Benghazi is a conspiracy to get Hillary Clinton elected president

The true meaning is at last revealed. I watched bits and pieces of Clinton’s hearing yesterday, and it all became clear.

Years ago, undercover operatives within the Republican party exploited a tragic, deadly attack in Libya. They stirred up some of the dumbest people in the party with a story: Benghazi is in a foreign country, and everyone knows that the Secretary of State is in charge of the foreigns, and so master manipulator Hillary Clinton must have done sumfin’ to rile up the brown people. And then all the dumb people started howling “Benghazi!”, further derailing their party, and getting the people who howled loudest into prominent positions, and sucking up millions of dollars for an “investigation”.

And then they put a guy with a funny name and an even goofier haircut in charge of the whole thing, and every third-rate sour, bitter Republican they could on the committee, and they staged a show trial in which posturing clowns asked stupid questions and Hillary Clinton could demonstrate god-like patience and look like the only grown-up in Washington DC.

It was brilliant. The Republicans look like twits, while Hillary Clinton looked presidential. It was the Kennedy-Nixon debate all over again, with Clinton as the telegenic, good-looking one, and the entire Republican party looking thuggish.

I heard the siren song. I found myself thinking that maybe I should vote for Clinton, too — never mind that Sanders is closer to me politically, man, I could picture President Hillary Clinton so easily.

And in case you missed it all, here is a most accurately abbreviated transcription of the whole thing.


  1. says

    Clinton is inevitable because that’s just how the establishment rolls, but I’d be very happy to see Sanders become the Jiminy Cricket on her shoulder, reminding her that she can focus on something other than the next election cycle. (Which will start on Easter Sunday, 2016)

  2. davidnangle says

    Every time I wonder if both political parties are in on it together, obeying powers we can’t see, putting on a show for us rubes… I see that they are spending gobs of precious, precious money to try to sway us one way or the other every election, and I know that voting still counts. They still fear our votes. For now.

  3. says

    Hannity: Republicans don’t get anything done.

    McCarthy: That’s not true! We’ve hurt Clinton’s poll numbers.

    Hillary: Snap!

    Republicans: D’oh! The ONE thing we got done, too!

  4. marcus says

    Sanders is also expresses ideas much closer to my own as well. At my house we have decided to vote for Sanders in the primary, hopefully (with a few million allies), giving much-needed support and recognition to the ideals that Sanders has brought to fore. I don’t think that there is any doubt, however, that Clinton is going to win the nomination (barring something unforeseen). IMO it will then be incumbent for all people of conscience to vote for the most liberal and progressive candidate (with the chance to actually, you know, win).
    I know that many lefties eschew voting for Clinton, to them I say, George Bush.

  5. Reginald Selkirk says

    And in case you missed it all, here is a most accurately abbreviated transcription of the whole thing.

    I see why you found that one interesting.

    Hillary Clinton: … Also Hail Hydra!

  6. mostlymarvelous says

    Lawks. That transcript was more lucid than what I saw of the hearing itself. There has to be a better word than travesty, but I don’t know what it might be.

    (I honestly thought that they had _something_ to run with. It never occurred to me that it would be worse than a debate in the kindy playground.)

  7. Menyambal - torched by an angel says

    Eleven hours!? In the parts of it that I caught, I thought Clinton was refraining from telling the Republicans exactly what the Republican motives were, and what they had been doing to smear her. If she had said – truthfully – that the whole thing was a troll hunt based on a conspiracy theory, they’d have jumped on that as crazy talk.

    Of course, afterwards Fox News was babbling about “new evidence”. So claiming a win is just a claim. But Clinton did it well, for sure.

    I’d like to see her team up with Claire McCaskill, the Missouri state senator. Just to make it clear that an intelligent woman doesn’t need some other kind of person for a running mate.

