Do the Thing Right

USA Today:

Rep. Trey Gowdy: Benghazi needs deeper scrutiny

Benghazi matters because four of our fellow citizens were murdered under terrifying circumstances. Benghazi matters because a diplomatic facility emblematic and representative of our country was attacked and burned on the anniversary of 9/11. Benghazi matters because Americans deserve to know the truth from those entrusted to lead and govern.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is right to convene a select committee devoted to uncovering all relevant facts connected to Benghazi, just as the House committees of jurisdiction were right to investigate Benghazi before this. Despite the passage of 20 months, there remain unresolved questions.

Why was security for our facility in Libya inadequate, and why were repeated calls for additional security unheeded and, indeed, explicitly rejected? Was our military response during the pendency of the siege sufficient? And in the days and weeks after the attack, was the Obama administration transparent and forthright with our fellow Americans in describing the impetus behind the attack?

Moreover, no one has been arrested, prosecuted, or punished for the murders of our fellow Americans. These outstanding questions, and others, are legitimate, and seeking the answer to these questions should be an apolitical process.

Facts are neither Republican nor Democrat. While our fellow citizens are free to draw varying conclusions and inferences from the facts, surely there can be consensus that every relevant fact must be uncovered.

There are still witnesses whose testimony has not been heard. Just last week, we learned the administration has withheld relevant documents from Congress, despite a subpoena request. Some produced documents are so heavily redacted as to be meaningless. The select committee should strive to uncover every relevant witness, document or other piece of evidence so our fellow citizens can know the facts and the full truth.

“May justice be done, though the heavens fall.” That adage governed my time as a prosecutor in state and federal court, and it would serve us well as we uncover the truth about Benghazi.

I have a lot of questions about the events surrounding what happened in Benghazi, Libya on the night of September 11, 2012. I gotta feeling I’ll never get all the answers I want and I won’t like all the answers I get.

It’s just as important that this special committee do the thing right as it is to do the right thing. Democrats have already denounced the Benghazi committee as a partisan witch hunt. I really hope that Trey Gowdy and the GOP majority committee members don’t make that accusation come true.

Nothing done by Congress will ever be free from politics, but if this investigation is nothing more than a political sideshow then it will not have any credibility, nor should it. On the other hand, if this investigation is a (mostly) nonpartisan search for the truth they may succeed in uncovering quite a bit of it.

If you watched any of the previous Congressional committee hearings on Benghazi you saw a good example of how it should not be done. Questioning was severely limited, often multiple witnesses were questioned together, and each side took turns asking questions with each committee member getting just a few minutes each, much of which they wasted with speechifying.

Each side should choose a primary questioner. That person should be allowed to continue questioning until they are finished, just like during a court trial. Then the other side can take their turn. Each witness should be questioned individually, with all the other witnesses excluded. The questioning should continue for AS LONG AS IT TAKES, subject to breaks and other Congressional business. Every witness should be under oath.

Using a slow and methodical process, the committee questioning should nail down in detail each witness’s testimony. If necessary, witnesses should be recalled to clarify or amplify their testimony. If there is a discrepancy or a conflict in the testimony of two or more witnesses, the witnesses should be confronted and asked to explain.

Although it need not all be televised, every minute of testimony should be recorded. Classified documents and information should be provided to the committee even if it has to be redacted from the final report. EVERYTHING should be preserved for posterity in a single archive.

When all the evidence is gathered, a report should be prepared and put on the record. Declassified versions should be made available online, along with supporting documentation.

An investigation of this type is like an archaeological excavation. You slowly expose each layer, working carefully so as not to destroy any artifacts.

This is not about winning an election. This is about uncovering the truth. Let the chips fall as they may.

benghazi 3

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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97 Responses to Do the Thing Right

  1. Lulu says:

    There should be absolutely no showboating from Republican questioners. Let the Democrats do that and act the fool. I have no doubt the Democrats will participate after their little drama about how useless and unnecessary this all is. they need to be reminded in the manner of Bronco that they lost the House in 2010 and again in 2012. Losers don’t get to pick. Pelosi is sounding senile with her nasty catty remarks and demanding some kind of apology for the crooked and unethical Cummings from Issa is foolish. When is Cummings going to apologize to people he got the IRS to target and harass?

    I am glad that there are only seven Republicans. That should be enough to tag team All the Presidents Dudes until they are no longer sneering. I would also like to see them (especially Gowdy) shoot questions so fast that the witnesses head spin. I normally don’t like to see people treated badly in the legal process but these assholes need to be knocked down about fourteen pegs since they all think they are brilliant and untouchable. Part of the process should be to expose just how mediocre and non-expert all of these political hacks are directing our foreign policy. And sadly, to me at least, this must include Hillary. When an administration and political party treats EVERYTHING as politics and nasty personal attacks turnabout is fair play.

