Political Animal


February 27, 2013 10:35 AM Smoking Gun

By Ed Kilgore

OMG. Read this stunning report from The Hill, which should shake Washington to its foundations:

President Obama’s pick to head the CIA was involved in crafting controversial talking points about last year’s attack in Benghazi, Republicans said Tuesday after viewing intelligence documents.
Lawmakers had vowed to block John Brennan’s nomination unless they got to see internal communications about how to describe the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Several said the email chain of several pages, which they’d been seeking for months, doesn’t change how they plan to vote either way.
“Brennan was involved,” Senate Intelligence Committee Vice-Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said after the briefing. “It’s pretty obvious what happened.”

So now we have proof that Brennan was “involved”—probably too mild a word for complicity in this unparalleled crime: maybe “embroiled,” or just plain “guilty”—in the Great Benghazi Coverup, which is sort of like Teapot Dome, Watergate, and the Reichstag Fire all rolled up into one.

A prediction comes to mind immediately: this “information” about Benghazi! will lead to Republican demands for more information. That’s the thing about a witch hunt; the monstrous truth that never seems to appear is viewed as barely eluding its pursuers time and time again. Now that they are getting a whiff of brimstone, there will be no stopping them, until the next Great Conspiracy comes out of the fevered imaginations of the folk at Breitbart or the John Birch Society.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on February 27, 2013 10:46 AM:

    GOP POV:
    Crafting "talking points" about Benghazi!

    Why, that's SOOOOOOO much worse than some minor BSing about how 9/11 happened, or talking about smoking guns turning out to be mushroom clouds, or Saddam being ready to have itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie little planes flying along our coast, releasing all sorts of WMD's into the air!

    Why,it's, dare we say it?
    Yes, we DARE!

  • boatboy_srq on February 27, 2013 10:50 AM:

    Someone please explain to me how it is that the party most responsible for the biggest, most heinous corruption/fraud/incompetence cases in US history of the last 30-odd years is the same one obsessed with uncovering the same about the opposition. Motes and beams, indeed.

  • Josef K on February 27, 2013 10:58 AM:

    OMG. Read this stunning report from The Hill, which should shake Washington to its foundations:

    I thought you were absolutely serious there for a moment.

    Then again, I thought John Boehner was a credible politician at one point. More the fool me.

  • Lifelong Dem on February 27, 2013 10:59 AM:


  • boatboy_srq on February 27, 2013 11:13 AM:

    @Lifelong Dem: that may be what it takes to show the US how b@tsh#t-crazy the GOTea has become. And after all of this, impeachment should never come off the table: if the GOTea can use it as a ploy to stop government in its tracks, then it's a viable tool to keep wingnuts accountable when it's their turn (are you reading this, Ms. Pelosi?).

    Captcha: been ntsRusse. Even Captcha thinks the GOTea is still obsessed about Commie Soviet plots.

  • azportsider on February 27, 2013 11:30 AM:

    "...the fevered imaginations of the folk at Breitbart or the John Birch Society."

    Closer than you might think. You do know that the Koch brothers, who fund the teahadists in a big way, were raised by a founding member of the John Birch Society, right?

  • Tod Westlake on February 27, 2013 11:43 AM:

    So, when do they burn Christie at the stake? Will it be on PPV?

  • Russell aboard M/V Sunshine on February 27, 2013 11:51 AM:

    Ah Ed. It's still the stupid party/

    The Republican Party is dead. Long live the Republican Party.

  • DRF on February 27, 2013 12:15 PM:

    I don't really see the Republicans turning this into a major issue; they may use it to grill Brennan some more. They know that they got no traction with this issue; people don't understand the issue and don't care. Continuing to push this as some sort of "scandal" just makes the Republicans look obstructionist, and they know this.

    And, so far as I know, they don't really have any substantive issue with Brennan.

  • Bokonon on February 27, 2013 1:11 PM:

    OMG! Word choices! Deletions! Shadings! Nuances! Insufficient media talking points!

    Frankly, it is scary that the GOP thinks that press releases, and appearances on Sunday talk shows are what makes the world go round. And that these things could be the subject of a massive conspiracy or cover up, on the scale of Watergate. Stagecraft and political theater is all the GOP seems to grasp or care about. And the GOP doesn't even seem to know how to ask questions about governance or intelligence or foreign policy any longer.

    And all of this is particularly rich given the Bush Administration's behavior in the run-up to the second Gulf War. That wasn't just a case of media manipulation.

  • Joe Friday on February 27, 2013 1:18 PM:

    "President Obama's pick to head the CIA was involved in crafting controversial talking points about last year's attack in Benghazi, Republicans said Tuesday after viewing intelligence documents."

    Of course, this all conveniently ignores the fact that it was the CIA Director, General David Petraeus, who signed-off on the "talking points" given to UN Ambassador Susan Rice.

  • zandru on February 28, 2013 10:34 AM:

    Let's look on the bright side.

    If John Brennan finally settles the Tea-baggers need to get a Benghazi "scalp", it will be a good thing. Brennan is a poor choice because of his enabling and promotional role in the GWB GWOT: torture (Brennan "doesn't know what that is"), extra-judicial drone assassinations, etc.

    I say, let Lindseed Graham and Old Man McCain take Brennan down. Make a big deal of it, so they feel victorious. Then quietly nominate a good candidate.