Skip to main content

thanks to the reclisted diary "So That's What McCain Wanted" by susan from 29 (by way of huffpo's ryan grim), we know what john mccain really wanted from the benghazi hearings: a top-ranking committee seat to extend his expiring tenure, or in short, uninterrupted power and relevance in the next congress. here's the letter reid sent mccain:


Washington, DC 20510-7012

November 16, 2012

The Honorable John McCain
Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee
241 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator McCain John:

I am writing in response to your suggestion that the Senate establish a Select Committee to investigate the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. I refuse to allow the Senate to be used as a venue for baseless partisan attacks.

Examining the events in Benghazi is an imperative of the utmost importance. As you know, several committees in both the House and Senate have already committed to undertaking investigations and hearings, and the Obama Administration has already provided numerous briefings and more than 3,000 pages of documentation to committees as part of their reviews. In addition to the investigations currently underway in both houses of Congress, there are multiple investigations being undertaken by the administration at this writing.

I am concerned that a Select Committee, as you propose, would duplicate and, ultimately, undermine the numerous investigations into the attack that are already proceeding in the Senate committees of jurisdiction, and may serve to further politicize an issue that has already been manipulated by Members of both the House and Senate in service of partisan agendas.

You already have the opportunity to engage more fully in the fulsome and ongoing investigations into the events in Benghazi currently being conducted by the Senate committees of jurisdiction. For instance, on Wednesday, Senator McCain failed to attend a classified briefing held by the Senate Homeland Security Committee on this very issue.

To quote Senator Collins, the Ranking Republican Member on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which hosted the Benghazi briefing that Senator McCain missed, "I do not see the benefit of creating a brand new committee when we already have the Senate's chief oversight committee, plus the Intelligence Committee, examining this very important matter."

Senator Collins's assessment is apt. The best way to proceed on this issue is to support the extensive efforts currently underway, and support the Members of the Senate and our national security community as they conduct them. As former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said, "It's easy to try and jump to conclusions about what might have happened here. It's probably better to let the relevant bodies do their work."

Unfortunately, the approach taken by many Republican Members has been the opposite instead of "letting the relevant bodies do their work," many Republicans have undermined and complicated their efforts. In the weeks following this terrorist attack, members of the Republican Party in both the House and Senate have misrepresented the facts as presented in numerous briefings by the United States Intelligence Community through a constant stream of falsehoods, exaggerations, and leaks of sensitive national security information. I am shocked that Senators and Representatives would deliberately distort or ignore facts that they received in classified settings and worse still, openly discuss these matters in public. Revealing classified information can literally put lives at stake.

One of you, Senator McCain, has gone so far as to make the outrageous claim that this event was "worse than Watergate" — despite the fact that there is no evidence that any crime was committed, no evidence of any cover-up, and no evidence that the administration has characterized the incident in any way that has not been consistent with the Intelligence Community's contemporaneous assessments.

In the House of Representatives, Chairman Issa has undertaken a deeply flawed and partisan investigation with a clear intent to politicize this tragedy. While the hearings his committee conducted — by all accounts — shed no new light on the incident in Benghazi, they did succeed in exposing sensitive and potentially classified information, as well as grossly misrepresenting the facts.

I also find it troubling to discover that a senior staff member for Representative Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, was actively working for former Governor Mitt Romney's campaign at the same time that Representative Rogers was launching partisan attacks against the Obama Administration on this issue. Many of Representative Rogers's comments not only misrepresented the facts, but also may have exposed classified intelligence provided to his committee as part of its oversight responsibilities.

The elections are over; it is time to put an end to the partisan politicization of national security and begin working together to strengthen our efforts to dismantle and destroy the terrorist networks that threaten us.

I believe deeply in the Senate's constitutional responsibility for oversight of the executive branch, and I am confident that committees of jurisdiction will examine this incident with the rigor and integrity that we expect from them. I believe with equal fervor, however, that partisan politics has no place in the Senate's oversight of national security and intelligence. The intentional politicization of this national tragedy over the last several weeks risks undermining the proud tradition of nonpartisanship that the Senate's national security committees have sustained over many decades.

The most important task facing us at this juncture is to make sure that we collect the facts in a clear-eyed, nonpartisan fashion, and take whatever action they merit. Your considerable experience in these matters would be an enormous asset to this effort, if more judiciously deployed. I know that, as members of multiple committees of jurisdiction, you understand as well as I do the importance the Senate's longstanding tradition of nonpartisanship in national security oversight. I therefore urge you to join me in working in a bipartisan manner, in line with the proudest traditions of the Senate, to support the men and women of our national security and intelligence community, conduct the Senate's oversight activities in a fair and responsible manner, and help restore the longstanding commitment to nonpartisanship in the Senate's national security committees.




