In reality, a majority of both Democrats and Republicans have demonstrated an interest in getting to the bottom of Benghazi; but that fact didn’t interest Reid.
Reid referred to the CCB as, among other things, a bunch of “conspiracy theorists;” her source was clearly the fringe, left-wing group Media Matters, which published a piece after our recent press briefing disparaging the background of the former CIA officers and retired military officers serving on the Commission. It did not address the findings of our report, and neither did MSNBC in its own broadcast. What they should look at is our Interim Report and the findings of the commission. If they want to attempt to refute our findings instead of attacking our reputations, go ahead. We welcome it.
Media Matters, MSNBC, and the mainstream media are thus doing what they accuse a member of the CCB, former Congressman and retired Colonel Allen West, of doing to Representative Tammy Duckworth (D-IL): shaming another’s reputation instead of looking at the facts. But in their case, they are wrong.
MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell had earlier in the day asked Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) for his response to West without imparting West’s entire statement to him. She said that West was questioning Duckworth’s “loyalty,” implying her loyalty to the country. Here was Mitchell’s comment: “Allen West, a former member of Congress and now a Fox contributor, has questioned the loyalty of Tammy Duckworth, who’s one of the members for this committee, [and] said that he wonders where her loyalties lie.”
Clearly, that was not what he was saying. At least Joy Reid read the entire statement for her viewers, but she then ran the outraged response of Rep. Cummings as if he had responded to West’s actual statement, rather than to Mitchell’s deceptively edited version of it.
But both ignored what West actually meant. “And the last person, Tammy Duckworth, you know, I just don’t know where her loyalties lie,” said West during a radio broadcast analysis of all five Democrats appointed to the Select Committee. “You know, for her to have been a veteran, a wounded warrior for the United States Army, she should know that this is not the right thing. And hopefully, you know, she will remember the oath of office that she took as an Army officer and not the allegiance I guess she believes she has to the liberal progressives of the Democrat Party.”
West clarified his meaning for Politico: “I hope her oath of office as a commissioned U.S. Army Officer outweighs allegiance to the Democrat Party. Each of the other four Democrat members have already made disparaging comments about the select committee, which leads me to believe they have orders to be obstructionists and not seekers of truth. I pray that former Army Major Duckworth will uphold the highest standards of honor and integrity.”
So, West’s comments were meant to show that he hopes partisan politics will not trump the truth when it comes to the Democrats’ participation on the Select Committee, and that he had already seen the workings of partisan politics by the other four Democrat Select Committee members–and hoped he would not see the same from Rep. Duckworth.
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