Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi! VA, VA, VA!

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Flames of BenghaziBenghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi! VA, VA, VA! We’re chock-a-block with “scandals” and “investigations” these days. It’s a cottage industry we’ve seen before and it threatens to become near life-long employment as it did for Ken Starr. But the thing is, not all governmental investigations are bad.

When is an Investigation Not an Investigation?

Investigations are good providing they aspire to the truth. Clearly, someone must get to the bottom of the VA mess for example. Internal investigations are useful and often helpful, but some problems are so large they need the extra visibility of a fair Congressional investigation.

The key to a successful, useful investigation is balance and an ability to get to the point and not score political points. Benghazi is clearly NOT the way to run an investigation(s).

The scandal began almost before the shooting stopped with calls for investigation coming fast and furious (reference intended). But Darrell Issa, who immediately cited a “coverup” by the Kenyan pretender, isn’t known for his fairness. Note to Darrell and all his Other Brothers Darrell, it’s incredibly bad form and patently unfair to convict before investigating.

It’s also unfair to raise issue after issue to have them batted down (.pdf) only to raise them repeatedly when things go badly. It’s ludicrous to prevent Democratic members from entering or seeing evidence that doesn’t support the pre-chosen verdict. You don’t cut the microphones and walk out of the room. And most of all, you don’t demand testimony and evidence you’ve already heard repeatedly. That is a clear case of Birther Opperandus. You especially don’t do this when eight other Republican and bi-partisan committees manage to investigate, nullify your arguments, and offer recommendations that are already accepted while you plod along wasting millions while whining about deficits.

Still fighting the battleNow comes a Select Committee to investigate the previously produced 25,000 pages of testimony. That’s not only a bridge too far, but Republicans selected the odds for the select committee. Their imminently fair 7-5 bias toward Republican members and attempts to limit Democratic access to evidence unless they wanna guarantees sterling equity.

Yes, Republican administrations have gone uninvestigated for far more deadly blunders, but that doesn’t matter. This administration was at the helm when Benghazi happened, They own it and they mishandled it, but there’s no evidence of crime or impeachable offense. Republicans already had their swing at the pinata. It’s time for this case to close.

VA, VA, VA!

However, there are real scandals to investigate and the hideous treatment of veterans by the VA is one. This is a chance to do a good investigation and correct the many smoking holes in the system. It doesn’t matter how much the previous administration planted the seeds of disaster, if the current Congress nurtured it, or the Republicans see a bitchin’ fund raising opportunity. Obama is at the helm and he’s stuck again with the problem for better or worse.

This time let’s tell the barkweasels to hold their powder. Allow the Inspector General’s investigation to run and give them enough time to collect the facts. Let them act unimpeded, offer recommendations, lop such heads as they see ripe to roll, and not drag them into whatever imaginary plot is afoot. They are doing their job.

There’s still plenty to investigate and if Congress can set up one committee to act on a reasonable time-table, with unquestioned fairness, there’s ample reason to proceed. Congress should give everyone a fair voice and pitch in to help. As Republicans are always quick to point out, we are a country of laws and should act like it.

There will be political fallout and you’re a fool to think otherwise. But, it is unconscionable to let it interfere with fixing the problem. Leave the men and women dying at the hands of squabbling Congresspeople out of it. Adhere to the promises Congress made when they left for wars that much of the public and many of the good soldiers disagreed.

If Congress must bash each other political ugly sticks we citizens must oblige them to do it on their own time and dime. No more asshattery.

It’s time for a clean investigation, not only to prove we aren’t too far gone to do it, but because it’s the right thing to do.

 

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