Monday, June 27, 2016

If Rep. Gowdy Hears Banjos, Will He Paddle Faster?

I'm reading through the report by the Democratic side of the House Benghazi Select Committee, and so far the best stuff is toward the end, where the minority Members unload on Chairman Gowdy.

For example, there is this list of the various unmet deadlines that Representative Trey Gowdy has, over the years, announced for completion of the Committee's business.
Chairman Gowdy has repeatedly postponed his estimates for when the Select Committee would conclude its investigation and issue its final report:
  • In August 2014, Chairman Gowdy stated that he planned to complete the investigation by the “end of 2015.”
  • In April 2015, Chairman Gowdy stated that the Committee’s report would not be issued until 2016.
  • In January 2016, Chairman Gowdy stated that he would finish interviews “within the month.”
  • In March 2016, Chairman Gowdy stated that he would release his report “before summer.”
  • In April 2016, Chairman Gowdy stated that his target date was “mid-June.
  • In May 2016, Chairman Gowdy stated the Select Committee’s work would conclude “before the conventions” in mid-July.

Do you think he'll keep that last promise to conclude by mid-July? Me neither. But he has to end this thing someday, and just maybe today's minority report will motivate him to paddle faster.

I like the recommendations at the end of the report, many of which address the need for Congress to keep budgeting for all the other recommendations that have already been made by the Benghazi Accountability Review Board and other parties.

Most of that funding pays for the continuation of the Capital Security Construction Program, which replaces old and vulnerable diplomatic facilities with purpose-built and secure new buildings. The recommendations section includes this highly pertinent quote from the testimony of Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs:
Then there is there is [sic] the macro [funding] question, Congressman, and that is that the best defense is ability to construct the new facilities that you have provided us additional funds for. Subsequent to the attack on Benghazi there was a major attack on our compound in Tunisia and there was a major attack on our compound in Khartoum. Those buildings held out and not a single American was killed or injured for over 8 hours until host nation security forces mobilized to defend us. But those building, in Khartoum and in Tunisia, were the new, modern buildings that we have had the assistance of the Congress and the funding to build. It is just that on a macro sense, because of the increase in the value of the dollar and because of inflation worldwide, the program that we started after Nairobi and Dar es Salaam [were attacked in August 1998] we were building eight Embassies a year then. Because of the decrease in funding we were building three.

Building more Fortress Embassies isn't the answer to every overseas security problem. But it could very well be the solution to the problem of surviving prolonged incidents of political violence, with our own resources, until our host governments become willing and able to intervene. Isn't that enough?


Anonymous said...

TSB: Gowdy could be experiencing a 'gas leak'..but getting back to Europe, the largest natural gas field in the EU has suffered a 44% loss in production (starting in 2014) because of earthquakes. The latest 11% reduction for the safety of it's customers came yesterday and it lasts 5 years. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Turkey's 'President For Life'and strong NATO ally might be having an anxious night in his 250
room personal residence after the Istanbul airport attack. I didn't know that Erdogan quadrupled flights inside Turkey between 2004 and 2014 by building 800 airports and totally 'Eisenhowerd' the countries highway system. Today 4 times as many Turks are flying as 10 years ago and he has the guaranteed support of all the 'religious conservatives'. This is a great evaluation of Erdogan from a year ago by Cenk Ugyar. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Last nite R Maddow had great coverage of the Istanbul bombing with Richard Engel from Istanbul. Intelligence reported 2 weeks ago by NYT said 30 trained jihadists had passed into Turkey to stage Ramadan attacks. This morning, that part of the story has disappeared and Ankara and Istanbul airports are back to normal after (41 DEAD, 239 INJURED). It's a 1 day story when not useful to the establishment. I'd like to know how that policeman who ran for his life after shooting the bomber is doing? 1 week left in Ramadan and 27 terrorists still on the loose. I'll be tuning in to Engel again. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Once again 'JENK' is at the center of the story. His parents were supposed to fly from Istanbul to the US yesterday, but didn't.He points out the stupidity keeping the US population ignorant of the reality of the War on ISIS. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: No more Istanbul coverage today on msnbc but I got the info I was after. The majority of those killed and wounded came from the 3rd bomber who was outside when a big mob of hysterical people running out the door of the arrival hall. That was a pretty professional job. gwb