Yesterday, we learned that Dana Chipman, the former lawyer for the House select committee on Benghazi, told two of the highest-ranking officials at the Pentagon that literally nothing could have been done to stop the attack on the American embassy. He said it not once, not twice, but four times. In so doing, Chipman exposed the nearly two-year effort to “investigate” the attack as the taxpayer-funded witch hunt that it is.
Well, folks, on Tuesday someone else admitted what we already know–that the GOP has been tilting for windmills at taxpayer expense for the better part of two years. Who was it? The committee’s own chairman, Trey Gowdy.
On Tuesday’s edition of “America’s Newsroom” on Fox News Channel, host Bill Hemmer asked the South Carolina Republican about Chipman’s disclosures. The Democrats on the “what about Benghaaazi?” committee got a clip.
Continuing his earlier line that the release of the transcript was a “partisan attack,” Gowdy accused the Democrats of taking Chipman’s words out of context. He claimed that it was just one response to a single question posed to Chipman by then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Defense Department chief of staff Jeremy Bash. Gowdy promised that when the full transcript was released, it will show “the posture of the troops,” as well as how orders from Panetta and President Obama were received.
But then Gowdy singlehandedly destroyed what tiny shred of legitimacy his committee still has by saying this:
“Whether or not they could have gotten there in time, I don’t think there is any issue with respect to that. They couldn’t.”
Watch the full clip here. The relevant exchange starts at around the 4:14 mark–at the tail end of Gowdy ranting about the White House rebuffing Republican demands to have top aide Bill Rhodes testify about the Iran nuclear deal.
I had to listen to this twice in order to believe it. Unless I’m very wrong, Gowdy admitted on national television that even if any troops in the area had rushed pell-mell to Benghazi, there was nothing they could have done to save Ambassador Chris Stevens and the others under siege. And on the GOP’s favorite network, no less.
In so doing, he has effectively destroyed the wingnut fringe’s biggest talking point on the Benghazi attack–that either Obama, Panetta, or Hillary Clinton ordered troops in the area to “stand down” rather than relieve the embassy. Let’s not beat around the bush. Without that conspiracy theory, there is no basis for Gowdy’s committee to exist.
For those who don’t know, Gowdy was a former federal prosecutor, then the solicitor (as district attorneys are called in South Carolina) for his hometown of Spartanburg before coming to Congress. Any prosecutor with a shred of integrity would know that if there is no basis for criminal charges, you don’t go on a witch hunt to find “evidence” to support them. Granted, Gowdy has already declared that “we should not move on” from this witch hunt even after four House committees controlled by his fellow Republicans found that the White House did not deceive the American people about its response to the attack.
But this is another matter altogether. Gowdy has effectively admitted that this “investigation” is completely illegitimate. If he has anything left in him, he will end this witch hunt and end it now. Let Gowdy know what you think on Facebook and on Twitter. And feel free to use the hashtag “#TreyShutItDown.”