On the Alleged Equivalency of Benghazi and Niger

 

 

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PHOTO CREDIT:  US Senate

 

As partisans begin to ‘circle the wagons’ around Trump one again, let me continue the Wild West metaphor by cutting the partisan interpretation ‘off at the pass.’ Niger and Benghazi are not synonymous. U.S. Senator Jack Reed’s criticism is about the release of information surrounding the attack on American soldiers. Reed’s criticism is bipartisan; it has been echoed by US Senator John McCain as well. Reed was on All Things Considered (10/20/17) and reiterated, this is about the Executive Branch’s responsibility to inform the Legislative Branch, even if it is behind closed doors. Furthermore, Reed said, this lack of communication has not been an issue before in his almost 20 years in the US Senate serving under other Administrations of both parties. I recently heard an attempted rebuttal of Reed’s criticism by a partisan who dismissed Reed because “where was he in Benghazi?” Let’s remember that the Senate is the grown-up half of the Congress… In 2012, Reed was not on the Senate Intelligence Committee which handled the Benghazi investigation in a bipartisan manner in one investigation, as opposed to the numerous and partisan House investigations. Furthermore, Jack Reed is one of the most honorable public servants I have met. The reason he didn’t way in as much on Benghazi was probably that he wasn’t assigned to the committee investigating. Today, however, Reed is the Ranking Member of the US Senate Armed Services Committee which *is* in charge of the situation in Niger. Instead of attacking bipartisan legislative criticism, perhaps our energy would be better spend on asking why there is so little Constitutionally-mandated communication from this Executive to the US Congress?

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