Darrell Issa Goes Full Metal Wingnut on Benghazi

photo of Elijah Cummings
Rep. Elijah Cummings: Oh HELL no you didn’t, Rep. Issa

Over the weekend on a campaign trip through New Hampshire (one of the early Presidential primary states), Issa flat-out declared he “had suspicions” then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was guilty of treason in regard to the Benghazi tragedy. Issa probably also implicated then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta as well (depending upon whether you think Issa suggests Panetta knew and was “in cahoots” or merely an unaware implement of the dastardly Hitlery):

We need to have an answer of when the secretary of defense had assets that he could have begun spinning up. Why there was not one order given to turn on one Department of Defense asset? I have my suspicions, which is Secretary Clinton told Leon [Panetta] to stand down…

Good on Rep. Elijah Cummings for immediately today writing Issa an absolutely blistering letter, demanding the California Republican apologize for his implications. Frankly, there has been so much casually outrageous language from the wingnuts, after twenty-five-plus years of Rush Limbaugh and his ideological and stylistic imitators both in media and government, that it would be quite easy for most American citizens who are not charter members of the Mickey Mouse Wingnut Fan Club to simply write off Issa’s beyond-the-pale accusations as the rantings of a deranged partisan hack.

This would be a mistake. Issa is not simply any old hack (though a hack he most certainly is), he’s the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and that’s why, from him, that kind of language simply cannot go unanswered.  Thank goodness Elijah Cummings knows enough to not simply roll his eyes and let this kind of corrosive, bellicose mendacity slide when it comes from someone with the stature of Issa. To let Issa’s remarks go is to normalize them and even perhaps to tacitly admit that there is nothing wrong with casually flinging around such deadly serious accusations without any evidence whatsoever except his own, delusional “hunches.”

Thank goodness Rep. Cummings was more than up to the task of taking Issa’s whiny tea party ass to the rhetorical woodshed. In addition to providing a devastating, fact-based refutation of Issa’s gassy imaginings (see Cummings’ entire letter here), Cummings got to the equally (if not more) important part when he said:

The definition of treason is the betrayal of allegiance owed to one’s country, and your statements seem to accuse former Secretary Clinton of this offense. You suggest that Secretary Clinton directed the Secretary of Defense of the United States to intentionally withhold military assistance that may have saved the lives of one of her own ambassadors and three other brave Americans serving their country.

Your accusations are beyond the pale, and you should immediately retract them and issue a public apology. Attempting to qualify your accusations as “suspicions” does not help your cause, but instead reveals that you have no evidence to back up your claims.

Exactly. Thanks, Rep. Cummings. That kind of language needs to be met head on and beaten back, decisively and immediately, whenever it rears its head. You do not accuse a high government servant of long standing of something as serious as treason without some very compelling evidence. And Darrell Issa is a clown who has none. The fact that Issa is a clown with power is why it’s imperative his insinuations are not allowed to stand without being called out for what they are: unacceptable.