In an interesting report from Roll Call, GOP aides are apparently criticizing House Republicans, slamming their rhetoric in regards to the Obama administration’s handling of the attacks in Benghazi last year. The aides are arguing that the Party needs to change its focus to more substantive issues.
According to the report, Republican aides are saying the GOP is getting sidetracked chasing unsubstantiated accusations.
“We have got to get past that and figure out what are we going to do going forward,” a GOP aide told Roll Call. “Some of the accusations, I mean you wouldn’t believe some of this stuff. It’s just — I mean, you’ve got to be on Mars to come up with some of this stuff.” Another aide slammed the idea that military forces weren’t properly deployed during the night of the attacks:
“There are some real issues and then there is just some crazy stuff,” the senior House GOP aide said. “The crazy stuff is, you know, the airman in Ramstein [Air Base, Germany,] that knew that the Predator [drone] was armed. There are no armed Predators in the region there. The [status of forces agreement] does not allow us to fly them armed, and everybody knows it.”
In the report, the aides described another criticism aired at a recent House Oversight Committee hearing that there were four security officers at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli who were ordered to remain in the capital for several hours after the first reports of an attack, rather than being scrambled to assist the consulate in Benghazi.
“The stand-down order was for four guys,” the GOP aide said. “When you step back and say how were the people killed at the annex, they were killed by an indirect fire mortar round. “Four more M-4s [rifles] inside the annex doesn’t change that outcome. In fact, they might have just created more casualties. We have got to get down to what really happened on the DoD side and for us the DoD side was not properly postured, why?”
Some Republicans are beginning to see that the GOP’s Benghazi attacks are bringing with them a political cost. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently backed away from some of the GOP’s unproven claims of a White House cover-up.