Trey Gowdy has been handed a choice, run the Benghazi hearings for History or for Politics. I vote for History.
If he does well, the Politics will take care of itself.
You have already read of the Democrats’ threat to boycott these hearings if they don’t get equal representation, 6 and 6, instead of 7 and 5. And you have no doubt been reading all the usual suspects in the media (at least one per day) pre-judging the political purposes of these hearings…omitting to remind us that in their world ALL human conduct, (yes, even murder) is subject to the political process. So, by virtue of their own professed world view, these lamentations are pure projection, for they assume the GOP will politicize these hearings just as they would if they had the 7-to-5 majority. Law: Democrats and the Left will always accuse their enemy of their own conspiracy.
In Pursuit of History
But there is a way for Rep Gowdy to insure not even a hint of politics can creep into these hearings, thereby destroying the entire media narrative the Democrats and the Left are trying to establish. It’s quite simple, actually. Just insist that these hearings be run by courtroom rules; e.g., direct questions as to what is within the power of the witness to know, or have read, or heard, strict rules of evidence,”yes’ or “no”, or “I don’t recall” (Hillary’s famous line from another hearing) and disallow any answer that is filled with speculation, assumption, or hearsay. When a witness is asked where he was on the night of September, which calls for a specific answer, that answer should issue forth straightaway, without flourish or footnote, and, as tiny Tommy Vietor got away with Bret Baier, he/she should be not be able to testify where, for instance, the president was at any given time, unless he can say he personally knew him to be there. (Tiny Tommy had no idea where President Obama was, and would, under the rules I suggest here, be forced to admit this aloud once caught in this tiny lie, “Yes, Mr Chairman, I misspoke. I have no idea where the president was at 6, 7, 8. 9. 10, 11 PM, of September 11.”) Only when asked for an opinion should a witness be allowed to offer one.
(And, as I mention at the very end, a running tabulation of evidence, as it’s taken, in time-line form, updated daily on a national website, would serve several historical and apolitical purposes, simply by denying the Democrats their “political forum”.)
Gowdy is a known master of these procedures, and it would be for him to insure all the other committee members are on the same page as to how proceedings are to be conducted and that he will gavel down, liberally, any attempts to step outside the lines by interrogators and witnesses alike. There should be published memos for committee members and witnesses to study and refer to. Perhaps even some practice sessions, as candidates do for a debate, only conducted in the strictest secrecy, under threat of removal from the panel for any leak emanating from any office. Gowdy would be foolish not to expect sneak attacks by the Dems, whose sole purpose has already been announced, so would be equally foolish to give an advance as to what he has in store when thy do.
Leaks are political and Gowdy’s first objective should be to take these hearinsg out of the realm of politics altogether, and conduct them in the same way a trial judge would his courtroom. I estimate it would take one, maybe two, witnesses, before tone and the procedures of the Committee are fully understood and established.
Since the Democrats have already threatened to boycott the hearings, I encourage Rep Gowdy to re-encourage them to hold to that threat, simply by not giving an inch on their demands. The Democrats’ absence and the media being contained outside the examination room, would be the equivalent of conducting an autopsy from the moment the Benghazi story is unzipped from the body-bag and laid on the examination table. No Democrats, no bollixed-up proceedings, no media kibitzing (the MSM doesn’t even plan to cover it live) means a politics-free post-mortem in the examination room.
To Know and Not to Know
Trey Gowdy (R-SC) is not only a very good trial examiner, but also a master of organizing and framing a complicated case in such a way that a jury (the people) can understand where every actor in a crime was at every moment and what bearing the things they said and did at any given moment had on every other actor in the story. History is worthless unless it is out there for all to read and understand, and take lessons from it. Gowdy can present this as it should be presented.
What we already know is there are holes in virtually every aspect of this story, so much to speculate about and speculation usually means politics. Previous hearings were limited in many ways, including personal willpower by GOP members, so many questions still have never been asked, and even more answered incompletely. Much is still unknown, such as why was Ambassador Chris Stephens in Benghazi in the first place, or where was the president, really, during these several hours? The committee can only go so far in clearing up these muddy waters. There are some things that died with Stephens and his rescuers and some things can never be known except circumstantially. The Democrats are relying on the Republicans to try and fill in the blanks with speculations on evidence that is less than circumstantial by courtroom standards, i.e., conjecture….thereby making their speculations “political”. This is what they want to occur, what they expect to occur. This is what they must be denied.
