Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Democrats spin 'as if it were classified' into 'as classified'

Clearly, the phrases "as if it were classified" and "as classified" are not the same, however, as, Caitlin MacNeal reports at the liberal blog Talking Points Memo, "Noting House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) comment last week about the Benghazi committee's political success, Democrats on the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Monday circumvented Republicans on the panel to release details from one of the committee's private interviews with a former aide to Hillary Clinton."

"On September 29, 2015, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy admitted during a nationally televised interview on Fox News that House Republicans created the Benghazi Select Committee from the very beginning to wage a taxpayer-funded political campaign against Hillary Clinton’s bid for president. Obviously, this is an unethical abuse of millions of taxpayer dollars and a crass assault on the memories of the four Americans who were killed in Benghazi," the Democrats began in a letter to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the chairman of the select committee, referencing the majority leader's statements last week.

In the letter, Reps. Elijah Cumming (D-MD), Adam Smith (D-WA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), said that the way Republicans on the committee went about their work shows how political their investigation has been.
Last week, apparently without fact-checking, some members of the media - including The New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal - seemingly repeated the bogus (See The Hill) Clinton campaign assertion that Benghazi was the longest House Committee probe ever. Salon Deputy Politics Editor Sophia Tesfaye - who is also a researcher for Media Matters For America (who have defended the Clintons for a long time, as I reported with RAW STORY in 2006: "Senator Clinton made personal phone calls to raise money for ‘nonpartisan’ defender, employees say"), according to her LinkedIn resume - went further and compared it to investigations such as the Hurricane Katrina, Warren Commission, and Iran-Contra probes, without noting that most consider those probes too short or cover-ups of scandals. Ms. Tesfaye ignored tweets I sent her asking about this, but she - at least - updated her Salon story, while the Rosenthal editorial at The New York Times remains uncorrected.

A correction was finally added to Rosenthal's column eight days after it was published, after I Tweeted Anna North - who "writes on cultural topics for the editorial page and is the editor of [The New York Times' editorial page editor's] blog": "When you edited @andyrNYT column with bogus Benghazi probe claim, did you fact-check? Will you fix? @annanorthtweets http://ronbryn.blogspot.com/2015/10/democrats-spin-as-if-it-were-classified.html". However, I still think the correction should contain an explanation, especially since it appears to be based on a Clinton 2016 talking point.

And now, this week, the campaign and friendly journalists and bloggers are effectively using McCarthy's assertion to push back on a scandal that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton apologized over, and the FBI is still investigating.

Look at the way TPM [Editor's Note: I originally called TPM "a blog connected to the Media Matters machine" based on memory, but I can't find any evidence TPM founder Josh Marshall ever worked there, just that both he and many Media Matters and TPM staffers were once on the controversial JournoList together. Also, TPM certainly isn't a blog.] handles this letter, compared to the non-partisan political website, The Hill: "Defying the orders of Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the Democrats on Monday released portions of a secret transcript containing the testimony of Cheryl Mills, a Clinton aide and confidante,"

Even though TPM linked to The Hill article, MacNeal didn't even quote the response that Julian Hattem obtained from a Gowdy spokesperson:
"'Most Democrats on the Benghazi Committee have endorsed Clinton, and they are now running a protection effort for the former secretary,' said Jamal Ware, a spokesman for Gowdy.

'It is one thing to merely sit idly by while others do serious work, it is quite another to attempt to undercut that work with selective leaks in violation of House Rules.'
I'm publishing a key portion of the Democrats' letter, from this link, to show how it spins "as if it were classified" into "as classified", in a propagandistic attempt to defend charges that Clinton and colleagues were emailing information that was later marked classified through, to, and over a private email server.

However, I pretty much agree that the Cheryl Mills and Sidney Blumenthal interviews should be released to the public, and any classified info could be redacted. Both sides are in the wrong and acting in a hyper-partisan manner.

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