Here is the Republican default talking point in one easy visual:
No matter what else is going on in the world, in our own country, schools, hospitals, disaster areas, civil rights arenas, you can always count on the GOP to shout "BENGHAZI!!!!" from their multi-million dollar vacation home rooftops.
GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman, has made a career out of witch hunting. He looks for scandals where there are none in the hope that one day... one dreamy, gauze-filtered, sunlit blue-skied day... he'll find something to pin on President Obama and fulfill all his impeachment wishes.
But oops, awhile back, Darrell Issa’s Benghazi document dump damaged U.S. efforts, putting Libyans working with U.S. in danger. While
hyperventilating investigating the attacks on the consulate, he disclosed the identities of Libyans who were helping United States officials.
But that didn't stop Darrell the Witch Hunter, nosireeBob! The Los Angeles Times is reporting that he's determined to keep pushing his
luck b.s. hysteria, lies, and redundantly false accusations come hell or hot water. And no, that was no typo, he may be in more hot water.
Two of the Justice Department's key witnesses were subpoenaed to appear on Capitol Hill for hours of grilling about "BENGHAZI!!!!" They gave separate legal depositions about any security lapses and how the Obama administration responded.
Now comes the part about how Witch Hunter Darrell might have, once again, blown it big time:
Weeks before the interviews, top Justice Department officials repeatedly warned Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) against doing so, saying it would seriously jeopardize any criminal prosecution of the terrorists. They wrote three times to the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, strongly urging him not to insist on interviewing the agents.
The interviews have not been released. But the Justice Department expressed concern that Issa might reveal some details from the interviews, or that defense lawyers could subpoena them if suspects are apprehended, according to the sources, who did not have permission to speak publicly, citing the ongoing investigation. At least one person has been named in a sealed indictment in the Benghazi attacks.
The interviews "would prematurely alert individuals who may be charged about details of the government's case against them," and would give defense lawyers a golden opportunity to review the depositions and impeach the agents if they testified as prosecution witnesses, the Justice Department warned in one of the letters, according to sources.
Oh that wacky, zany Issa. He's such a super-patriot.
More at the link.
Today’s guest post by the one, the only, Will Durst:
THE TANGLED TANGO
As part of the brash rash of wire- brush scouring on the Teflon coating that routinely seals the Obama Presidency, a large heavy- duty cast- iron deal has been made of the IRS conducting audits on Tea Party affiliated organizations. But scratch the surface and it makes a sort of perverse sense.
Tea Party and Associates are what you might call… anti- tax. Like meringue is anti- diet. So much so, they eschew the easy road by denying their name was taken from the early tax rebellion, but rather claim it an acronym of “Taxed Enough Already.” These guys are strict.
On the other hand, the IRS is, for lack of a better phrase, less anti- tax. You could go so far as to say the IRS is pro- tax. Although employees undoubtedly consider their task following the letter of the law rather than the grisly art of squeezing blood from 300 million turnips. Type AB Rh negative preferred please.
These ornery combatants are mortal enemies along the lines of the mongoose and the cobra. Sheep and wolf. Electric vehicles and Oklahoma. Sarah Palin & The Learning Channel. Irish skin and Equatorial Guinea. The guy from IT support and everybody else in the fricking office. Panty hose and coffee table corners. Cheese and cat hair.
Nobody wants the government targeting dissenters: that’s way too Aleksander Solzhenitsyn. Uncomfortably reminiscent of Burma and that doesn’t mean the romantic Pindaya caves either. The 1984 Orwellian nightmare of Winston Smith revisited. But neither should we forget the Tea Party’s stated goal is to shrink the government and get rid of the IRS. Then ostensibly teach the rest of us how to pave our own roads by making mud bricks in our ovens.
How difficult is it to understand that people whose philosophy preaches something is evil might garner a bit of extra scrutiny from the folks whose very jobs they are threatening? Just like a “Legalize Pot” bumper sticker might prompt a cop to sniff the air inside a car after he stops it. The same way you don’t mock the stewardess’s hairstyle within earshot then expect extra peanuts.
That’s not profiling, its human nature. A reflex. Common sense. Besides, this isn’t two beloved groups we’re talking about here. The Tea Party versus the IRS. It’s a battle for the bottom. The disdained versus the detested. A fight between stinky and yucky. With anybody caught in the middle destined to emerge with a few of the sticky bits on their shoes.
Out of 296 applicants not one Tea Party organization was denied non- profit status. Admittedly, some had to wait. And that’s what the major charges boil down to: the IRS making things difficult. Imagine that. An inconvenient interaction with the government. Next thing you’ll try to tell me that insurance companies employ delaying tactics. Can’t wait for ObamaCare to kick in, right?