  8. anteprepro says

    11 hour marathon inquisition about a ridiculous conspiracy theory that has been established as improbable and a politically motivated hit-job, for a long, long time? And part of a $5 million “investigation”? An investigation into an absurd manufactured controversy, an obsession that has been a farce and turned into a punchline itself three years ago?

    This is one of those stories where I have two conflicted reactions in perfect balance with each other. My first reaction is that this is just so bizarre and I don’t know how anyone could side with the Republicans on this, or see this as all as anything but borderline offensive absurdity. My second reaction is that this is just so fucking typical and it really isn’t nearly stupid or surreal enough to raise an eyebrow, since this is just our typical political process and just typical Republicans being Republican. Benghazi really is just Republican politics in a nutshell. A hilarious and disturbing little nutshell.

  9. k_machine says

    The press is keeping this going, they truly believe that it’s always the coverup that’s worse than the act. So the committee and the press keep rattling the cage over nothing, hoping that Clinton will make a mistake they can use. That’s all there is to it. There doesn’t need to be any wrongdoing just the impression of wrongdoing.

  10. says

    Cross-posted from the Moments of Political Madness thread.

    Rachel Maddow covered the “remarkable display of endurance” by Hillary Clinton. Clinton testified before the House Select Committee on Benghazi for more than 11 hours. The twelve committee members took turns questioning her. The members got some breaks thanks to the fact that there were twelve of them, but Clinton was the only witness.

    Maddow also covered the partisanship of the committee hearing, and she covered the “unprecedented mockery” of Clinton.

    Democrats on the Benghazi Committee played an interesting role during the hearing — mostly they outed the underhanded tactics of the Republicans.

    I loved the bit where one Republican member of the committee tried very hard to make Clinton look uncaring because she worked from her home on the night following the Benghazi attack. She had a SCIF, and she stayed up all night, but Republicans weren’t having it. They asked, by name, if so-and-so was still in the State Department office when she went home. A long list of names. Ridiculous. A Democratic member of the committee finally pointed out that General Petraeus also worked from home that night, with a SCIF.

    A SCIF is a Secure Classified Information Facility, or Secure Compartmentalized Information Facility.

    Clinton will be the featured interview on Rachel Maddow’s show. Friday, (today) 9pm ET. It will be interesting to hear her view of the hearing.

  11. says

    One example of a Republican committee member bringing up an obviously bogus rightwing conspiracy theory during the questioning of Clinton:

    During the Benghazi hearing, GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo demonstrated a lot of disrespect for Clinton. At one point, Pompeo said he wished Clinton would listen to him. She was obviously listening and answering his questions. He just didn’t like the fact that she didn’t agree with him. Pompeo was a bully.

    GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo thinks he has Clinton cornered, suggesting that members of Clinton’s “team” had met with Al Qaeda operatives in Benghazi shortly before the attacks. Clinton says she was aware of no such meetings. Pompeo calls it “deeply disturbing.” Clinton says, “I’m sorry, which ‘team’ is this?” Pompeo: “We don’t know exactly who… I don’t know which one.” Basically Pompeo’s got nothing. Clinton, unfazed, says she has no idea to whom he’s referring. Pompeo yields back his time, after getting quite possibly the biggest slap down yet.

  12. says

    Cross-posted from the Moments of Political Madness thread.

    FACT: There Is No Evidence That Clinton Personally Signed Off On A Cable Reducing Security In Benghazi

    FACT: The State Department Did Not Watch The Benghazi Attacks Unfold In Real Time

    FACT: Clinton’s “What Difference, At This Point, Does It Make” Comment Was Referring To The Administration’s Post-Attack Talking Points, Not Tragic Consequences Of Attack

    FACT: There Is No Proof Clinton’s State Department Scrubbed, Altered, Or Covered Up Any Benghazi Documents

    FACT: Clinton’s Use Of A Personal Email Account Was Legal And Did Not Violate State Department Policy

    FACT: Clinton Is Not The Subject Of A Criminal Investigation Over Her Emails

    FACT: Conservative Comparisons Of Clinton To Petraeus Ignore The Fact That Unlike Petraeus, There’s No Evidence Clinton Knowingly Emailed Classified Information

    FACT: CIA Says Clinton Did Not Expose Classified Information About Libyan Intelligence Source With Email Contrary To Conservative Claims

    More at the link.

