I just watched E.J. Dionne with Lawrence O’Donnell and know why the Clintons love him. His education, and it was not even Jesuit, as I suspected. It was Benedictine. Imagine that! The guy not only knows logic, he knows how to apply it in daily life.
The fault, in the faux comparison between the Watergate investigation and the Benghazi “investigation” was the target of Dionne’s laser-beam tonight. Using few words, E.J. managed to illustrate why there can be no comparison between the real scandal of the Watergate cover-up and the in-construction of a Benghazigate cover-up.
Eminence-grise that he is, E.J. hearkened back to a bi-partisan effort to find facts via hearings. Having gathered the evidence, the special committee on Watergate arrived at a conclusion of a cover-up conspiracy. E.J. then contrasted the partisan effort of Darryl Issa, Jason Chaffetz, & Co. on Benghazi that, having decided on a conclusion of a cover-up, now attempts, by way of cherry-picked hearings, to construct a web of evidence.
Thomas Pickering, co-chair of the Accountability Review Board appointed by then Secretary of State Clinton, and other officials from the State Department and the Department of Defense, volunteered to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today to balance the information and testimony offered by the “Whistleblowers.” Those offers were declined.
Clearly there is an agenda here, and E.J. spotlighted it like a professor with a laser light. The two sets of hearings work from two opposing constructs.
The Watergate hearings, having listened to a wide variety of testimonies arrived at a specific proposition: there was a cover-up. Deduction, my dear Watson.
The Darryl Issa war on Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is an inductive effort. Let’s find enough testimony to point to a cover-up conspiracy – just in case she runs. Find evidence for this proposition.
N.B. This is not pure induction. It is, having decided on a conclusion, cherry-picking the evidence, not a true investigation. If Issa really wanted a pure conclusion, he would have invited all who were willing to testify, including Ambassador Pickering.