But for now, the party has been put back into the Tea Party. They’re waving their flag of victimization wild and high and are once again protesting like its August of 2009. A Reenergized Tea Party: the last thing the Obama administration needs. As a matter of fact the only people dreading it more would have to be the entire rest of the Republican Party.
Recipient of 7 consecutive nominations for Stand Up of the Year, Will Durst’s new one- man show “BoomerAging: From LSD to OMG” is presented every Tuesday, at the Marsh, San Francisco. Go to… themarsh.org for more info. Use code “boomer” for discount tix.
Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:
The IRS did what it was supposed to do regarding 501(c)(4)s, but in a way that strongly suggested partisan bias by investigating "tea party"-related groups during the Obama administration and liberal churches such as All Saints in Pasadena during the Bush administration.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) runs his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee the same way as the IRS, not bothering to go down investigative roads that might lead to answers that can't be used to partisan advantage.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) has requested that the IRS' conduct under both Obama and Bush be looked at. If Issa's Fast and Furious investigation was any indication, Schiff's request will be denied. Issa's motivations are stockpiling power and influence to support his rise in the GOP.
The IRS "scandal" is an attempt by conservatives to create an Obama Watergate.
Nonprofit groups that are nonpolitical can apply for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status. Political nonprofits can file for 527 tax-exempt status. The difference? Donors can give to 501(c)(4) groups anonymously (and, apparently, these groups can be political).
Those groups applying for 501(c)(4) status that were questioned by the IRS claim they were targeted in an effort to silence their voices during an election year. If the groups were nonpolitical, what difference would it make to them if it were an election year?
Putting "tea party" in the name of a group seeking a tax exemption and then expressing utter bewilderment over questions about having a political agenda is as sensible as getting personalized license plates reading "IMADRNK" and then complaining about harassment by the Highway Patrol.
Betty C. Duckman
“Sorry to be late to this discussion. We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.
“There is a ton of wrong information getting out into the public domain from Congress and people who are not particularly informed. Insofar as we have firmed up assessments that don’t compromise intel or the investigation, we need to have the capability to correct the record, as there are significant policy and messaging ramifications that would flow from a hardened mis-impression.
“We can take this up tomorrow morning at deputies.”
ABC got it wrong.
The actual e-mail from then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes appears to show that whomever leaked it did so in a way that made it appear that the White House was primarily concerned with the State Department's desire to remove references and warnings about specific terrorist groups so as to not bring criticism to the department. [...]
Whoever provided those quotes seemingly invented the notion that Rhodes wanted the concerns of the State Department specifically addressed.... Rhodes put no emphasis at all in his e-mail on the State Department's concerns. [...]
So whoever leaked the inaccurate information earlier this month did so in a way that made it appear that the White House – specifically Rhodes – was more interested in the State Department’s concerns, and more focused on the talking points, than the e-mail actually stated.
This is why it's so important to be cautious about getting too far ahead of stories ("Scandal!!! Benghazi!!!!!) like these.
Talking to you media, GOP, and anyone else out there who pushes hysteria instead of facts.
Tapper has more here.
Rachel Maddow nailed it in this video: GOP Benghazi hysteria debunked. For one, Congress had the revised talking points for months:
So Congress has had the talking points and how they were changed and by whom for a couple months now, showing the revisions, showing how they happened.
ABC published them today for the public as if they were a smoking gun, and all the Republicans in Congress who already had these things and have had them for months reported to be outraged by what was in them, shocked, , impeach, impeach!
They have had them for two and a half months now, and they never said anything about them before. Just today they decided it was a smoking gun, even though this has been long answered.
President Obama must have given her those talking points, right GOP?
He's the worst coverer-upper ever:
"Americans died... They were not ... adequately protected. The day after it happened, I acknowledged this was an act of terrorism.
"Talking points... have been a side show.
"Suddenly, three days ago, this gets spun up as if there's something new to the story. There's no there there.
"The talking points... for Susan Rice.. matched what I received in my daily briefing.
"I specifically said it was an act of terrorism..."
"So if this was some effort on our part to try to downplay what had happened or tamp it down, that would be a pretty odd thing that three days later, we end up putting out all the information that in fact has now served as the basis for everybody recognizing that this was a terrorist attack and that it may have included elements that were planned by extremists inside of Libya.
"Who executes some sort of cover-up or effort to tamp things down, for three days? So the whole thing defies logic, and the fact that this keeps on getting churned out, frankly has a lot to do with political motivations.
"We’ve had folks who have challenged Hillary Clinton’s integrity, Susan Rice’s integrity, Mike Mullen and Tom Pickering’s integrity. It’s a given that mine gets challenged by these same folks. They’ve used it for fundraising and frankly, you know, if anybody out there wants to actually focus on how we make sure something like this does not happen again, I am happy to get their advice and information and council.
"We turn things like this into a political circus."
H/t: Think Progress
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