    And, as you already know, member of Clinton’s team did NOT meet with Al Qaeda operatives in Benghazi to arrange the attack.

  13. petesh says

    Clinton has a great laugh and a dirty mind. Big plus point.

    For those who havent seen that bit, it comes when she was asked if she was alone that night — all night?

  14. whheydt says

    If you really want to see a right wing head explode, just at the person and say, “Commander-in-Chief Hillary Clinton.”

  15. Bob Foster says

    I watched more of the “hearing” than I should have and much more than was good for me. As it went on words like inquisition, gang bang, lynch party rattled around my increasingly agitated brain. At one point I was convinced that Rep. Jordan was going to leap from his chair, throw himself across the barrier and throttle Hillary.

    I, too, prefer Bernie, and have always been lukewarm towards Hillary, despite my wife’s insistence that she’s the smarter and more savvy of the two Clintons. By 7:30 last night my admiration for Hillary was reaching levels that I would never have thought possible. I got so incensed at the disrespectful and vicious treatment that she was receiving that the only way I could channel my anger, aside from yelling at the TV, was to go online and donate money to her campaign. I gave her a $100. It went a long way towards making me feel a little less impotent.

  16. says

    Last month, the Quinnipiac poll had Sanders leading Clinton in Iowa 41% to 40% (that’s within the margin of error, so essentially tied). The new Quinnipiac poll out today shows Clinton leading Sanders by 11 points, 51% to 40%.

    Clinton, looking fresh and well-rested, gave a speech today at the Democratic Women’s Leadership Forum. She noted that Republicans are now putting together a “special committee” to investigate Planned Parenthood. “I think we all know by now that’s code for a partisan witch hunt. Haven’t we seen enough of that yet?” she said.

    A couple of excerpts:

    “I am not shouting,” Clinton told the audience Friday. “It is just when women talk, some people think we are shouting.”

    “As some of you may know, I had a pretty long day yesterday,” she said. “I finally got to answer questions, something I have been pushing for literally a year, and I am just grateful I recovered my voice which I lost a little bit.”

    Clinton talked about equal pay, childcare costs, public education at the university level, justice system reform, and protecting Planned Parenthood and women’s reproductive rights, (among other things.) I didn’t catch the whole speech.

    This is a telling detail about the Benghazi Committee hearing, Fox News cut away from the hearing hours before it was finished. They basically cut their coverage back to minimal. Didn’t like what they were seeing, I guess.

    In rightwing media, I’m seeing a lot of “Hillary Clinton is a liar” summaries of the hearing. I think that’s the only way they can keep their heads from exploding.

  17. says

    Here’s another example of Republicans using one of their pet conspiracy theories to question Hillary Clinton. The theory was that Clinton knew about, and perhaps nurtured, a gun-running operation out of Libya.

    There were two types of questions that House Republicans posed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at yesterday’s hearing of the Benghazi Special Committee: 1) questions that had nothing to do with Benghazi (see Blumenthal, Sidney), and 2) questions that were already thoroughly assessed and answered in the seven previous investigations into the 2012 attack.

    As an example of one question of the latter sort, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., asked Clinton whether the targeted U.S. facilities were being used to send weapons to armed Syrian groups.

    This theory, popular among conservative activists and pundits, goes that the Obama administration used the American annex in Benghazi to arm Al Qaeda, ISIS and other radical Islamists…who then attacked the Americans, for some reason.

    The Benghazi gun-running conspiracy theory has already been evaluated and debunked — much like the mythical “stand down order” — by a Republican-led congressional investigation. But Pompeo decided to ask Clinton about the long-discredited claim anyway.


    Video at the link.

