Wanted: A GOP Benghazi Czar

Brother Benen made a good catch this morning in noting that Darrell Issa seems to have uttered a conscious untruth on Meet the Press yesterday about the alleged unwillingness of former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering to appear before his committee, which might have been more credible had Pickering not been sitting right next to Issa on MTP to contradict him.

What makes this incident interesting, of course, is that the alleged utterance of conscious untruths on a Sunday Show was the original Benghazi! “scandal,” and still the one congressional Republicans talk about the most.

Part of what makes this “scandal” so slippery is that its propagators constantly change the charge and even the focus. There are the famous “talking points.” There is the claim (which Rand Paul is making every time he opens his mouth) that military measures could and should have been taken after the initial attacks on the Benghazi consulate that would have saved lives (contradicted, most recently, by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who suggested such claims were based on a “cartoonish” notion of military capabilities). And now we have the suggestion that the “cover-up” of Benghazi! has involved reprisals against “whistle-blowers.” Hovering above the whole mess is the idea that the Obama administration would rather protect Islamic terrorists than U.S. military and diplomatic personnel.

While this scattered indictment might appeal to those who want to maintain a full-court press on the administration, it’s terribly confusing to everyone else. My suggestion is that congressional Republicans appoint a “Benghazi Czar” we can consult to keep all the stories straight. You’re welcome.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.