Wednesday's hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Governmental Reform begins at 11:30 A.M. and before it is over the country will have decided whether it is interested in uncovering the truth about Benghazi --or not.
I spent Monday's radio show interviewing six GOP members of the Committee: Congressmen John Mica and James Lankford in the first hour, Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis and Congressman Mike Turner in the second, and Congressmen Jim Jordan and Paul Gosar in the last hour.
Transcripts of two of the interviews --those with Lankford and the one with Jordan-- are on the transcript page here. I hope to bring on more members from the Committee today. All the Committee's Democrats have been invited. None have agreed to come on.
All six of the members who appeared yesterday agreed on the need for clarity in the questioning of the three witness, especially Mr. Greg Hicks, who was #2 in Libya at the time of the massacre.
But I was not left with a sense that the members had a shared strategic design so much as I was with the impression that they had the general idea that somehow the testimony of Mr. Hicks would itself propel the investigation forward.
The audience was underwhelmed with most of what they heard, and some of the callers and emailers were very angry at what was perceived as a lack of passion and preparation, though of course the members might simply be holding back until the hearing itself.
Perhaps the testimony of Mr. Hicks will by itself and without prodding from the panel transform the arc of the investigation, but the panel has one job and one job only in Wednesday's hearings as far as the public is concerned: To answer the question whether in a season of extraordinary news events, should we pay attention to an attack in Benghazi, which as Jay Carney so callously put it, "happened a long time ago." Is there, in other words, anything worth investigating here? Anything urgently in need of our time and attention?
The slaughter in Benghazi was obviously a terrible event, and the Obama Administration obviously was unprepared for it --even though it happened on 9/11-- and Ambassador Rice was obviously out to deflect attention from the nature of the attack, but is there anything left to uncover that we don't already know?
Key question of all questions: Did the president, the vice president, the Secretary of Defense or the then Secretary of State lie to us?