Thursday, November 29, 2012

Televise the Bengasi hearings

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 11/29/12

Those too young to have been there might have caught the clip on YouTube. The final scene in the Monty Python classic, Holy Grail, where the mad peasants are being dragged away by the hair by London bobbies. They take advantage of the moment to shout at the TV cameras, “Look! The violence inherent in the system!” It was classic strategy of the trained apparatchik of the day to use the moment to politicize a greater purpose. In time things improved. Watergate maybe cleared the air and people for awhile began to talk straight again. But this is what we are seeing again with Susan Rice on Capitol Hill.

The use of violence at Bengasi was instantaneously utilized for a greater and broader political (propaganda) objective. The troubling thing here is that what they keep calling the “talking points” connecting the violent acts to the greater (propaganda) purpose were passed along by an American diplomat and United States Ambassador to the United Nations to five TV stations and to other media. As they are saying, they appear to have originated elsewhere; the state department, the CIA, perhaps the Obama administration. But troubling is maybe the wrong word: Horrifying is potentially the right word. Because the propagandized press “spinning” the violence was of course what was fully intended by the purveyors of the violence which we know now was related to Al Qaeda.

The bewilderment of northern New England’s rock solid senators, Kelly Ayotte and Susan Collins, coming forth from hearings to give America its first briefings had a haunting quality; a remembrance of things past. Those old enough might recall Watergate. We have seen that bewilderment before with the folkloric North Carolina venerable Senator Sam Ervin and his trusty Tennessee colleague Howard Baker, both honorable to a core, making the case then at Watergate that something was not quite right. Same here. And Americans need to know what. These hearings should be expanded and televised until we get to the bottom of it.

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