  18. says

    There was one pause in the action late in the hearing. Clinton had a coughing fit and it took her a minute to get it under control. Rightwing media is making a big deal out of this.

    Hillary health was biggest revelation at hearing. Coughing fit. Slow-speaking, obviously induced by meds. […]

    Today obvious anti-anxiety meds, hyperthyroid issues.

    That’s from the Drudge Report.

  19. Scientismist says

    From the Driftglass summary to which PZ linked:

    Martha Roby (R-Alabama): The night of the attack, after you abandoned your post and snuck home, was your lover Sidney Blumenthal there?

    Hillary Clinton: Hahahahaha!

    petesh @ 14:

    Clinton has a great laugh and a dirty mind. Big plus point.

    I caught that moment during my sporadic watching, and understood (I thought) why Clinton laughed so hard (it was late in the hearing, at about the ten hour mark, so she was getting a bit punchy, as she admitted). It was painfully obvious that Roby missed the classic innuendo in her own question (“So you were alone all night?”), but I can’t help wondering if, indeed, Clinton was thinking Roby had Blumenthal in mind.

    Somewhere I saw a suggestion that Sidney ought to mount a presidential campaign for 2020 or 2024 (too late for 2016, as Joe said), since now he has such great name recognition.

  20. says

    Democrats made an announcement today about their continued participation on the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

    After yesterday’s 11-hour hearing, there can be no remaining doubt that the Benghazi Select Committee is a taxpayer-funded fishing expedition to derail Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign,” the committee’s Democrats said in a statement. “After meeting with Leader Pelosi today, we are calling on Speaker Boehner to immediately shut down this abusive, wasteful, and obviously partisan effort. If the Speaker rejects our request, Democrats will continue to participate at this point in order to make sure the facts are known and the conspiracy theories are debunked.

  21. Intaglio says

    I saw a description of Trey Goudy’s hairstyle – a Faux-hican

    There is a faint chance of Bernie getting the nod (yay!) but Hillary remains more likely, but I think that Bernie may, because of his popularity, be forcing Hillary to be a little more left wing

  22. says

    Hillary Clinton, Democratic candidate for president, talks with Rachel Maddow about the challenges of making new friends as a public figure, particularly a powerful public figure and whether old friends can bring baggage that makes it hard to move forward.

    Sidney effing Blumenthal! The video is about 11 minutes long.–some–investigations-550961731995

    Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton talks with Rachel Maddow about the importance of investigations into attacks on U.S. installations abroad, both to honor those lost in the attacks and to learn how to avoid future attacks, but laments that the current House Select Committee on Benghazi is not serving that goal.

    How to relax after 11 hours of verbal torture? Eat Indian food and drink beer and wine. The video is about 2 minutes long.

    Hillary Clinton, Democratic candidate for president, talks with Rachel Maddow about the need for improvement in the bureaucracy of veterans’ health care, and calls out Republicans for trying to undermine the VA to justify privatizing it.

    The video is about 4 minutes long.

    Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state and Democratic candidate for president, explains why she thinks a no-fly zone over Syria is a good idea and whether she would shoot down a Russian jet if it violated such a rule.

    Yes, she does have foreign policy chops. This is good. The video is about 2 and a half minutes long.

  23. says–550909507923

    Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, Democratic candidate for president, talks with Rachel Maddow about whether Syria runs the risk of following the chaotic model of Libya if Bashar al-Assad is deposed.

    The video is about 4 and a half minutes long, and it includes a more thorough discussion of the current situation in Libya.

    Hillary Clinton, Democratic front-runner, talks with Rachel Maddow about the importance of Democrats winning down-ballot to counter the power Republicans have amassed in state legislatures and governorships.

    The video is about three minutes long.

    Rachel Maddow questions Hillary Clinton about civil rights issues like “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” the Defense of Marriage Act, and mass incarceration that have their roots in her husband’s administration and were reversed under President Obama.

