Photo: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
I was deeply moved by the emotional testimony given by Patricia Smith on the opening night of the GOP National Presidential Convention when she talked about her son Sean, a U.S. information management officer who was killed in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
Though I understood that in her grief, she tearfully asserted, “I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son,” she and many others in the Republican Party have no factual ground on which to stand for this claim.
Following numerous redundant Congressional investigations, dedicating thousands of hours in researching records and in conducting direct interviews, and spending millions of taxpayer dollars, the Committees found no intentional wrongdoing or criminal malpractice on the part of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or anyone else in the Obama administration.
By highlighting Patricia Smith as a prime-time Convention speaker, the GOP once again plays it games of both historical revisionism and double standards, and unfortunately, the Democrats have, for the most part, allowed them to play uninhibited.
When Barack Obama entered office in 2008 with both houses of Congress holding Democratic majorities, he made the decision to attempt to unify the country. For this reason, he decided not to push Congress to investigate in greater depth the events and actual motives that went into Bush Jr. and Cheney’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003, even though it was widely understood that Saddam Hussein had no hand in the 911 attacks on the U.S.
Though Bush based his invasion on the premise that Saddam had stockpiled massive quantities of “weapons of mass destruction,” U.S. forces ultimately found none. Although Bush’s justification turnout out to be false, we nonetheless lost over four thousand of our sons and daughters with severe injuries to many thousands more, and literally trillions of dollars from our tax coffers. Iraqis lost hundreds of thousands of their sons and daughters in a war that should never have been fought.
Here is a prime example of the game of double standards: Where were the mothers of U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq by a failed Bush administration foreign policy speaking center stage at the GOP Convention? Where were the redundant Congressional committee and subcommittee hearings dedicating thousands of hours in researching records and in conducting direct interviews, and spending millions of taxpayer dollars to come to the truth about our involvement in Iraq?
Since the invasion under Bush II, Republican have played the game of historical revisionism by blaming Barack Obama for paving the way for the development of the radical terrorist group, ISIS by withdrawing a number of troops from Iraq.
In actuality, the Bush/Cheney regime was responsible for ISIS. By toppling Saddam Hussein, from the ruling Sunni faction in Iraq, the U.S. destabilized the entire region. This opened the door for Iraq’s long-time Iranian opponents, the Shia wing of Islam, to gain a foothold in Iraq. This destabilization set the stage for a Sunni-led terrorist group, ISIS, which raised from the ashes of Iraq’s rubbled landscape.
But facts don’t seem to matter to the Republicans. If they did, the Party would cease venerating and idolizing Ronald Reagan. In fact, Reagan increased the wealth gap between the very rich and the remainder of the population, and enlarged the rate of people living in poverty with his doublespeak “trickle down” economics. Ronald Reagan surreptitiously sold arms to Iran and furtively redirected the profits to fascist Central American dictators to fund and equip their death gangs of thugs.
Most of all, Ronald Reagan acted as a major co-conspirator in the deaths of people infected with HIV during the early years of what became a pandemic under his so-called “watch.” It took an excruciating long seven years into his presidency until Ronald Reagan, under whose presidency the AIDS pandemic first came to light, finally publicly acknowledged the existence of the crisis.
The one and only time he publicly spoke of AIDS before 1987 was in his first year in office when he inferred that “maybe the Lord brought down the plague because illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments.”
Patrick Buchanan, Reagan’s Chief of “Communications,” viciously and callously spoke for many in the administration by calling AIDS nature’s “awful retribution” that did not deserve a thorough and compassionate response, and later said, “With 80,000 dead of AIDS, our promiscuous homosexuals appear literally hell-bent on Satanism and suicide.”
Where were the weeping mothers of people who died from HIV/AIDS under quasi-saint Reagan’s administration speaking center stage at this year’s GOP Convention? Where were the redundant Congressional committee and subcommittee hearings dedicating thousands of hours in researching records and in conducting direct interviews, and spending millions of taxpayer dollars to come to the truth about Reagan’s (in)actions regarding HIV/AIDS?