All In   |  May 08, 2013

Benghazi ‘scandal’ galvanizes elected Republicans

Republicans continue to beat the drum that there was a scandal in the administration's response to Benghazi. Chris Hayes talks about the Republican response to the attack on Benghazi with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Eric Boehlert.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> congresswoman caroline maloney. congresswoman, before we went to break, the question to you is there some point to which they talk themselves out on this topic in which there's some accountability review board or some -- something that will make them stop, or do you get the sense there's nothing that will make them stop?

>> i think they are going to keep going with their partisan attacks and i would say, chris, they are entitled to have their own political point of view, but they can't make up their own facts. and it's very clear that the secretary of state did not sign those cables, and i would say to the chairman issa that he should take down from the republican website the statement that she did. it's completely false. and "the washington post " in their fact finder column called this a completely false statement . they called it a whopper and gave chairman issa four pinnochios, but no one substantiates these claims and they should give the secretary of state an apology and at the very least take this false information off of a government website .

>> eric, i cannot help but notice that hillary clinton features quite prominently in the question today as i watched part of the hearing, in the graphic we showed. if i were disposed to have an uncharitable view of this enterprise, i might be led to believe that this was politically motivated to try to sully her in advance of what is perceived to be an inevitable white house run.

>> this was going to be the lead bang shot, lead to impeachment for obama and derail hillary clinton 's 2016 campaign. it didn't do either, and what the congresswoman talked about, they can't get off this train. the obvious place would have been the end of the election, the state department report, but fox needs this content. they need this phoney outrage machine.

>> i literally don't understand why now.

>> i'll tell you why.

>> if i was tracking it, okay, the right wingers on my feed are tweeting me about benghazi , then there's a lull, then two or three weeks ago, everything i tweeted, benghazi , benghazi , benghazi .

>> this was really a hearing about a report, so they didn't really get anywhere with the actual attack, any wrong doing coverup, so the independent report came out and they decided we'll have a hearing about the report because they didn't talk to the right people or, quote, silenced people or the report is part of the coverup, these generals with the sterling reputation were in on it with the white house , according to fox news. that was act three, act five, act ten, take your pick. fox is committed to the story line . if you watch tonight, the hearings were a blockbuster, it's all unraveling because this is the phoney story they tell their viewers, just like they told them romney was going to win in a landslide, it's the same thing.

>> i can't help but notice, just to track through, and i don't want to drain you, dear viewers, emotional energy of benghazi , because the weeds are unedifying, but, you know, i can't help but notice even today at the hearing going back to these attacks that we saw back in september, i mean, susan rice shouldn't have said the things she said on the sunday morning talk shows , which maybe what she said wasn't the full picture. although, again, it was a pretty chaotic situation, but that was, you know, six, seven months ago. i thought we'd been through that, yet congresswoman, those same things that we were hearing back in, you know, october, were being trotted out again today.

>> you're right. they just kept bringing up all these attacks, these partisan attacks, but i don't understand is after 9/11 republicans and democrats came together and we were united and determined to protect our homeland security , change our intelligence system aerngs worked together to implement many, many reforms to make our country stronger, intelligence stronger, and protect our citizens. that effort isn't there now. it seems to be a partisan attack. americans were killed. americans were attacked, and yet their response is to attack americans . attack the state department , attack the military. we should be united in implementing the 29 recommendations and upping the funding to protect our personnel and embassies around the world.

>> that did seem to me to the extent there was a salvageable policy take away, the consulate was undersecured, we did not have our own staff and security, largely turned over to black water , let's all recall, then black water became so politically toxic in a place like libya in which you're dealing with a vulnerable government that you could not bring in black water , so the answer was local militia as opposed to actually keeping diplomatic security in house with a professional core that was funded, right? i want to get --

>> that's what we need to do.

>> i want to give people just a sense also, this is attacks by administration from 1970 , 2010 . put this in a little bit of context, okay, we are seeing in the broad scheme of things, right, very low historic level of attacks at targets. it's unclear that embassy security on the whole in a macro sense is deficient, and the thing, eric, i couldn't help to notice today, it comes down to second guessing a call presumably made by the african commander about whether to send a special ops team helicopter at the moment when he made the call not to send it. again, i don't think a general is above second guessing, but i do have a little bit of humility myself about whether i'm the right person to make that call nine months later in the midst of what is a chaotic battle scene about whether to send a helicopter or not.

>> panetta talked about it a couple months ago. it's fine to disagree with what the administration did. that's sort of what op-eds are for, not congressional hearings . the premise you're going to have people come in because we disagree with what the administration did.

>> or what a commander did. you can imagine democrats about a command decision , where to send a battalion of marines. eric boehlert of media matters and congresswoman caroline maloney, thank you both. that is all for this evening. "the rachel maddow show," a breath of fresh air on cable news apocalypse day.