Topic of the day: The Benghazi hearing

Published: Thursday, May 9 2013 12:00 p.m. MDT

Former Deputy Ambassador Gregory Hicks and other witnesses in yesterday\'s hearing. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom) Former Deputy Ambassador Gregory Hicks and other witnesses in yesterday\'s hearing. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom)

May 8 saw yet another House oversight hearing into the Benghazi case in which four Americans — including Ambassador Chris Stevens — were killed in a terrorist attack on the Benghazi, Libya consulate. Since the day of the attack, accusations have been aimed at President Obama and key members of his administration for failing to adequately respond to the attack and protect American lives, and many from the GOP openly accuse the administration of a cover up.

Yesterday’s hearings marked the latest in an 8-month investigation by members of the legislature into what happened that night. Several GOP senators and representatives stated that this hearing would bring to light damning information about the White House’s handling of the situation. Here is a collection of various opinions from around the web, with some focusing on the information of the hearings and some focusing on what they believe is the political motivation for the hearings.

Washington Post op-ed writer Dana Milbank tackles the impact of the testimony of what was supposed to be the key witness — Deputy Ambassador Gregory Hicks — and whether it lived up to the political trump card he believes the GOP wished it to be. “Despite [Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.,] incautious promise that the hearing’s revelations would be 'damaging' to Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hicks didn’t lay a glove on the former secretary of state Wednesday. Rather, he held lawmakers from both parties rapt as he recounted the events of that terrifying night… Hicks had his grievances with how events in Benghazi were handled, but his gripes were about bureaucratic squabbles rather than political scandal.”

At the Huffington Post, Luke Johnson believes that the “Benghazi Hearing reveals incompetence, but no cover-up.” Johnson fails to see how the hearing got us any closer to knowing if the administration covered anything up. “Despite accusations by Republicans on the committee that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her inner circle had engaged in a 'cover-up,' Wednesday's nearly six-hour affair fell short of proving a conspiracy or answering the central remaining Benghazi question.”

Counter to that, Stephen Hayes writing for the New York Times, said “this hearing was compelling because of its substance. The three witnesses — each with firsthand knowledge of what happened before, during and after those attacks — provided new details about virtually every aspect of the growing controversy.”

But not everyone is making the information learned at the hearings the main issue. Many are focusing instead solely on the political motivations of each party in the trial, with finger pointing aplenty.

Writing for Fox News, opinion columnist Dan Gainor rages against what he claims is a failing of the “liberal media” in covering the trials and how he believes they are willfully trying to downplay the information. “The Obama administration has lied, stonewalled, bullied and intimidated — the true marks of an open and transparent administration. And, with a few notable exceptions, the American media haven’t just let them get away with it. Heck, they’ve helped.”

Brent Budowsky's op-ed in The Hill calls the entire hearing process (or rather how long it has been going on) a GOP attack plan against Clinton to get in blows should she decide to run for president in 2016. “House Republicans are misusing taxpayer money and abusing House committee rules to promote a partisan vendetta against President Obama and the woman who has earned the stature of being the most admired political leader in America, and a stateswoman who is widely admired around the world: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”

Freeman Stevenson is the Deseret News Opinion intern.

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