    The video is about 5 minutes long.

  24. says

    This is a followup, sort of, to Bob Foster’s comment #16.

    Rallying in Virginia Friday, Clinton said her campaign had broken the 500,000 donor mark, meaning she has gotten over 100,000 new contributors in October alone. The campaign then added that over half of the donations it received on Thursday were from new contributors, and that 99% of them were less than $250.

    PZ was right, sort of. The Benghazi Committee is a conspiracy to get Hillary Clinton elected.

  25. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    is Bern VP out of the question? Bern as OTUS w Hillary as VP, is O.o.T.Q., for its vague appearance of following a stereotypic ideology. Bern VP may shake up the typical role of VP as “emergency reserve POTUS” and actually make VP functional role.
    I imagine…

  26. numerobis says

    Lynna: Clinton has foreign policy chops? Really? How shocking — I mean, her relevant experience is limited to being First Lady for two terms, senator for two terms during which she was on two relevant committees, and Secretary of State. She’s Just Not Ready — I mean, she’s never even applied for chapter 11 protection!

  27. says

    @#5, marcus:

    I know that many lefties eschew voting for Clinton, to them I say, George Bush.

    What about George Bush? Gore lost the 2000 election because he proceeded foolishly (asking for a district-only recount) and then conceded. If you’re going to play the “it’s your fault for not supporting our uninspiring, right-leaning, establishment candidate”, then you should either be yelling about the Florida Democrats who voted for Bush, who outnumbered the Green voters by a factor of 20, or at non-voters.

    Only of course the Democratic Party, now that it is in the control of DLC right-wingers like Clinton, can’t do either of those things. To draw attention to Democrats who voted for Bush would be an admission that moving rightward has led large groups of the party’s own base to conclude that there is no meaningful distinction — which would imply that the DLC tactics of deliberately moving rightward to attract corporate money was questionable, and should be abandoned. Clinton sure as heck isn’t doing that — Bill and Hillary were two-thirds of the founding members of the DLC, back in the 1980s, and the rightward shift was their idea. And the same problem exists, at one remove, with trying to convince non-voters to vote: most of them are theoretically left-leaning, according to polls, but do not vote because decades of Democratic betrayals have demonstrated very thoroughly that voting really doesn’t change anything.

    (And before anyone tells me I’m crazy for that: Obama fought to keep American troops in Iraq, and we only withdrew in 2011 on Bush’s original timetable because he failed. He has kept American troops in Afghanistan all along — despite declaring the war over. He use “healthcare” as an excuse to avoid doing anything about the banks who collapsed the economy — at the time, there was 92% agreement among all Americans, regardless of affiliation, that that was the most important thing and that the banks should be punished. To avoid doing that, he declared health insurance the most important issue and then deliberately sabotaged — yes, his aides admitted that it was policy, after the ACA was passed — all discussion of single-payer and then the public option, so that we ended up with Mitt Romney’s plan for Massachusetts, expanded nationally. He didn’t stop the drone bombing program which the government admits actually causes terrorism, he has been protecting the NSA from lawsuits and quietly helping them spy on everyone, he has punted on the Keystone XL pipeline to leave the approval he wants to Clinton if possible, he has bombed Libya despite Congress officially voting against doing so, he signed the Bush tax cuts for the 1% into permanency, he dragged his feet on ending DADT, tried to kill off Social Security and Medicare by “grand bargain” with the Republicans — which we only escaped because the Republicans have gone off the rails so far that they wouldn’t even agree with Obama when he was giving them everything they wanted, he hasn’t done a thing to cut back or even just stop wasteful military spending… the only differences between the Obama administration are that Obama is black, and that Bush crowed about all the right-wing stuff he was doing where Obama just does it and then pretends he stands against it. Nader was far more right than wrong when he said there was no difference between the two parties — and if Clinton is selected as the Democratic candidate, or even as the VP, it will be a continuation of the status quo, and unsupportable to anyone with a conscience.)