  2. The Klown says:
  3. The Klown says:
  4. The Klown says:
  5. The Klown says:
    • DandyTIger says:

      Like McCain’s problem was Bush fatigue. In both cases it isn’t just fatigue. It’s a reaction against a bad experience and bad result. The cyclical pendulum swinging thing we have isn’t just fatigue, it’s more like, well, we tried those assholes, let’s give these other assholes a go, again. Maybe this time it will be different.

    • 1539days says:

      Democrats are not worried about what a Benghazi investigation will do to the Obama presidency. They’re pretty sick of the guy, too. What they’re worried about is that the investigation will reveal the incompetence in departments like state and agencies like the CIA which have been populated by Democrats.

      Obama is similar to Bush in that he listened to too many doves while Bush listened to too many hawks in their administrations. Benghazi could help dismantle the one foreign policy power structure the Republicans don’t have control of.

      • 49erDweet says:

        Yes, the Dem’s have to be concerned with being painted not only as rank amateurs when it comes to governing, but maybe even clueless idiot dreamers.

  6. DandyTIger says:

    It would be nice if it were mostly non partisan (on the R side), and they worked to uncover the truth. I have no hope for the D side, they’ve already decided the case and will stick to their story. The R’s could make the D’s right, or they could work to uncover as much of what happened as possible. Not holding breath though.

  7. jeffhas says:

    According to Gowdy, he is going to rely heavily on ‘depositions’ rather then public testimony.

    If he sticks to this path, it could be truly insightful… Maybe not quite the sideshow the public craves, but far more respected in the end.

    • Mary says:

      Depostions—great idea. And every single interviewee UNDER OATH, icluding Hillary.

      • leslie says:

        Seriously, Mary, what does “under oath” mean to these hacks? I’m not criticizing you, I just don’t believe being under oath means much when they’re used to lying before they brush their teeth when they wake up in the morning. Call me cynical.

        • Mary says:

          Fair enough, Leslie. 🙂

        • 1539days says:

          You need them to be under oath and face real consequences for lying, unlike Eric Holder’s contempt of Congress which has had no effect on his ability to stonewall.

        • 49erDweet says:

          Perjury… in lying under oath……can be punishable by imprisonment and fines, and the statute of limitations will outlast Teh Son’s term. Could mean more Lois Lerner’s, except no presidential pardon.

        • Lulu says:

          Yes this is true. But depositions can get very nasty and reading the deposition it will sound like a mild inquiry. They aren’t. Gowdy will use them to rattle the witnesses with evidence they already have, use a nasty and imperious tone of voice, rat a tat the questions, keep them sitting there until their bladders ache, and all they have to intervene is their personal lawyer (they have to personally pay) who has no power in a Congressional inquiry. The Dems are wimping out because they don’t want to get involved except to #hashtag their opposition or do nothing but run their mouths. How many Dems volunteered to do this committee in the summer of a really bad election year? My guess is almost zero except for a few embarrassing hacks. Doing depositions also eliminates the visual sneering bravado of this administration amateurs that their supporters crave. Getting grilled by five lawyers in a little room stinking with your own flop-sweat with only your own limited advocate without the cheers from your peanut gallery is no fun.

  8. foxyladi14 says:

    Or fool me once!!! 😦

  9. The Klown says:


    Not as sympathetic to the scandal was Arianna Huffington, a guest on Maher’s show who said it is “not a question sex, but of judgment.”

    Huffington said she knows 20 women in Washington who “would’ve been happy to give Bill Clinton a blow job.”

    “And would’ve kept their mouth shut afterwards…So why pick a 22-year-old intern?” Huffington said

    “Arianna, Bill Clinton is on line one for you.”

  10. helenk3 says:

    still this is to distract public’s attention from hillary’s role in Benghazi

  11. helenk3 says:

    off topic

    a must read. the history not taught

    • 49erDweet says:

      The unintended consequence of the Professionally Black community spending all this time painting any criticism of Teh Won as racist is now that he’s being proven the weakest and maybe even the most cowardly president ever, his stink will be unfairly covering them all. Who’d a thunk?

  12. votermom says:

    OT Here is the reaction video of Marcus Smith being picked by the Eagles in round one that I mentioned in the other thread.

  13. helenk3 says:

    per pelosi–no democrats to be sent to select committee

    good that will cut down on wasted time and air pollution in DC.
    now maybe we can get some truthful answers

    • lyn says:

      What are they afraid of?

    • foxyladi14 says:

      Great Nancy show the world what a partisan hack you are. 👿

    • DandyTIger says:

      Wow, Hammer of the Kraut said that would be the best possible outcome, and he hoped Nancy was that stupid. Not only will it cut down on the stupid. Well, assuming R’s don’t turn it into a show trial. But if anything new comes out, it will make the Dems look really, really bad.

