Given the Republican obsession with Benghazi talking points and whether or not they were deliberately falsified in some sort of cover-up of administration incompetence or even outright malfeasance which cost 4 American lives, I think it’s time for a very specific flashback.
According to a study conducted by the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism published in 2008 President Bush and his top aides made 935 false statements about the security risk posed by Iraq in the two years following September 11, 2001, Then President George W Bush himself made 232 false statements about Iraq and former leader Saddam Hussein’s possession of weapons of mass destruction, and 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to al Qaeda. “President George W. Bush and seven of his administration’s top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq…" On at least 532 separate occasions, Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both.” “The false statements dramatically increased in August 2002, with congressional consideration of a war resolution, then escalated through the mid-term elections and spiked even higher from January 2003 to the eve of the invasion… In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003.”
The study’s conclusions were reinforced further when former Bush White House press secretary Scott McClellan wrote in his book, “top Bush aides had outlined a strategy for carefully orchestrating the coming campaign to aggressively sell the war… In the permanent campaign era, it was all about manipulating sources of public opinion to the president’s advantage.”
In July 2004, the Republican majority led Senate Select Committee released the Intelligence Senate Report on Iraqi WMD Intelligence, which identified numerous failures in intelligence gathering and “analysis” (i.e., interpretation). However, Republicans defended the Bush administration’s statements on Iraq.
An investigation into the administration’s use of the intelligence was delayed for three years due to Republicans claiming it wasn’t as important (Senator Roberts, R-KS) as other pending items. Phase two of the investigation was released in 2007, but not all of the report was released. It determined, “our Committee has concluded that the Administration made significant claims that were not supported by the intelligence.”
So to summarize, on the one hand we have a situation in which an administration deliberately and systematically mislead the American people for the express purpose of starting a war that would end up costing nearly 6,000 American lives lost and tens of thousands more physically and psychologically scarred, not to mention the trillions of dollars of wasted American treasure.
On the other hand we have a memo written after a terrorist attack in a foreign country that killed f4 people, which was amended to delete specific reference to al Queada and "suggested" (but we weren't really sure yet) the attack may have been inspired by an attack on the American Embassy in Cairo which came about because of a provocative video.
In both cases Republican's investigated. In the one everything was excused. In the other there are calls for impeachment of the President and throwing a potential 2016 presidential rival in jail, even though no one can explain what was supposedly covered up, why or what statute of law might have been violated.
But no, there isn't anything political in all this. We just want the truth.