Benghazi Select Committee: GOP Makes Picks, Dems Negotiating Rules of "Kangaroo Court"
Speaker John Boehner announced today his choices to fill the seven Republican seats on the select committee that will be investigating Benghazi after it was created along a party-line vote yesterday. Boehner selected Rep. Trey Goudy (S.C.) to chair. The other six members will be Susan Brooks ( Jim Jordan (Ohio), Mike Pompeo (Kan.), Martha Roby (Ala.), Peter Roskam (Ill.), and Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.). The Hill notes Goudy and Brooks are former federal prosecutors. The committee has several other lawyers, but only one veteran of the military, Pompeo.
Democrats, who pushed to also receive seven seats but got five, aren't sure yet whether they'll make any appointments or whether they'll boycott the committee. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) called the committee a "political stunt" and even Gowdy admitted "everything seems to be partisan."
Pelosi is reportedly negotiating with Boehner about the rules of the committee before making any appointments. She says she wants a guarantee Democrats will get fair access to documents, a chance to subpoena witnesses, and an equal opportunity to question them, conditions she says they didn't get in a previous Benghazi probe. "We must have standards," she said at a news conference this week.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) called the committee a "kangaroo court" and a "waste of taxpayer dollars," but says Democrats would participate anyway if the rules were fair. Partisanship par excellence.
The select committee is supposed to investigate security failures before and during the attack and cover ups afterward. Matthew Feeney reviewed the story so far with Benghazi—the alleged security failures and the efforts to control the narrative after the attack—for Reason 24/7 earlier this month.
Last November, I wrote about how the partisan wrangling over Benghazi missed an important point about interventionism:
Finding out whether (or when) Obama and his spokespeople started dissembling about the Benghazi attack is important, but it's ultimately less important than confronting the mind-set that will lead to more half-baked interventions that then lead to more death and destruction of American lives.
"It is harder to recognize Congress' role in the failure to stop the drone attacks that are still killing innocent civilians and strengthening radical elements abroad," Kucinich told fellow congressmen at the Benghazi hearing. "We want to stop the attacks on embassies? Let's stop trying to overthrow governments." Kucinich is out of Congress after losing his primary after his district was joined with another Democrat's. Democrats may not have anyone like Kucinich they could, or would be interested in, placing on the committee.
And check out Reason TV's Three Reasons Benghazi Still Matters: