The smoking gun in the new Republican report? That Hillary Clinton "signed" memos rejecting stepped-up security at the compound, thus proving that everything was all her fault, period, exclamation point, Ronald Reagan smiley face. There's only one little problem with that: Clinton did not "sign" the letter. Darrell Issa and the rest of the Crack House Investigative Team of Superheroes got confused on a basic fact of how the State Department works, and not one of them bothered to actually freaking check, just once, with the State Department as to their top-notch theory of things:
[By tradition], every cable from an embassy bears the “signature” of the ambassador — and every cable from Washington bears the “signature” of the secretary of state. The protocol is explained in the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual: […]Yep. The entire House Republican "investigative" team didn't know that, and they didn't check, and/or they didn't listen to Every Damn State Department Employee Who Could Tell Them That. Or, as Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings puts it:
Because of this protocol, “Secretary Clinton ‘signed’ hundreds of thousands of cables during her tenure as secretary,” said State Department spokesman Patrick H. Ventrell. “As then-Secretary Clinton testified, the security cables related to Benghazi did not come to her attention. These cables were reviewed at the assistant secretary level.”
“The allegations in your staff report are false, extremely irresponsible, and lack even a rudimentary understanding of how State Department cables are processed,” Cummings wrote in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). […]Has there ever been a Congress more incompetent than this one? I don't mean partisan, or mean, or ineffective—I mean stone-cold incompetent. This is the sort of thing that really should require a public pie in the face for all involved, and the House Republican caucus is just goddamn stupid enough that we could probably get that required public pie-ing passed as actual bill, providing we bury it in some language about continued oil subsidies or free guns to American toddlers.
“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.”