Hillary Clinton vs. the Benghazi Committee

Right From the Start

Right From the Start

For those of you expecting new revelations on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s involvement in the Benghazi disaster, or her use of a private email account and unsecured server for State Department business, or the convenient timing of donations to her foundation and to her husband, former President Bill Clinton by those seeking State Department approvals, contracts, or other actions, you are going to be deeply disappointed. There will be no revelations, no points scored, and definitely no admissions by Ms. Clinton. Ms. Clinton will emerge unscathed despite the fact that she has lied and withheld evidence every step of the way. She and her supporters will crow about how she faced down those mean-spirited Republicans who were just “trying to tamp down her poll numbers.”

If you are expecting more from the Benghazi committee hearing this Thursday then you haven’t been watching congressional committee hearings over the past seven years. These congressional hearings are not designed to elicit the truth; rather they are designed to allow the members of Congress to posture, preen and pose, to gather sound bites and video for future campaigns and to obfuscate the truth with stagecraft and contrived outrage. (It is all reminiscent of a time in 2002 when then senate minority leader, and now governor, Kate Brown (D), and then house minority leader and now Multnomah county commissioner, Debra Kafoury (D), stomped out of a budget negotiating session during one of the interminable special sessions after giving each other “the nod.” It was so calculated and contrived that several of us laughed on their way out of the room.)

Unless the rules have been changed, each member of the committee is given a limited amount of time to ask questions of the witness. Generally the questioning alternates between the two parties. Because the time is so limited, veterans of these hearings have learned to provide evasive answers in the first instance with the sure knowledge that with a little “filibustering” the witness can “run out the clock” on the questioner and most assuredly can avoid any attempts to “drill down” to the truth with follow up questions. This is made all the more true because of the insistence of members to bloviate about themselves before they get to the actual questions – all of which eats into their prescribed time. Ms. Clinton has proven to be an expert in this regard. Evasion is her middle name and running out the clock is her game.

And then there will be Ms. Clinton’s supporters – in this instance most of the Democrats on the committee have already publicly expressed their support for Ms. Clinton. They will have an equal opportunity to serve up “soft balls” in the form of questions that have either been drafted by Ms. Clinton’s operatives or at least shared with them to ensure that they will give Ms. Clinton the opportunity to expound on her virtues and criticize those who doubt those virtues. She will be well rehearsed in responding to these “planted” questions and you will know that by her “tell” – her involuntary habit of nodding when she knows what the question will be.

There is, however, a small opportunity to get closer to the truth. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), is an experienced federal prosecutor. He knows how to deal with a recalcitrant witness, misleading witness and lying witnesses – in other words, Ms. Clinton. Should Mr. Gowdy reserve to himself the opportunity to examine Ms. Clinton without a time limitation (or should the other Republican members cede their wasted time to him) there is a chance that Mr. Gowdy can either elicit the truth from Ms. Clinton or to demonstrate succinctly that she is being less than truthful.

But then Ms. Clinton knows that even if she lies, even if she is evasive, even if she withholds evidence, nothing will happen. If the leadership of the House finally gathers enough courage to actually hold someone in contempt, the actual prosecution of that contempt charge is left to President Obama’s Justice Department that has a lengthy and unbroken record of refusing to prosecute.

That folks, is what substitutes for the truth, for integrity in government, and for leadership in Congress. No wonder our politicians, Republican and Democrats alike, are held in such high disrepute.





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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in 2016 Presidential Election, Benghazi, Congress, Gov. Kate Brown, Hillary Clinton | 23 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • GObill sizemore

    I agree with Larry’s analysis with one caveat. It is at least possible that there is an email or two that the committee has uncovered that Ms. Clinton is not aware they have and has either forgotten or hopes was scrubbed. That is the only kind of surprise that might throw Hillary off of her obfuscation game.

  • Dick Winningstad

    Agreed too.