Deny them this and the GOP wins by default and History has been done a great service. For by weaving together a time-line consisting of individuals all over the world the entire story of Benghazi can largely to told as completely as Cornelius Ryan did D-Day or Walter Lord did December 7. (I suggest including the Cairo Embassy staff that started the video story in the first place…expect more to fall out rom there than you now suppose if you pursue this, witness an explosive report by LaborUnionReport at RedState.com in Jan 2010, “The American Left’s Role in Leading Mid-east Regime Change, What the US State Depart, Union and New Media Companies are doing to foment Chaos” which no one but me paid attention to at the beginning of Arab Spring. But it probably contains a lot of neglected fingerprints in the development of the video story, especially as it relates to the State Department and Benghazi,)
But set aside the “known lies” of Benghazi, for in truth, many of them we cannot be 100% certain are lies, and from this arises “politics’. The president and Mrs Clinton live in such an insulated, sheltered nether-world, it is possible neither had any knowledge from direct sources “on the ground” about the events or any assessments from Benghazi, and yes, possibly because they did not want to know. But when a person says something that is factually wrong, there are four possible causes, not one, and I suggest all four of these be part of the Committee’s thinking as they proceed:
When a thing is stated to be true, but is known to be false, the speaker may be 1) misinformed, 2) incompetent (stupid), 3) lying , or 4) delusional.
Everyone assumes No 3, lying, to be true in this case, but we cannot rule out No 1, misinformation, with regard to both the president and the Secretary of State, as to what they were told even many days into the story. But if they were indeed misinformed, then No 2 and possibly No 4 also come into play, so it is not an easy defense for the president or Mrs Clinton to simply say they were misinformed for they may be confessing even darker traits. The families of the four people who died at Benghazi and who met with Obama and Clinton at Dover are entitled to their personal lie-belief, for they were “lied” to their faces, but the rest of us need to stop short and simply let History decide whether they lied, or instead, a detached, indifferent and incompetent president and secretary of state were merely, but so easily, misinformed. If we politicize these hearings there may never be a true irrefutable history of the events at Benghazi. I trust History to render the proper judgment and for Trey Gowdy to get his face on a stamp before Miss Hillary does.
The All-Important Time Line
It may have been Conan Doyle or Earl der Biggers (Charley Chan) or one of the other early crime writers who developed the time-line as a method of solving crimes. Since all the knowledge was kept inside the sleuth’s head, the reader never knew until the last page, when it was all laid out, and the pieces fit just like a blueprint, just who the killer was, or why. There’s a “Shazam!” effect to this sort of story-telling, when a well-laid out time line is finally completed, for it proves the one unified theory and puts all other theories back on their heels… except of course for the aforementioned delusionals. I was a criminal defense lawyer, not a prosecutor, but still had a knack in leading the jury to diagram the events in their own minds and draw the right conclusion. I never lost a case I sent to the jury.
I would hope this would be Trey Gowdy’s primary mission, to leave no stone unturned in producing a navigable time-line for every citizen to be able to follow events as they occurred. If the Democrats or media want to quibble they will have to quibble with the witness, for the Committee will draw no inference. Just the facts, ma’am. They will simply go where the statements lead them and leave blanks things they cannot learn, such as things only the president can provide. (I’m betting he will release a statement if the hearings move apace as a historical, not political quest.)
(My only personal recommendation, as stated above, is that the Committee go back to Cairo, for there is stuff there that will shine a new light on Benghazi, I am certain of it.)
Then, when the voluminous Transcripts of the Hearings are released, the House can publish its Time-Line as a separate book, including maps and diagrams, of all the events. I think at $29.99 at Amazon, it would be a best seller. but even better, Chairman Gowdy, as mentioned above, I’d suggest an active website, updated daily as new testimony is taken, just like filling in the brackets for the NCAA tournament. Add new information daily, and you will have millions of viewers, and there will be nothing the Democrats, media or Left can do to debunk it. Solid fact. Solid History.
Laisser les bons temps rouller!