      So advice to the R’s, keep it super low key, like a fact finding mission, no politics, now showboating, no speechifying, and find out stuff. The Dems effort on the witness side will be to ensure nothing new comes out. Go.

    • 1539days says:

      How about some of the 7 Democrats who voted for the Committee?

      • 49erDweet says:

        I don’t think Nancy wants them anywhere near it, and she’s ……. yes, this sounds silly….,,,,,,.their leader. The one who makes those appointments.
        Talk about unintended consequences………….

  14. helenk3 says:

    off topic

    for the bacon lovers. things are going to be a little bit different soon

  15. DeniseVB says:

    Doesn’t the left ever tire of being lied too ?

  16. helenk3 says:

    9/11 unidentified victims return to world trade center

    • DandyTIger says:

      Interesting idea. The personal USB sticks require a PC to function, which may be a problem in those parts of the world, both in finding any and in getting old ones to all the locations necessary. Also assumes stable electricity. But still, could work.

      • 49erDweet says:

        Will probably rejuvenate the USB stick market, too. It’s “old technology” now and could stand an upgrade with lot’s more capacity. Travelers could drop in to Internet Cafes and use their sticks, instead of taking along their laptops. Has possibilities.

  17. The Klown says:

    If tomorrow wasn’t Mom’s Day this would probably be my morning post. Via Newsbusters:

    Conservatives have an easy time understanding the world as a “fallen” place where sin is ever-present and perfection always eludes even the best of bureaucratic planners, but they seem to have great difficulty in understanding that the world is also a place with broken people who through genetics, environment, or misfortune are in need of societal assistance. As long as there is some accountability, they are pretty good at forgiveness, but compassion and empathy are tremendous challenges for them.
    But, quite aside from all that, we can see that resentment is the key ingredient in their political toolbox…
    There are severe problems with this. For starters, the way this tends to manifest itself is in scapegoating and stereotyping certain groups of people who are classified as insufficiently enterprising. In America, this means blacks and Latinos. So, while the political strategy may start out as colorblind, it immediately transforms into racism.
    Secondly, this idea that being on government assistance is “debilitating” is an exhortatory argument that, while having merit, is no way to deal with those who are genuinely in need. Public policy is not the same thing as life advice. We give assistance to mothers with dependent children because the children need food and clothes regardless of why the mother is unable to provide these things herself…
    But this appeal to resentment is seemingly an indispensable strategy for the rich, who need it to rally support for policies that will allow them to grow ever-richer and avoid any kind of constraints on their activities, even if those activities degrade the environment, harm consumers, or lead to an economic calamity.
    Making people hate each other is at the core of right-wing politics.

    When you start off with the view that 47% of the population are “takers” who get public assistance or pay no taxes, you need to set that 47% against each other and get some of them to vote for you because they believe you will beat the crap out of the folks they don’t like. If you don’t do this, you’ll never win.
    But, what if there were a right-wing party that wasn’t just a tax and regulation-averse vessel for plutocrats? Could they maybe compete without cranking up the hate machine and pitting Americans against each other?
    Maybe, or maybe not. But a hate machine is what they have, and they never stop inflicting it on the rest of us.

  18. The Klown says:
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  21. helenk3 says:


    the day the committee on Benghzai is annouced, the Libyan Intelligence Chief is assassinated.

    strange timing

  22. Somebody says:

    OT today is my 32nd wedding anniversary. My darling husband took me out for a lovely dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. They were so nice they gave us a complimentary bottle of champagne……good champagne too, not cheap crap and they gave us dessert. I can let nothing go to waste so I felt obliged to polish off the champagne… am I buzzed! I’d love to go “cuddle” or something with my husband; but our A/C is barely running and the last thing I want is to do anything to create more heat, LOL! We should have just gotten a hotel room somewhere, but we would have to take our 14 year old and our dog with us so that wouldn’t be very private. We’re getting each other a new HVAC for our anniversary……aren’t we so romantic! Thank goodness it cools down into the 70’s at night.

  23. helenk3 says:

    can someone explain the magnetic attraction between a white top and chocolate ice cream?

  24. leslie says:

    OT But today I had a conversation with my upstairs neighbor — nice guy, but uber Prog. He tried to blame the Tea Party for the bad economy and all the inequality issues. Said the TP were at fault for the holding up progressive policy… I asked him just how many Tea Party members were in Congress and just how powerful he thought freshmen congresspersons actually were. He said “Good point. I hadn’t thought about it like that”. The last time we talked politics, he nearly lost it when I said I would never vote Democrat again. Either he has developed the ability for radical acceptance, or the harsh winter got to him.

  25. 49erDweet says:

    Kid You Not: Just got a “severe weather alert’. WB is warning us here near the Monterey Bay next week the temperature will jump up to the mid or maybe even the high 70’s. Oh, the horror! >shakes head, pounds fist<

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