gain:

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At 7:46 PM, Blogger tamtam said...

So while witch hunting Hillary, the GOP inadvertently confirms what everyone suspected about how the Iraq War was cooked and served to the public.

These people are at a whole 'nother level of stupid


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