“I’m curious, did you learn anything new today?” Fox News host Greta Van Susteren asked Issa in an interview after the hearing. After meandering around for a bit, Issa finally got to the hearing’s grand revelation — Benghazi was a terror attack:
ISSA: I think the American people learned today from these brave witnesses, these whistleblowers, that the facts as we were told before during and after the attack at Benghazi just simply aren’t what they really were. The acting ambassador after Ambassador Stevens was murdered, told us in great detail about what happened that day and what happened in the days to follow and why we should know that he knew and everyone else in the mission knew from the moment it happened, from the get-go, as he said, that this was a terrorist attack.
While indeed, former deputy chief of mission Greg Hicks’ testimony detailing his experiences as the attacks on the Benghazi diplomatic mission unfolded was new and riveting. But it didn’t have much to do with what Issa himself said the mission of the hearing would be: expose more Obama administration failures and perhaps even some kind of cover-up (of what, is unclear exactly). “Our hearing will examine new facts about what happened and significant problems with the administration’s own review of Benghazi failures,” Issa said previewing the hearing last month. “This committee will expose what they did and hold them accountable to the public.”
There’s “no question,” Issa said two days before the hearing, that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s staff or even Clinton herself, was involved in a Benghazi “cover-up” (there was no cover-up of any kind, by anyone).
However, Issa’s hearing didn’t expose anything, except perhaps how fact-free a number of right-wing Benghazi conspiracy theories are, including the idea that Clinton personally signed off on cables denying additional security for the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
But as far as labeling Benghazi a terror attack, that issue has been settled long ago. President Obama referred to it as an “act of terror” the day after the attack and directly referred to the incident as “a terrorist attack” two weeks later. Issa probably didn’t need a hours-long hearing to get confirmation on that.