Do you remember the Beirut bombing? It happened on October 23, 1983, and it claimed the lives of 241 American military officials. Do you remember when, after the bombing, Congress hauled Ronald Reagan before them and paraded him around in a national embarrassment? No?
Neither do I. And neither does Representative Adam Smith, who hammered the partisan Benghazi commission for being nothing more than a transparent attack on Hillary Clinton today during the hearings.
“Not on partisanship, not on embarrassing the Reagan administration.”
I’m an 80s child, and one of my favorite movies as a child was the original generation Transformers movie. The movie has one of my favorite lines, and Clinton’s reactions today reminded me of it. While being held hostage by an enemy called Quintesson, two of the movie’s protagonists are warned to be silent or they’ll be “held in contempt of this court,” to which one protagonist replies, “I have nothing but contempt for this court.”
It’s a very awesome scene since Quintesson is an arrogant villain running a kangaroo court — sort of like the Republicans in these hearings. These hearings are little more than a verdict looking for any shred of evidence to justify its existence, no matter the cost to the American taxpayers.
Smith hit the committee hard, noting that after 17 months and $4.7 million, “this committee is simply not doing its job and I don’t really think it should have been formed in the first place.” He hammered the “obsession” with Clinton’s emails, and tore into committee chairman Trey Gowdy, who’s opening remarks were a “defense of the committee’s existence.”
And to Clinton, he noted that she seems to be their sole target since no other members of the Department of Defense, CIA, or other agencies were present for the kangaroo court:
Again, I think we’ve seen that this committee is focused on you. I’m the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee. I don’t see the Department of Defense here, I don’t see the CIA here. There were many, many other agencies involved in this and yet yours has been the one that they have obsessively focused on
He then reminded the GOP that a similar attack happened in Beirut during Reagan’s administration, but nobody attempted to humiliate Reagan:
A Democratic Congress at the time did a fair and quick investigation of what was an unspeakable tragedy. Two separate suicide bombings four months apart, and there was clearly inadequate security. But the focus there was not on partisanship, not on embarrassing the Reagan administration, but on actually figuring out what happened and on how we can better protect Americans
And that’s the catch; the fallout from this hasn’t been money spent to beef up embassies. It’s been money spent on pointless hearing after pointless hearing, as the Republicans try desperately to revive their favorite game of the 1990s: pin the crime on the Clinton. It didn’t work for them then. It probably won’t work for them now, either.
Watch the video below:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-uZA88oWwU&w=640&h=480]
Feature image via screen capture via YouTube