Marietta Daily Journal on Benghazi:
President Barack Obama has now spent the past year and a half wishing that questions about the Benghazi attack would just go away.
You can bet that former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee-in-waiting Hillary Clinton is wishing the same thing, except more so.
But that isn't likely to happen thanks to damning information that has now come to light. And while our friends on the left here in Georgia and elsewhere love to try and spin Benghazi as a Fox News fantasy, the public has the New York Times to thank for the latest revelations about how minimizing the damage to Obama's 2012 re-election campaign — not national security — was the top priority in the White House in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2012, tragedy that left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead at the hands of Libyan terrorists.
The attack on the embassy there came against a backdrop of Team Obama's repeated assertions that the war on terror was over and that we had won.
The attacks in Libya ran counter to that, so Obama and those around him quickly came up with an alternative version: that the supposedly spontaneous demonstrations and the attacks that followed were inspired by an amateurish, obscure Internet video, even though the evidence and common sense ran counter to that.
The Times reported late last month that Obama's deputy national security adviser, Benjamin J. Rhodes, emailed U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on Sept. 14, 2012, just before she made a round of high-profile appearances on Sunday morning news-talk shows that day.
Rhodes urged Rice to "underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy" and that she should "reinforce the President and Administration's strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges."
It's the "smoking gun" that proves the administration misled the American public about the Benghazi incident right from the very start. It cynically considered that ensuring the re-election of Obama was more important than telling the public the truth.
The Times story has reawakened interest in the Benghazi affair and prompted House Speaker John Boehner to appoint a select committee — one composed of congressmen of each party — to finally investigate the events of the period in question — something he should have done long ago, but better late than never.
His selection of no-nonsense Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) also deserves praise. Perhaps Americans will finally get answers about what happened in Benghazi — about why the ambassador was there, and with almost no protection; about why U.S. forces in the Mediterranean failed to lift so much as a finger to try and rescue him and the others that night; and perhaps most important, what Obama's whereabouts were on the night in question, what he was told of the attack, and when.
This is a scandal, and it is one of Obama's own making — not one cooked up by Republicans or by Fox News. Obama and his team could have come clean with the public on the attacks when they happened. Instead, they stonewalled, prevaricated and concocted far-fetched versions of what they wish had happened.
But truth has a way of ultimately coming out — and we would encourage Rep. Gowdy's select committee to spare no effort to ensure that's what finally happens in this case.
The Augusta Chronicle on Boehner borrowing trouble:
Most conservatives understand any attempt at immigration reform - given Washington's current views on "law and order" - is the political equivalent of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the foot.
That's why most congressional Republicans were happy to back away from the issue - at least until after the midterm elections create a climate conducive to commonsense legislation.
But now House Speaker John Boehner has inexplicably brought the issue back to the forefront, and his recent statements show he's cocked, loaded and ready to pull the trigger once again.
He's been crisscrossing the country pushing the issue, most recently Monday at a gathering of business professionals in San Antonio.
But somehow, the political realities of 2014 have escaped Boehner in the three months since he made this statement: "There's widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws."
Boehner may think the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Senate has changed, but neither have shown they are committed to anything less than full amnesty for the 11 million immigrants illegally residing in the United States.
Given that new immigrants generally favor big government and are heavy consumers of social services, their citizenship papers may as well come with voter registration cards with the Democratic Party box pre-marked.
How can any self-respecting conservative serious about reining in government spending and entitlement programs go along with a scheme that deputizes a new voting bloc to work against those interests?
There's also that pesky issue of "rule of law" - or what's left of it, given our president's penchant for unilateral action.
What does it say about the rule of law - let alone the sanctity of U.S. borders and the prestige of being an American - when leaders capitulate to citizenship demands from foreigners here illegally? What does it say about a nation whose immigration enforcement agencies released 68,000 criminal aliens without prosecution last year alone?
Is that a nation that respects law and order?
No, that is a nation that says to the world it's OK to violate our borders. It says that if you reside here illegally long enough - and in numbers large enough to form a special interest group - then you too can win the citizenship lottery.
The 750,000 people annually who navigate legal channels to become U.S. citizens must feel like chumps.
Boehner seems to be singing from the same hymnal book as fellow establishment Republican and presumptive presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who recently said illegal immigrants deserve forgiveness because "yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. It's an act of love; it's an act of commitment to your family."
Someone should remind the politicians of the 10.5 million unemployed American citizens - they have family commitments, too.
And there are felonies involved in illegal immigration, such as re-entering the United States after deportation; identity fraud; stealing Social Security numbers; and forging documents.
Conservatives are right to be concerned about any comprehensive reform plan that doesn't first secure U.S. borders. Previous amnesty deals too often have left borders porous enough for the illegal entry stream to continue flowing.
That suits Big Business' appetite for low-wage workers and the Democratic Party's appetite for new government-benefit recipients and voters, but does nothing to help taxpaying American workers. We're not the only ones wondering whose side Boehner is on.
"Unfortunately, (Boehner) is more interested in advancing the agenda of high-powered D.C. special interests than inspiring Americans with a policy vision that allows freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society to flourish," said Michael A. Needham, chief executive of conservative group Heritage Action.
Yes, it's important for conservatives to show their door is open to Latinos, who make up the largest percentage of legal and illegal immigrants, and are the country's largest ethnic group. But passing flawed legislation that poisons conservative values in the long run is no way to do it.
If Boehner's colleagues can't wrest this gun from his hands, they should at least make him keep the bullets in his pocket.