The past few days have not been good ones for those in the GOP and the conservative movement promoting conspiracy theories concerning the Benghazi terrorist attack. With the news that Susan Rice did not edit the comments she gave five days after the attack, but instead had them edited and given to her by intelligence officials, the entire rationale behind John McCain and Lindsey Graham's hysterical attacks on her has been knocked out from beneath them. (McCain seems to realize that, given he's already backpeddling on his stance against Rice and is reduced to complaining about why he didn't get this information sooner.) Coupled with similar information from David Patreaus and a harsh pushback from Democrats accusing them of rascism and it's no wonder conservatives are currently floundering on the Benghazi issue. (If you want a good example, watch Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas, one of the 97 House Republicans who signed a letter against Rice's potential nomination as SOS, get raked over the coals by Soledad O'Brien on CNN over his and his fellow GOPers opposing Rice while giving Condoleezza Rice a pass.)
However, as I previously wrote about, the GOP is not about to give up on what they in their heart of hearts believe is the scandal that will finally bring down the Evil Kenyan Muslim Socialist Anti-Christ. So if the intelligence community is now saying Rice is clear, there is only one logical option in their mind: The spooks are lying to us, all the way to the top.
The Republicans' new focus of attack in the faux "Benghazi-gate scandal is Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, claiming that he lied about the source of changes to talking points on the Benghazi attack given to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.McCain got the ball rolling during his supposed backtrack on Rice, wondering why Clapper and other DNI officials didn't provide this information during closed door hearings. (Gee, you mean the one you blew off and then got pissy about when questioned later, Senator?) And now that all their earlier attacks on Rice have collapsed, the Benghazi conspiracy nuts, which seemingly consists of all of Fox News these days, are training their guns on Clapper (who, by the way, is a George W. Bush appointee). Some examples:
- BILL O'REILLY: Now it's James Clapper, President Obama's national security guy who is saying, "Oh, it's me. I sent Rice out there and I took out all the al Qaeda stuff." I'm not buying it. None of this adds up. ...All right so there's a lot of lying going on here.And then here's Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), who stopped short of calling Clapper a liar, but implicated to Fox News' Stuart Varney that he might be part of the conspiracy:
- CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I'm not buying it because the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said that a week ago in classified testimony that same Clapper said that they had no idea who changed the talking points and now a week later he seems to say he did? That's kind of strange. I mean I've seen amnesia in my day in my clinical days and that one is pretty quick, one week.
- TUCKER CARLSON: I hate to think the director of National Intelligence lied, is a liar. But I'm not sure I see an alternative explanation. Apparently, he's contradicting what he testified to just last week. Is there annother explanation for this?
- FOX NEWS' STEVE DOOCY: The did say it is out of the [DNI] office. It's not him per se, so we're supposed to believe that a Clapper aide changed what Patreaus had said? That's very, very curious.
- REP. TREY GOWDY (R-SC): This is the head of our national intelligence and he changed his mind within the course of 24 hours. So how are you possibly going to have any confidence in what he says?
GINGREY: Now have you got someone who can basically trump the CIA, especially if the president says to him - I am not suggesting that he did, but he could have - look, James, we need to kind of clean this up a little bit...We are doing really well. We're right about time for the election and we are doing very well on national security and this could blow our cover.Feel free, if you can stomach it, to watch a greatest hits of the attacks on Clapper here. It may give you flashbacks to the whackjobs swarming around the Vince Foster suicide during the Clinton years and their theories about how Foster was whacked by the Clintons or some damn thing. (And Trey Gowdy, I swear to God, sounds like if Gomer Pyle somehow got elected to Congress. Perhaps I don't have to retire the "Gomer Kyl" nickname with John Kyl retiring. I just have to refashion it to "Gomer Gowdy" or something similar.)
At this rate, how much longer until one of these clowns says Clapper was ordered by Obama himself to use poor Susan Rice as a dupe to cover up his crimes? (Oops, I probably shouldn't give them any ideas.) Maybe this is the "big revelation" on Benghazi I heard Sean Hannity babbling about on his radio show a couple days ago (which I've been listening to off and on since Election Day to hear him whine and crab like all the others).
No, no matter how much you debunk their theories, the Benghazi nuts will not let go. Any proof of the ridiculousness of their theories only makes them more sure of their paranoid delusions. And in their desperation to pin something, anything on Obama, they will only get crazier and crazier.
Invest in popcorn futures, because this show is only going to get wilder.