By David Webb - 05/06/14 06:15 PM EDT
Integrity in politics requires leadership. Start by winning and keep fighting for more wins on behalf of the people, and the party will benefit.
The moment that a select committee was announced on Benghazi, an opportunity arose that is broader than the scandal following the obvious terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya.
First, do not care what the Democrats say or do. Rep. Adam SchiffAdam SchiffWH tried to stop Intel Dems' statement on Russian hacking: report Week ahead: Election hacks, Yahoo breach in the spotlight Overnight Tech: Pressure builds ahead of TV box vote | Intel Dems warn about Russian election hacks | Spending bill doesn't include internet measure MORE (Calif.) is the perfect example of what to expect. He, like many other Democrats, has come to the conclusion that there is nothing to see here regarding Benghazi without having all the facts. The political calculus, as I see it, leaves two approaches for the Democrats.
One is to not participate in the select committee and claim it is a partisan witch hunt, some vast right-wing conspiracy coupled with a war on women — or in this case one woman, Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonClinton camp slams Trump on reported Cuba business ties Trump shouldn't mess with Miss Universe Pelosi sees 'makings of a wave' of Dem House victories MORE. After all, she is the crowned next president of the United States.
The other is to participate in the select committee and do everything possible to slow it down, pollute the evidence and obfuscate the facts, all while driving a public narrative. There would be leak after leak to news outlets like The New York Times, and unending commentary on MSNBC and in the online sphere of left-wing bloggers.
Let’s deal in reality. Over multiple congressional hearings, not one committee has seen all the evidence that others have. The selective release of documents by the State Department, White House, military and CIA helped facilitate this disconnect.
Redacted documents — some of the same documents are marked confidential in one committee and secret in another — confuse the issue even more. Reclassifying some emails as secret after their release appears to be a way to lock them away for 25 years, or at least long enough to deem them irrelevant.
How can anyone follow the chain of evidence? The answer is, they cannot, and that is the main point. The Accountability Review Board’s (ARB) report is a sad joke. Clinton, the secretary of State when the terrorist attack took place, has not been formally questioned. This is Washington, D.C., deflecting as it often does, but then what difference does it make? The net effect is an incomplete investigation, whether civil or criminal. It is the process that matters.
Now to the Republicans. First, do not be afraid of the names you will be called. Accept it and move forward with firm and honest resolve. The select committee chaired by Rep. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyClinton IT aide pleads Fifth, skips hearing House Oversight subpoenas FBI for Clinton investigation documents Clinton emails wiped clean after NYT story MORE (R-S.C.) must be a prosecutorial process with discovery, chain of evidence examination and unbiased truth-seeking. Gowdy must revert to his prosecutor days and insulate himself from the political noise from either side.
His legacy from this process should be one of unbiased searching for the truth. Follow the evidence where it leads, regardless of party. Americans have forgiven or moved on from our political sins before under Republican or Democrat administrations. We will again.
The Republican leadership in the House and Senate needs to project truth as the authority, national interest as a factor, and a desire to win for the Americans who were murdered in Benghazi, their families and the nation. It would show the world how well we as a nation handle ourselves in tough times and be an honest and transparent example of American political accountability.
If, in fact, Republicans, Speaker John BoehnerJohn Boehner3 ways the next president can succeed on immigration reform Republican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE (R-Ohio) and others were briefed on covert actions in Benghazi, then embarrassment pales in comparison to dead bodies. Although we should not know about every CIA or special operation, sometimes secrets are revealed and, yes, they can be detrimental or even compromise future operations. But we are past that point in the case of Benghazi.
Let’s be brutally honest, there is a need for an open war with the progressive movement, who will fight to protect President Obama and its agenda. The left will fight to win in every dishonest manner available. To borrow a phrase and alter slightly: Damn the progressives, and full-speed ahead to the truth.
Voters, Republicans, the conservative base, independents, the unaffiliated, libertarians, frustrated Democrats, et al., demand more daily from inside the Beltway.
And not to diminish its importance, but broader than the Benghazi scandal is the future of America and our opportunity for true domestic and global leadership by example. 2014 is the Republicans’ to lose, but the real loser will be America.
Webb is host of “The David Webb Show” on SiriusXM Patriot 125, a Fox News contributor and has appeared frequently on television as a commentator. Webb co-founded TeaParty365 in New York City and is a spokesman for the National Tea Party Federation. His column will appear twice a month in The Hill.