Senator Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Senator Lindsey Graham, Senate Armed Services Committee Senator Kelly Ayotte, Senate Armed Services Committee

edit: updated salutation to reflect the fact that, as can be seen in the linked pdf, in the original letter reid had struck out by hand the standard formal greeting "senator mccain" and written in simply "john" -- making this truly a "dear john" letter! i guess that was the uppercut to follow the cross ...
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Grassroots Mom, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, Sylv, LeislerNYC, Trix, Bill in Portland Maine, Cowalker, jazzmaniac, Chi, itsbenj, hester, grollen, ORDem, tikkun, Dave the Wave, saraswati, PeterHug, bosdcla14, Emerson, karlpk, dengre, LynChi, rubyr, LeftHandedMan, red moon dog, MarkInSanFran, exNYinTX, expatjourno, Delilah, concernedamerican, Zinman, missLotus, susakinovember, highacidity, gayntom, roses, Clues, PeteZerria, splashy, sidnora, SneakySnu, RLF, hopesprings, ninothemindboggler, fight2bfree, Nag, TexDem, NYC Sophia, jaywillie, cosette, Ophelia, flatford39, CarbonFiberBoy, dwahzon, Sychotic1, defluxion10, never forget 2000, papercut, RebeccaG, lcrp, Liberaljentaps, riverlover, Bendra, blonde moment, Matt Esler, KateCrashes, zerelda, ybruti, tomjones, xyz, Emmy, sebastianguy99, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, rapala, Dirk McQuigley, humphrey, maybeeso in michigan, bloomer 101, UFOH1, LarisaW, subtropolis, SherwoodB, KnotIookin, Brooke In Seattle, Laurence Lewis, fixxit, Beetwasher, LNK, SaraBeth, Pam from Calif, lcbo, Inland, peteri2, markdd, davidslane, Tool, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, FindingMyVoice, kerplunk, jj24, peacestpete, Ekaterin, sgary, RJDixon74135, Doug Goodenough, third Party please, Shirl In Idaho, tommymet, vigilant meerkat, MeMeMeMeMe, tobendaro, Russgirl, dopper0189, mr crabby, seefleur, kestrel9000, dougymi, fou, yojimbo, Hobbitfoot, Lefty Coaster, aloevera, StrayCat, Ashaman, real world chick, sceptical observer, middleagedhousewife, Pilgrim X, BlueMississippi, Cenobyte, CA Nana, Timothy J, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, BB10, Statusquomustgo, Eikyu Saha, Reel Woman, Thinking Fella, tegrat, One Pissed Off Liberal, Cronesense, Cat Whisperer, Loudoun County Dem, tgypsy, puakev, jds1978, edsbrooklyn, DvCM, la urracca, certainot, rantsposition, mbh1023, US Blues, Rosalie907, SeaTurtle, jnhobbs, millwood, gchaucer2, hopi13, uciguy30, leonard145b, crystalboy, A Person, sable, wuod kwatch, Empower Ink, fb, rogerdaddy, JeffW, TX Freethinker, ScottyUrb, OleHippieChick, Aureas2, bythesea, Sharon Wraight, Akonitum, KJG52, tofumagoo, pamelabrown, hwmnbn, bluesheep, Jeff Y, glendaw271, petulans, oak park progressive, BYw, Karl Rover, JamieG from Md, tristan57, dmhlt 66, Purple Priestess, clent, maggiejean, Bule Betawi, Rhysling, McGahee220, rubyclaire, J M F, Ravenstream, litoralis, greengemini, lostinamerica, hummingbird4015, bobatkinson, Nebraskablue, Kaneblues, Norm in Chicago, WakeUpNeo, indres, BlueInRedCincy, LibrErica, DefendOurConstitution, jmknapp53, ElizabethRegina1558, geebeebee, elziax, zizi, mksutherland, Shelley99, sfarkash, nancat357, clifmichael, citisven, Dema Broad, ruscle, Clyde the Cat, BlueOak, Railfan, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, brooklyns finest, mamamorgaine, awcomeon, Laurilei, Susan Grigsby, leftywright, seishin, CS in AZ, Camcallie, yellowdogsal, cazcee, ATFILLINOIS, cordgrass, gulfgal98, pixxer, elginblt, DiegoUK, Yasuragi, nickrud, rja, DrTerwilliker, BlueFranco, ericlewis0, Otteray Scribe, USHomeopath, cany, not4morewars, Actbriniel, slice, tgrshark13, theKgirls, Onomastic, Maximilien Robespierre, yellow cosmic seed, kerflooey, MidwestTreeHugger, meralda, I love OCD, spooks51, msazdem, sabo33, sostos, implicate order, msmacgyver, La Gitane, Arizona Mike, Nicci August, lillyspad, California06, FightingRegistrar, AnotherAmericanLie, molunkusmol, Haf2Read, Majordomo, Hohenzollern, Cinnamon Rollover, dle2GA, Mark Tapley, BarackStarObama, smoothnmellow, beka, Yogurt721, SueM1121, zapus, bluedust, MinistryOfTruth, bakeneko, ratcityreprobate, Catlady62, DRo, googie, Mentatmark, T100R, Davui, No one gets out alive, SuWho, Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom, jacey, RhodaA, Heart n Mind, Flying Goat, leathersmith, We Won, IndieGuy, S F Hippie, a2nite, AreDeutz, shanesnana, peachcreek, Laiane, Olkate, doroma, OllieGarkey, avsp, arizonablue, wasatch, Most Awesome Nana, Chaddiwicker, DamselleFly, jusjtim35, glorificus, sixeight120bpm, aresea, leeleedee, Ree Zen, ggfkate, howabout, TokayAsriel, Icicle68, OjaiValleyCali, Smoh, sparkysgal, Catkin, TheDuckManCometh, shinobi9, Rich452, stuhunter2, CA wildwoman, Fleet, Shieldhill

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site