FBI Tracked Journalist Using ID Badge

The Republican Party, despite making its one salient point (politicizing intelligence during an election) long ago, simply refuses to let the Benghazi attack fade. Whether the motivation to continue comes from some vague hope in snagging Hillary Clinton in a 2016 attack ad worthy story or just a lingering fetish from the Bush years of saying “9/11″ into a microphone is unclear. But what is known is the GOP is obsessed with the Benghazi attack, convinced there is a big scandal somewhere in there. Unfortunately for the country this obsession is now getting in the way of actual scandals and providing cover for bad actors.

Take two actual scandals happening right now. The IRS was wrongly targeting groups by name for extra scrutiny, which the White House Рthough possibly not President Obama  Рknew about before the public. There is also a totally circumstantial allegation that a meeting at the White House lead to the Tea Party targeting. Hard to believe that Obama would be that petty but the IRS certainly needs to fully explain itself.

Instead Benghazi.

The scandal with the most profound implications right now is the Obama Administration’s program to spy on journalists. Not only was AP targeted but we now know the Department of Justice was tracking journalists even accusing them of being criminals.

[T]he DOJ’s surveillance of Rosen, the reporter, extended far beyond even what they did to AP reporters. The FBI tracked Rosen’s movements in and out of the State Department, traced the timing of his calls, and – most amazingly – obtained a search warrant to read two days worth of his emails, as well as all of his emails with Kim. In this case, said the Post, “investigators did more than obtain telephone records of a working journalist suspected of receiving the secret material.”

It added that “court documents in the Kim case reveal how deeply investigators explored the private communications of a working journalist”.But what makes this revelation particularly disturbing is that the DOJ, in order to get this search warrant, insisted that not only Kim, but also Rosen – the journalist – committed serious crimes. The DOJ specifically argued that by encouraging his source to disclose classified information – something investigative journalists do every day – Rosen himself broke the law.

According to DOJ journalism is a crime.

Instead Benghazi.

Of course, neither of the real scandals broke because of the GOP. The IRS admitted its inappropriate behavior in a report and the DOJ ultimately had to file court papers. So for all the time and money Darrell Issa and friends are spending investigating the administration they don’t have much of anything. Perhaps it is time to fly home from never never land and wild conspiracy theories and actually investigate real constitutional issues because now the GOP looks so ridiculous the public is ignoring Washington malfeasance entirely.