October 20, 2015

Donald Trump may be a somewhat useful idiot after all, at least when it comes to the Benghazi witch hunt. By calling out Jeb Bush on his defense of his brother's performance, he's drawing attention to the double standard.

Media Matters explains:

"Blaming 9/11 on Mr. Bush is taboo for Republicans and has largely been off-limits for Democrats," noted TheNew York Times. But by ignoring those Beltway protocols, Trump threw a spotlight onto the questions of accountability, George Bush's inability to protect Americans from terror attacks on U.S. soil, and why Jeb Bush today routinely stresses that his brother kept America safe after thousands were killed on 9/11.


By raising questions about President Bush and 9/11, Trump has effectively demolished Fox News' long-running Benghazi storyline.

Why? Because listening to Fox News for the last three years viewers have been led to believe the Benghazi tragedy stands as the biggest failure in American foreign policy and easily represents the darkest day in U.S. history, even though scores of attacks have claimed more Americans lives. It's worse than Watergate, a bigger story than Hurricane Sandy. And most of all, Obama and Clinton must be held accountable for not doing more to combat Islamic terrorism in the region.

According to Republicans, Benghazi remains a burning issue because they claim there are unanswered questions about accountability, and Clinton sits at the center of those questions. Never mind that Clinton has already accepted responsibility for the attack and report after report has found no evidence of administration malpractice. Conservatives insist there's more territory to mine because Democrats must be held accountable for the deaths of four Americans -- over and over again.

Obviously, many of the same, far-right forces chasing Clinton today were much less interested in holding Jeb Bush's brother accountable for the security failings of 9/11. (In fact, they tried to blame Bill Clinton.)

Following that historic attack, there weren't years worth of partisan blame games played like with Benghazi today. Instead, a single joint Congressional inquiry into the intelligence failures was formed. In addition, a bipartisan 9/11 commission was created over the objections of the Bush White House. The commission was routinely stonewalled by the White House and denounced by conservative commentators who remained unfazed by unanswered questions. In April 2004, Sean Hannity, currently obsessed with Benghazi, claimed the 9/11 commission had "been politicized." Days later he doubled down: "I don't have any faith in this commission. I think it's become politicized. I think it's a farce."

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