Well, here we go...the Republican impeachment train is firing up and getting ready to leave the station. First, of course, we have The Scandal That Wasn't- Benghazi. Abetted by our miserable excuse for a mainstream press, Republicans will not give up on this pack of lies, no matter how many times their claims are proven to be false. Latest to join in is Dick Cheney. After his performance, presiding (vice-presiding?) over 9-11, you would thing no human being on earth would be shameless enough to cast stones on this nonexistent crisis, but of course, if you are counting on Dick Cheney to show a shred of human decency, you'd of course be wrong:
"I watched the Benghazi thing with great interest, Sean [Hannity]. I think it’s one of the worst incidences, frankly, that I can recall in my career. It put the whole capability claiming the terrorist problem solved once we got Bin Laden, that Al Qaeda was over with. If they told the truth about Benghazi, that it was a terrorist attack by an al-Qaeda-affiliated group, it would destroy the confidence that was the basis of his campaign for re-election.
They lied. They claimed it was because of a demonstration video, that they wouldn’t have to admit it was really all about their incompetence. They ignored repeated warnings from the CIA about the threat. They ignored messages from their own people on the ground that they need more security. They reduced what was already there."
Do I even need to point out the breathtaking, shameless dishonesty of that remark? First of all, as Mitt found out to his embarrassment, Obama did call it a terrorist act. Second, in referring to the anti-Muslim video, they were only saying what was believed by intelligence experts at the time. Third, they did not ignore repeated warnings from the CIA about the threat, although that is exactly what Cheney did before 9-11, for which he has never shown a speck of remorse. Fourth, security on the ground was reduced because the Republicans in Congress voted to cut the State Department's security budget.
And yet, Cheney perfectly encapsulates the Republicans' position on Benghazi. It is nothing but a tissue of lies, which our corporate owned press is doing everything it can to treat as the gospel truth.
Well, despite the Republicans' best efforts, Benghazi has utterly failed to generate any interest in the general population, except among the 27% of us who buy into any vicious lie the Republicans tell. So, suddenly, two more "scandals" have emerged: The IRS-Tea Party news, and the story of the Feds' obtaining telephone records from the AP.
Well, I am not going to join the craven Democratic apologists, who as usual are scourging themselves in public at any hint of an accusation of wrongdoing, hurled at them by the always dishonest Republicans. Here is my take on these issues:
First, the IRS: One of the worst abuses of the electoral system in the last couple of decades is the persistent practice of Conservatives to form supposed 501c corporations through which to funnel money. This gives their contributions tax exempt status, and at the same time protects their donors from being identified. The problem with this strategy is that 501c groups are supposed to restrict themselves to charitable work, and are forbidden to use their money for political purposes. Republicans, and specifically the array of Tea Party organizations, have openly flaunted this law for years. The result is that the rest of us are forced, through their tax deductions, to finance this corporate assault on our democracy (and yes, most of these organizations are nothing but fronts for big corporate money) while at the same time we are deprived of the right to even know who we are funding. By the way, let me add that this includes large numbers of right wing churches all over this country who openly manipulate the political process, despite it being illegal for them to do so as long as they receive absolution from Federal taxes.
It is long past time that this massive violation of Federal law be stopped. It is an invitation to the gross corruption that surrounds all Federal politics today. The regional IRS staff who investigated Tea Party groups might have picked an unacceptable way to go about their work, but they had identified a very real problem that must be dealt with. Whatever they did, it is far less of a threat to American democracy than the behavior they were investigating. And all of the Republican outrage is designed (along with doing damage to Obama) to see to it that the issue of this massive right wing campaign illegality is rendered so toxic that no one dares stand up to it.
Now, on to the AP. Of course, the press (even Rachel Maddow) are screaming bloody murder over what the Justice Department did. And here it is: The AP, despite being well aware of what it was doing, published top secret government information that placed our intelligence assets in Yemen in mortal danger, and compromised our intelligence gathering capability within Al Qaida. The government attempted to find the traitorous leaker by obtaining the AP's telephone records for the couple of months leading up to their treacherous behavior. Let me make it clear that, despite the impression deliberately left in much of the reporting on this issue, none of this involved the content of the calls. All the government received was a record of what calls were made and received, in an effort to find who provided the AP with this information. Absent this, the government was at a dead end in attempting to uncover someone who was, as I said above, a traitor. Maybe they should have just let the issue drop and let the guy go free- maybe. But the decision to protect national security by seeking those phone records was certainly a small thing compared to Bush administration torture, the destruction of Valerie Plame to get back at her husband for daring to tell the truth, the holding of innocent victims in prison at Guantanamo, and dozens of other malignant actions of Bush and Cheney which produced no avalanche of outrage.
It is interesting that both of these minuscule "scandals" emerged at the same time, right when the Benghazi outrage was beginning to be perceived by the public as a nasty farce. I find the timing interesting. It is unquestionably true that Republicans intend to impeach Obama before his term is done. It appeared that they were holding off on this, in the hope that they could capture the Senate in 2014, and then complete the impeachment process by removing him from office. I sense that they have now given up on that hope, and are proceeding full bore with these carefully hoarded pseudo-scandals because they know that the uncontrollable behavior of Congressional Republicans makes it likely that they will lose ground in 2014 rather than gain it.
I hope they're right.