  • BRM

    Excellent article, Mr. Huss. Depressing, but true. I pray Trey Gowdy makes the most of this opportunity, not for the sake of partisan politics, but for the sake of justice and for the sake of restoring trust. Seventy-five percent of Americans assume the federal government is corrupt. We simply can’t restore trust in our elected officials by supporting a candidate whose chief descriptors are “liar, dishonest, untrustworthy,” and we can’t restore trust by allowing a privileged few to operate above the rule of law that applies to the rest of us.

    • redbean

      Interestingly Trey Gowdy didn’t show up for Abedin’s closed-door testimony last week due to a prior speaking engagement before a law enforcement group in SC, which he could have cancelled if he wanted to showboat the Abedin appearance. As he has said, this isn’t about Hillary Clinton, despite her efforts to paint this as a partisan political attack. In fact, Benghazi is a bipartisan failure, which is why Gowdy is getting flak from both parties. The Gang of Eight either failed in their oversight or were “all in” – which implicates Boehner, McConnell, Rogers and Chambliss as well as Pelosi, Reid, Feinstein and Ruppersberger (D, MD), not to mention CIA. Too many rats to count on this one.

  • Bob Clark

    Odds favor Crooked Queen Hillarious getting elected the next president. The Demoncat debate last week was the ultimate an staging. She is put front and center in the debate. Soviet Sanders surrenders almost immediately to her by saying effectively ‘who cares about the Queen’s secret discussions in influence rent taking by the Slick Willy foundation,’ the Queen’s joint racketeering business.

    This week it will be reported the Queen stood up to the wretched GOP operatives, and the Queen is right in one regard when she said at her previous encounter before this committee: “What Difference does it Make.”

    What we’ve got here is the known crooked quantity with a well oiled “Daley like Political Machine (replacing a real Daley machine led by former Chicago Community Organizer Obummer) versus the Trump circus with all its vagaries. A third Bush family presidency looks pretty, pretty unlikely given Jeb’s performance so far.

    If “Bite Me” Joe Biden runs, it only increases Queen Hillarious’ chances of being the next President. As it will be said: the Queen is even more “battle” tested.

    The GOP is up against it in retaining the U.S Senate, as there are 16 GOP held seats up for re-election versus only 5 for the Demoncats. The House most likely stays in GOP hands. Close to a split Senate.

    So, what does a Crooked Queen Hillarious presidency mean for the U.S. It means more regulatory drag on the U.S economy as in the past six plus years. It means an even bigger welfare state, as though it ain’t big enough already with 20% or more of the population getting free food, highly subsidized healthcare, and highly subsidized education. (The government has healthcare so messed up, many doctors and practices are running away from Medicare, Medicaid, and other government sponsored programs.) The Supreme Court is likely to track left of Center rather than very marginally right of center as now.

    Crooked Queen Hillarious might provide some improvement in negotiating between Congress and the presidency, as Obummer seems incapable of leaving behind his little world of Community Organizer and the chip-on-his shoulder he carries with it. The Queen might be a little more military active than “roll-over” Obummer.

  • Real Patriot

    Funny, nary a word on Oregon Catalyst about the fake “CIA expert” who has been arrested for his actions.

    Fox News and the Fox Wannabes at Oregon Catalyst are just a bunch of fake patriots who care only about political power, not about making the country better.

    • Succor

      RIP, RP

    • redbean

      There is no reason for OC or its readers to care about the fake expert’s arrest. It has nothing to do with them.

      Most “conservatives” don’t watch Fox, or much TV at all. Some people who consider themselves “conservative” watch Fox News because of the entertainment value – lots of fireworks between socialists of the right and left, not to mention babes in revealing clothing (hardly conservative). Fox functions as a pressure valve for fly-over country since both political parties abandoned middle American values decades ago.

      Fox News is no different than CNNCBSABCNBCMSNBC or Comedy Central. It’s naive to assume the owners of these propaganda outlets care about making the country better. They’re globalists and chaos is their tool for centralization. Individual journalists may care about ethics and improving the country, but they’re very rare in the MSM.

      Many people on the left and right falsely believe that political power is the route to making the country better because they’re afraid of letting the citizens run their own lives. Whether we like it or not, politics affects our lives so I’m glad for sites like OC to provide a little broader discussion than what the MSM allows.

