Another day, another Benghazi report playing politics on the backs of the dead. But somehow what we can’t do – what we can’t ever do – is “politicize” gun violence.
Four people died and ten more were injured in the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. Their lives were precious; their loss was great.
The Democrats on the House Select Committee on Benghazi estimate that the committee has spent 782 days and over $7 million on investigating the attack in Benghazi – a calculation which “does not include the costs of: the independent Accountability Review Board; the eight previous reports by seven Congressional committees; the time, money, and resources consumed by federal agencies to comply with Select Committee requests; or the opportunity cost of not spending this money elsewhere, like improving security for our diplomatic officers abroad.”
Because, as conceded by then-House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in September 2015, the investigation was never about finding ways to “improve security,” but about damaging Hillary Clinton’s electoral prospects.
And all for naught. The latest report, after 782 days and over $7 million, has found “no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton.”
To be blunt: The House has wasted an enormous amount of time and resources investigating Benghazi for partisan politicking, while saying over and over this entire process has been necessitated by the four lives lost.
Meanwhile, they flatly refuse to invest any time or resources to researching gun violence and prevention, despite the fact that 6,602 people have been killed by guns in the United States this year so far.
Over 6,000 deaths and over 13,000 injuries. 161 mass shootings this year alone. And Republicans refuse to act, haughtily lecturing people who are demanding action not to politicize the deaths of people killed by gun violence.
Shorter GOP: We’ll spend millions to find nothing new on #Benghazi but we’ll block gun reform when Americans are massacred in the hundreds.
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) June 28, 2016
Not a single select committee on the 33,000 people who die by gun violence each year. Nothing on the mass shootings. https://t.co/4LaPVT2HQN
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) June 28, 2016
No one – including and especially Hillary, who lost a personal friend at Benghazi – argues that there should not have been an accounting of what happened to see if there’s anything we could do better and differently.
But that is not what has happened. And people who have been admonished not to politicize the deaths of people killed by gun violence, because we’ve asked for a reckoning from our elected leaders, are left to boggle at the spectacle of a House committee that will spend hundreds of days and millions of dollars politicizing the deaths of four people, but refuse to spend one second or one cent to honor the deaths of thousands lost to guns.
[Eric Kleefeld contributed to this article.]