If you lie to Congress, it is a crime. It’s called perjury. You may remember that when Roger Clemens did it, he barely escaped two counts of it. And you should remember that the official reason President Bill Clinton was impeached was because of perjury (you know, it had nothing to do with the rabid hatred the GOP had of him, then Congressman Bob Barr, R-GA, asked aloud, If we can’t get rid of him with impeachment what else can we do? Uh, win an election.)
So if it is illegal for citizens to lie TO Congress, why is is legal for them to lie to us?
First case of lying: Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA)
Issa has made some wild claims about Benghazi. One that he has repeated is that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally signed a cable about Benghazi. This has been refuted by all of the whistleblowers and a Washington Post fact checker called that assertion “a whopper” (from Congressman Elijah Cummings’, D-MD testimony at the hearing on the subject on May 8, 2013 -- you can watch it online). All State Department cables have the Secretary's name.
Yet, Issa repeats this claim over and over and over. The goal, of course, is to weaken Secretary Clinton because she is the front runner for the Democratic Party and is popular among Republicans. The only thing they can find to hurt her is this. Truthfully, that we had people in such a dangerous place left so far away from military support seems really upsetting. I am torn from thinking this is Libya, this was September 11th, how could we leave our ambassador so unprotected? The Accountability Review Board (ARB) investigated and released this report. They found that mistakes were made and offered suggestions to prevent this from happening ever again. They were not wimpy as they have been called by some on the right. They were thorough and pretty scathing. There is no question that this should not have happened.
What we know is that when the idea of increasing funding for diplomatic security came up, many of these Republicans who are so unhappy with what happened now, said “no.”
(Disclaimer: I worked for the Clinton Administration on and off for most of it. I also worked for Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign and support the idea of her running in 2016.)
Liar number 2: Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
Senator Ayotte has been questioned about her vote against the recent gun control bill. Her response has been -- more than once -- that she opposed it because she doesn’t want there to be a national registry of gun owners. I support gun control and I don’t want that either. I voted against former DC Mayor Adrian Fenty because, at least partially, he almost went through with a policy to send DC police door-to-door to request residents turn over any guns they didn’t want in their home. If said guns could be tied to a crime, the people who turned them over could be charged with that crime. That is ridiculous.
The bill Senator Ayotte voted against had no such provision. Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) put a provision in the bill making it a felony to keep information on people who had bought a gun past a certain amount of time. No one wants to see such a registry.
I don’t know what her real reason was and would like to hear it because I feel like every other five minutes I hear someone on the right whining that “No one read the bill!” Read the damn bill. And if you have a real reason for going against this common sense bill, please share it. I might even agree with the real reason, if I knew what it was.
And the liars that love them.
Could the right be happier about anything than Benghazi? Were they this upset with President Bush for letting 9/11 happened? (Didn’t he get a report entitled Bin laden determined to attack the US within the US? Did he not have intelligence that al Qaeda was looking at using airplanes? Yes on both. You may remember how I was jumping up and down begging for hearings? Oh, you don’t? This isn’t just because I am not a major TV network but because I am not a truther nor do I see politics in every event on earth).
Second problem I have with the right’s response is their comparison to Watergate. They say “when Obama lied, people died.” I have two problems with that statement. The first issue I have is substantive. President Obama has not lied. This is not a cover-up. This is a tragedy and shows some real holes in the way we do business that need to be fixed. Secondly, it implies that these lies caused deaths. Even if this was true, they happened after the event in question so any attempts at finding a causality are just ridiculous.
On the gun control thing, the National Rifle Association and American Future Fund have some to Senator Ayotte’s defense. The latter has sponsored ads that compound her lie with one of their own. They claim she has voted for increased background checks when she did the opposite. Read that here (and see the ad).
One thing that gets under my skin more than many things is when people put up with politicians who lie because that’s just how it’s done. We get the government we settle for, we need to expect better.