Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Oh dear lord, the new Three Stooges (John McCain, his puppet boy Little Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte as "Shemp") are back at it again today. It appears that the "Benghazi! Benghazi!! Benghazi!!!" faux scandal is really just about semantics, or diction. "You didn't say the magic words!"
Talking Points Memo reports, McCain, Graham And Ayotte Dismiss Obama’s ‘Generic’ Terror Reference:
Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) on Monday issued a statement dismissing President Barack Obama's insistence that he attributed the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya to terrorism.
Speaking in the Rose Garden the day following the Sept. 11, 2012 attack that left four Americans dead in Benghazi, Obama made reference to "acts of terror" — a "generic reference," as the three Republican senators put it. McCain, Graham and Ayotte cited subsequent interviews that Obama gave in which he stopped short of describing the attack as terrorism. The three senators also called for the creation of a Joint Select Committee " to resolve these contradictions and answer the many other unanswered questions about this tragedy."
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) on Monday also pushed back Obama's characterization of the attack, arguing during an appearance on Fox News that "an act of terror is different than a terrorist attack."
Seriously, Dude? That's all you got?
Steve Benen calls this the The 'diction' debates:
Marc Ambinder explained this morning that Benghazi is "a debate about post-tragedy diction." That's certainly bolstered by recent Republican arguments, nearly all of which have to do with the timing of various choices of words.
If you're thinking that genuine political controversies are supposed to deal with more meaningful issues than diction, you and I are on the same page, though congressional Republicans and much of the political world are on a very different page.
Take Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), for example. On Sept. 12, 2012, President Obama described the Benghazi attack as an act of terror. McCain yesterday insisted that those comments don't count: "The president didn't call it an 'act of terror.' ... He condemned 'acts of terrorism.'"
What matters, in Republicans' minds, is the diction. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) was thinking along the same lines today on Fox News.
"The president sent a letter to the president of Libya were he didn't call it a terrorist attack even when in real time the president of Libya was calling this a pre-planned Sept. 11 terrorist attack," Issa said. He added, "An act of terror is different than a terrorist attack."
This amusing, in a pathetic sort of way, and not just because of Issa's rhetorical framework. It's also striking because it's shining a light on what Republicans consider truly important about this story: which officials used the words Republicans like and when.
Ambinder added, "The Diction Debates aren't real because the opponent insists he/she knows about the motivation for using/not using certain key words." That's also true -- McCain, Issa and others are quite animated over which official used the word "terror" on which day.
But all of this serves to remind us that the political world has defined "scandal" down to a meaningless level. Watergate dealt with crimes committed by a president. Iran-Contra dealt with a White House that sold arms to a sworn enemy to finance an illegal war. The Plame Affair, the U.S. Attorney purge, and illegal warrantless wiretaps dealt with systemic wrongdoing at the highest levels.
In 2013, though, we're apparently stuck with, "An act of terror is different than a terrorist attack."
These pathetic losers have no credibility. It is time for the equally pathetic losers in the Beltway media to realize this, and to turn away from this conservative media entertainment complex generated faux outrage of the day. This is just about riling up the GOP crazy base and fund raising.
UPDATE: The old Three Stooges (including Joe Lieberman) were never concerned about this list of diplomatic incidents documented by the Huffington Post. 13 Benghazis That Occurred on Bush's Watch Without a Peep from Fox News.