      • Real Patriot

        Oh, BS. Right-wingers *love* fake news sources like Fox News, Lars Larson, and Oregon Catalyst.

    • DavidAppell

      Conservatives don’t talk about things that make Fox look bad — or, in this case, like chumps. It’s easier to keep the blinders on.

      • Dr. M. Savage, Nutritionist

        What matters to left wing nuts “is” they don’t give micro scat for anything that’s right, only succor to what feeds their mental disorderliness.

        • DavidAppell

          Define “right.”

          • DMSN

            right being moot and salutary contrast to what’s left down in Tom Foolery.

  • Jack Lord God

    Good article, and very true in all respects. These committees are total dog and pony shows regardless of who is running them or what the issue. Without any real enforcement – a witness can lie with impunity and not face any actual punishment it becomes theater, but who is the audience? Not you or I, the audience is the news media – if they run with a story it can bury someone, if not, then there is no repercussion.

    Have of of these committees ever amounted to anything? No, with one exception, the Watergate hearings. However it would be well to remember why they worked to bring down a president.

    Total accident. I am going from memory on the name, but I seem to recall an Alexander Butterfield got up to give testimony that was to be otherwise non remarkable and let slip that there was a recording system in the oval office.

    Is this likely to happen with Hillary? Well, it’s certainly a possibility, the email server does bear comparison to the Nixon Tapes.

    However look at what has already been established – We know HIllary knew the YouTube story was bullshit even as she and Obama promulgated it. , We know that her contention that she was totally divorced from security matters at Benghazi but yet having personal detailed intervention in helping Sidney Blumenthal get choice business deals in Libya shows incredibly poor judgement from a woman who was point in starting the Libyan civil war in the first place. Those two are absolutely damming and should disqualify anyone from running for the presidency.

    They don’t however. And when a public is willing to accept that kind of decision making in a presidential candidate I am afraid nothing will.

    • DavidAppell

      “Without any real enforcement – a witness can lie with impunity and not face any actual punishment…”

      Ridiculous — those who testify are under oath.

      • Real Patriot

        Bush and Cheney, on the other hand, testified in secret and not under oath about their failures that led to the attacks of September 11th, 2001. And the OC folks are silent on that.

        • .


  • Real Patriot

    Funny, the right-wingers at Oregon Catalyst seemed okay with Bush and Cheney testifying in secret and off the record about their failures to keep the country secure on September 11, 2001.

    And the right-wingers at Oregon Catalyst seem fine that numerous members of the Bush administration lied in order to justify a war against a country that hadn’t attacked us and posed no threat to us.

    Shouldn’t there be a Congressional investigation into right-wing media, including Oregon Catalyst contributor Lars Larson, on their complicity in sending us to war on false pretenses?

  • DavidAppell

    HClinton didn’t just emerge “unscathed” from her recent committee testimony, Larry, she emerged completely victorious. She made the GOP members of the committee look like chumps.

    GOPers have already admitted the committee is political, only about reducing HClinton’s polling numbers. Time to end the charade.

    • .

      Bolshevik toot.

    • MrBill

      Except that this testimony conclusively shows the Obama administration KNEW almost instantly that the attack on the Benghazi compound was a TERRORIST attack on the anniversary of 9/11. Yet they spun a LIE that it was due to a video. They did this because they were in the midst of an election and they were claiming that they had terrorism on the run. They couldn’t abide the truth that this was a major screw-up.

      And Hillary Clinton was a part of that lie.

      Was it illegal? Not necessarily.

      Would you vote for or hire someone who will willingly lie to you to cover their own backside? Hell no.

      • DavidAppell

        No one has proven Hillary Clinton did anything wrote Re: Bengazi. The Republican committee members have already admitted the investigation is political, an attempt to get HC’s poll numbers down. (See: Kevin McCarthy)

        • Jacque Benne’

          HRC is as pure as ‘her’ drivel snow, a job she undertakes with great character…sounding like Digby Odell the Undertaker, populist radio show personality shoveling more gaffes and promises than The Great Gildersleeve, Fibber McGee and Molly, too, for the Life of Reilly can comprehend.

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