Media Matters' Eric Boehlert did a great job on All In With Chris Hayes Tuesday night of explaining why, now that the Benghazi report is released, it is time to bid goodbye to the right-wing witchhunters and their pals. I'll leave the entire transcript below, as supplied by Media Matters, but I have one reminder for everyone, too.
Never, ever forget that this wasn't just some random effort to smear Hillary Clinton. It was planned, it was timed, it included meetings at midnight between Darrell Issa and right-wingers like Family Research Council's General Jerry Boykin, Justice Clarence Thomas' wife Ginni Thomas, and a whole host of others. The media timing was planned for maximum damage to Hillary Clinton, and executed by outlets like Breitbart News and more.
The very existence of the Select Committee with unlimited subpoena power was all part of the plan. If it wasn't Benghazi, it would have been something else. And we have all of this, on audio and in emails. All of it, through early 2013. The facts about Benghazi were known to all, but they went ahead and spent $7 million anyway to manufacture claims that they could not prove.
With that, I'll let Eric Boehlert take over.
CHRIS HAYES (HOST): So after more than two years, $7 million in taxpayer funds, the Select Committee on Benghazi has failed in its apparent quest for a smoking gun implicating Hillary Clinton. Joining me now to talk about it, Eric Boehlert, Senior Fellow for Media Matters who has been covering relentlessly this for two years. I, today, interpreted it as essentially a waving of the white flag. We didn't really get anything. It was defensive, we found this new information, but fundamentally it was you read the report and come to your own conclusions.
ERIC BOEHLERT: Yeah. I mean, if Trey Gowdy's talking point is, “Well, you decide what's in the report,” that means there’s nothing in the report. I mean, if he had it he would have leaked it weeks or days ago and he would have spread out the talking points. There’s no there there. You know, two and a half years ago -- almost three years ago, Media Matters published a book called The Benghazi Hoax. It was that obvious three years ago and we're still doing this. I mean, it's just amazing.↓ Story continues below ↓
HAYES: We knew a bunch of stuff about the policy failures, the lack of security, about the warning of a lack of security. So you have to always divide in Benghazi, like the real stuff from “the president gave a stand-down order” or the “Hillary Clinton knew, they lied intentionally,” all of this, but that stuff is believed by so many people, They have cultivated it for five years.
BOEHLERT: Yeah, absolutely. The important stuff we all knew, really, by the summer of 2013. We knew about the failures, we knew about who should be held accountable, and things like that. Everything after that has just been sort of this mindless pile-on, right? Thirty-three hearings. That hearing was at least tens of millions of dollars because the Pentagon and State Department have been very vocal saying, “You are wasting our time.” You look what happens in Turkey, what happened in Orlando. This country is facing very serious issues and branches of the government are begging Republicans to stop this nonsense, but they've been Foxified, right? They're getting their talking orders from Rush Limbaugh. This is what happens when the Republican party hands over the reins of power to right-wing media in America.
HAYES They have also created this conception of her that among a certain percentage of the population, that -- I mean, think about this for a second. The idea that she knew about the attack.
HAYES This is like Bush knew and let them do it anyway, right? This is in the territory of, like, genuine conspiracy theory. That's half of Trump's voters.
BOEHLERT: Yeah, and this. And we forget it’s not just Hillary. This started out as an anti-Obama crusade. This was going to be sort of this wrecking ball. It was going to demolish his second term and it was going to demolish Hillary Clinton’s run for the White House. It was going to take them both out because there was all these wild conspiracies. You know, they both knew it was coming, Obama watched the video in real time and heard the screams and did nothing, Trump saying Hillary slept through this. But again, Media Matters has done hundreds and hundreds of fact-checks for the last four years, because it is relentless. It is relentless in the right-wing media and that's why there's this perception. It is the Holy Grail and it is completely divorced from any scrap of reality.
There was kind of a meltdown on Fox News today, they’re saying there’s all these shocking revelations but they really seem to be more sputtering and angry, because they realize sort of the dream is over. This isn't going to be Watergate on steroids and it never was.
And now, 800 pages of GOP nonsense and 344 of Democrats' response, we get to wave goodbye to Benghazi. Because as Hillary Clinton said, "It's time to move on."
Never, never forget that the vendetta of some powerful right-wingers cost taxpayers $7 million. Especially don't forget in November.