Benghazigate.  That's the new meme they're trying to launch into orbit this week.

The rightwing conspiracy machine has invented some new talking points:

Benghazigate is much worse than Watergate. [...]

This is why Republicans must demand Watergate-style hearings on Benghazi.

I made the classic mistake of turning on Fox So-called News the morning. The Benghazi drumbeats are murmuring again.  Now with secret-whistle-blower witnesses, slated to testify before the Committee of Issa. Slated to spill the beans on some sort of big Obama administration "Cover Up" later next week.

At the core of the wingers trumped up charges -- is the claim that Hillary Clinton personally denied pleas for increased security at the Benghazi Embassy. And thus is responsible for "the killing of four Americans," that tragically occurred later that year.

This next writer seems as succinct an advocate for their Benghazigate claims, that I could quickly find this morning. As always, consider the soapbox source:

KUHNER: Blowing a whistle on Benghazi

by Jeffrey T. Kuhner, The Washington Times -- May 3, 2013

Benghazi may turn out to be President Obama’s Watergate. The scandal is a growing cancer on the administration, threatening its very existence. The more information comes out, the more damning it is. This is why Democrats -- and their media allies -- are desperately trying to sweep the truth under the rug. Mr. Obama’s political survival is at stake.

Benghazi should have been prevented. During the summer of 2012, al Qaeda thugs were roaming the streets of the city. The Red Cross and the British diplomatic mission pulled out. Our consulate had been physically attacked several times. This is why U.S. officials there repeatedly asked the State Department for bolstered security. It was denied.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testified under oath at a House hearing in January that she was unaware of any requests for extra security. “I have made it very clear that the security cables did not come to my attention,” she said. That is false. According to a recent congressional report, Mrs. Clinton knew about the cables. In fact, she not only denied the extra protection, she explicitly ordered that consulate security be cut back. The report cites an April 19, 2012, cable bearing Mrs. Clinton’s signature that acknowledges the demand for more security assistance but insists that reductions in security assets should continue.

The whole article is worth reading. Kuhner outlines the wider parameters of their Benghazigate case, even if it's largely rooted in speculation, conspiracy, and conservative wishful hateful thinking.

That "April 19, 2012, cable bearing Mrs. Clinton’s signature" is not what it seems, as explained by this Democratic Rep, shortly after its initial Issa Inquisition airing, courtesy of the Office of Boehner:

Democrat calls on Boehner to retract Libya report

by Richard Lardner, Associated Press -- April 25, 2013

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said in a letter to Boehner that the report, written by the Republican chairmen of five committees, misrepresents an important document and suggests that Clinton lied to Congress. [...]

The GOP report, released Tuesday, said an April 19, 2012, cable bearing Clinton's signature acknowledged a request from then-U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz for more security at the mission in Benghazi, yet allowed further reductions. The cable contradicted Clinton's testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in January that requests for more security at the mission in Benghazi, Libya, didn't reach her desk, the report said.

But Cummings, said his staff reviewed the cable, and it does not bear Clinton's signature. The cable includes only her typed name at the bottom of the page next to the word "signature," just as thousands of other cables sent each year from the State Department do.

"Although a telephone call could have clarified this issue in a matter of moments, you chose not to check with the department before making these highly inflammatory and erroneous accusations in a public forum," Cummings told Boehner. "The allegations in your staff report are false, extremely irresponsible, and lack even a rudimentary understanding of how State Department cables are processed."

And even if indeed State Dept director Clinton, had followed the principle of following through on policy of across-the-board bureaucratic budget cuts -- WHO might have been to blame for those?

Last time I checked it is the Congress that "holds the power of the purse" ... at least according to the Constitution, anyways.  Not Hillary Clinton. NOT the Department of State.

Libya attack: Congressmen casting blame voted to cut diplomatic security budget

by Dan Murphy, Christian Science Monitor -- Oct 5, 2012

Who's to blame for the Sept. 11 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi?

[... Republican Congressman Jason] Chaffetz has been among those leading the Republican effort to pin the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi on the Obama administration. Earlier claims from Chaffetz and fellow Republican Congressman Darrell Issa that the administration ignored pleas for more security from Libya embassy officials should be treated with caution until there's some proof.

The Worldwide Security Protection program (WSP), which the government says provides "core funding for the protection of life, property, and information of the Department of State," and a separate embassy security and construction budget, which in part improves fortifications, have both been under fire.

"In 2011 they came in and passed a continuing resolution for the remainder of that fiscal year. The House proposed $70 million cut in the WSP and they proposed a $204 million cut in Embassy security," says Mr. Lilly. "Then the next year, fiscal 2012, they cut worldwide security by $145 million and embassy security by $376 million. This year's bill is the same thing all over again. The House has cut the worldwide security budget $149 million below the request."

The House cut "embassy security by $376 million" in the 2012 Budget; and the House "cut the worldwide security budget $149 million below the request" of the State Dept branch directly responsible for providing THAT Embassy security, that the Republicans love to demagog over.

And WHO had the gavel of the House, WHEN these 2012 security-cutting budgets were conceived, penned, and enacted into Law?

It wasn't Hillary Clinton, it wasn't Barack Obama, it wasn't ANY Democrat -- who left our forces overseas "hanging in wind" -- it was instead the cut-everything Republicans, in charge of those fateful budget-cutting edicts.

SOOO, the next time you hear some Fox-follower chanting: "Benghazigate, Benghazigate -- Hillary must pay for what she did."

Just telling them to take a long hard look, in their Austerity Mirror.  And then tell them to just STFU grow-up already. Romney-Ryan lost, get over it!


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