The Republicans on that committee investigating Hillary Clinton are idiots for focusing on decisions about consulate security that are technical, clearly below her pay grade and have nothing to do with the bipartisan zeal for creating military mayhem throughout the Middle East.
The real issue, and one on which they are far more culpable than the Obama regime, is the insanity of backing Islamic fanatics — the very ones who killed our ambassador — in the overthrow of secular dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
The ugly reality of the Benghazi investigation is that the Republicans hawks investigating Clinton are fully complicit with the former secretary of state for the murderous pandemonium in Libya that led to the death of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and to the failed state that followed. It is simply immoral to now focus on whether Stevens was properly protected instead of on the nutty bipartisan arrogance of a U.S.-backed policy of regime change that left Libya in chaos, with much of its population in desperate flight from a country now ruled by three competing bands of Islamic fanatics.
Why is the possibly mismanaged security of a U.S. diplomat of more compelling interest than the hundreds of thousands of innocent Libyan civilians sacrificed by a Democratic president in an attempt to placate his militaristic critics from both parties by entering into yet another disruptive imperial adventure? What Hillary Clinton's emails do verify is that she was one of those hawks pushing President Barack Obama to the militarist side.
"We came, we saw, he died," Clinton boasted with a chuckle over the brutal death of a defanged dictator, ignoring the fact that the secular Gadhafi, long past his boisterous prime, was hardly a serious threat to the stability of the region. Gadhafi had been in a war with precisely the fanatics that, as she testified, Clinton was counting on to go to the aid of our ambassador, but they rewarded our support for their rebellion by meting out the same brutality they had exercised on Gadhafi himself. So much for the "Smart Power" mantra that Clinton and her ideological compatriot, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, have been proclaiming as the harbinger of a new Clinton Doctrine.
That Clinton had strenuously supported the bombing that destabilized Libya beyond recognition as a nation was confirmed in an email to her from her confidant Sidney Blumenthal, who on Aug. 22, 2011, proclaimed the start of the bombing as "a historic moment" and added "you will be credited for realizing it." Blumenthal went on to predict that "[w]hen Gaddafi himself is finally removed, you should of course make a public statement before the cameras wherever you are, even in the driveway of your vacation home. ... You must go on camera. You must establish yourself in the historical record at this moment. ... The most important phrase is: 'successful strategy.'"
That email was forwarded by Clinton to Jake Sullivan, her top assistant in the State Department, with an approving, cynical note: "Sid makes a good case for what I should say, but it's premised on being said after Q goes, which will make it more dramatic. That's my hesitancy, since I'm not sure how many chances I'll get."
Hillary and Bill Clinton cultivate advisers like Blumenthal and Sullivan for their loyalty beyond principle, and Sullivan was on point in speaking of politically exploiting the then-impending end of Gadhafi: "... it might make sense for you to do an op-ed to run right after he falls, making this point. ...You can reinforce the op-ed in all your appearances, but it makes sense to lay down something definitive, almost like the Clinton Doctrine."
The only value in disclosure of the secretary of state's private emails is to confirm that she was considerably more hawkish than President Obama, and the only question about her zeal is whether it was driven by political cynicism or ideological hubris.
That is a distinction without a difference to the innocent victims of what Clinton trumpets as "Smart Power," but it may be useful in assessing whether as president she would be even more reckless than any Republican opponent. Quite a limited choice, but one we are likely to be stuck with, given the dropping of Democratic alternatives in the wake of what much of the media has proclaimed a Clinton triumph over her Republican congressional critics.
At one point, it looked as if Rand Paul might provide a libertarian Republican critique of the rampant militarism that grips both parties, but that no longer seems to be in the cards. So it is up to Bernie Sanders to tell us, loud and clear, whether the independent-turned-Democrat offers an alternative to bipartisan warmongering.
Robert Scheer is editor of TruthDig.com, where this column originally appeared. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Robert Scheer and to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.