Monday, April 29, 2019

the last book I ever read (The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump by Andrew G. McCabe, excerpt eight)

from The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump by Andrew G. McCabe:

And also because people on the Hill were consumed by other distractions, such as Benghazi. Yes, still. Benghazi. Over a period of four years there were eight separate full-scale congressional investigations of the attack. The last one was conducted by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, chaired by Representative Trey Gowdy, of South Carolina. That committee’s appointment and hearings made big news for a long time; the next month, when the FBI collaborated with Defense on the capture of Ahmed Abu Khatallah, a ringleader of the Benghazi attack, the news seemed to come and go in a week. (In 2018, Khatallah was sentenced to twenty-two years in prison for his role in the attack.) The first Benghazi investigation, by the House Intelligence Committee, was just ending its second year of work when Jim Comey was sworn in as the new FBI director. That first committee’s report found no evidence of a cover-up, no evidence of wrongdoing by the president or the secretary of state, and no evidence that the Obama administration’s conflicting statements about the cause of the attack had been intentional. The findings of the next seven investigations of Benghazi revealed little more. I continued to be called to testify and brief Congress on Benghazi throughout those four long years. There were weeks when ISIS was posting videos to YouTube of Americans being beheaded, and I was being called to the Hill to testify about Benghazi yet again.

Americans have freer access to more information than at any other time in the history of our country. What happened when we were let loose on that landscape of possibility? People raised their voices, louder all the time, and the boundaries of the landscape we had known wore down as volumes rose. The country started seeming like a village in a folktale under a spell, where the more the people see, the less they know.

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