This may be the week that Republicans finally give up on making Benghazi a scandal.
The Republicans claimed they had definitive proof of the cover-up from White House emails which were leaked to the Weekly Standard and ABC News last week. The two agencies painted a scenario showing that political considerations were being weighed heavily while formulating talking points in the aftermath of the incident. However, the White House released official email chains this week that refute Republicans' earlier claims that there was direct coordination to protect the State Department by the White House.
CBS News' Major Garret discussed how the official emails dismantle the arguments and propaganda established by the Republicans on Benghazi:
MediaMatters' Simon Maloy has further deconstructed all the things ABC News and the Weekly Standard got wrong from the nearly 100 pages of emails and notes released by the White House. The discrepancies dismantle the entire Republican narrative of a cover-up.
The Benghazi hearings and trials have been the center of the Republican attack platform over the last ten months. The Republicans went about it all wrong. They would have had a far more coherent and lasting case against the administration if they focused the investigation on security procedures and systems that failed to protect the consulate, and then provided solutions for those failures to be implemented immediately.
PolicyMic's Frank Hagler summarizes the hypocrisy that has been clarified from this week's revelations: "[Representative Darryl] Issa has maintained there is no political motivation in his investigation and that he is just looking for transparency in seeking the truth. The emails have exonerated Rice. Issa has asked for closed hearings with [Accountability Review Board co-chairmen Ambassador Thomas] Pickering and [Admiral Mike] Mullen. Issa failed to disclose that his committee may have been aware that [Ambassador Chris] Stevens turned down military assistance. That's the transparent truth."
The insistence on this finger-pointing quest for truth was primarily being used to instill a distrust of President Obama (and the Democrats) in their voter base. This week's AP and IRS scandals have helped do that job for them. They should justifiably use these two scandals as the foundation of their 2014 platforms, especially given the bipartisan criticism the administration is receiving.
But old habits die hard. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has demanded the release of all unclassified documents related to Benghazi.