Martin Bashir Continues to Blame GOP for Benghazi Attack: Brings on Guests to Echo the Sentiment

After Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted the blame for the avoidable tragedy that occurred in Benghazi last month, one would think the media would be a little more critical of an administration that initially tried to cover it up with misinformation. While this sounds like a logical presumption, it hasn't been the case. Clinton was applauded for "falling on her sword" and taking responsibility for failing to protect those who were killed in the attack on the consulate.

MSNBC's Martin Bashir and his contributors didn't seem to think an apology was necessary however, blaming the Republicans in Congress for imposing cuts on foreign aid and embassy protection instead. In other words, it was all their fault and the Romney campaign has no right bringing it up. [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]

On the Oct. 16 edition of his show, Bashir welcomed two opinionated guests early on to back up his theories on the matter and vindicate the Obama adminstration of any wrong doing. Rehashing the talking points he had covered the previous day, he relied on British author Richard Wolffe and TheGrio.com's managing editor Joy Reid to reinforce them. 

In response to a loaded question concerning how this may affect the second presidential debate, British author Richard Wolffe went on the defensive for Obama -- claiming it's simply a non-issue that the Republican Party continues to politicize for personal gain. When the subject does inevitably come up at the debate, Wolffe said Obama should point out that the ruthless Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi is dead because of his foreign policy.

At the bare minimum when you look at where the Romney campaign is trying to score points on Benghazi, the president needs to point out the obvious here, not only is this a chaotic -- was a chaotic situation, remains so, but Gadhafi is gone. You know though, when you look at the record of this president in Libya, an enemy of the United States for many many decades is no longer in power tormenting his people and the rest of the world, because of American policy which Mitt Romney and the Republican Party in general has poured scorn on.

Then turning to Reid, Bashir wondered why Obama is still receiving the majority of the blame when it was so clearly the Republicans fault. Predictably, she responded with praise for the Secretary of State and criticism for the Romney campaign for "exploiting a tragedy."

Hillary Clinton I think stepped forward and said look, the security at these bases was the responsibility of the State Department. And she's obviously a very big person to do that, but the truth of the matter is this Congress has stood for cutting the budget for foreign aid, cutting the budget for security at our embassies and they have to own that. But there's something so deeply cynical about the Republican ticket running essentially to exploit a tragedy that even the families of these good, dead, and great Americans are saying, please leave us out of your cynical attempt to become president.

This kind of protection and positive spin is indicative of where their allegiances lie, as if there was any doubt on a network like MSNBC.

Relevant Transcript Below [ Emphasis Mine ]:

MSNBC

Martin Bashir

Oct. 16, 2012

4:07 p.m. EDT

MARTIN BASHIR: Richard, this debate will be a mix of domestic issues and foreign policy. The first time the two men will face off on the tragedy of Benghazi, the unrest in the Middle East. How much do you think this will factor into the president's efforts to regain his grounds on this issue?

RICHARD WOLFFE: Well, I think there's going to be a really important couple of exchanges here. At the bare minimum when you look at where the Romney campaign is trying to score points on Benghazi, the president needs to point out the obvious here, not only is this a chaotic -- was a chaotic situation, remains so, but Gadhafi is gone. You know though, when you look at the record of this president in Libya, an enemy of the United States for many many decades is no longer in power tormenting his people and the rest of the world, because of American policy which Mitt Romney and the Republican Party in general has poured scorn on. When it comes to Syria, what is the difference between these two campaigns? Again, a tactical approach from the Romney campaign, but for the president to say what would you do differently here? Are you proposing all-out war or arming rebels where we now know that actually a lot of those arms are already flowing through to Jihadists, and that's not in anyone's interest? There's a practical level to this debate that the president needs to explain. It's not that easy. It's a town hall format. I'm not sure how passionate the non committed voters are going to be about these issues, but I know both candidates will want to battle this out on national TV tonight.

BASHIR: And Joy, isn't the point Richard makes right that in many ways this Republican ticket are responsible for a reduction in security at consulates and embassies throughout the world and yet now they're hammering the president and this administration for what has been, let's be frank, a terrible tragedy.

JOY REID: Yeah, absolutely. One part of this ticket who didn't want to be called Congressman Ryan in the previous debate happens to be sitting in the body that demanded to and then followed through on cutting our budget for security at these very embassies. At the end of the day, Hillary Clinton I think stepped forward and said look, the security at these bases was the responsibility of the State Department. And she's obviously a very big person to do that, but the truth of the matter is this Congress has stood for cutting the budget for foreign aid, cutting the budget for security at our embassies and they have to own that. But there's something so deeply cynical about the Republican ticket running essentially to exploit a tragedy that even the families of these good, dead, and great Americans are saying, please leave us out of your cynical attempt to become president.

BASHIR: Indeed. Joy Reid and Richard Wolffe, thank you both very much, indeed.

4:10 p.m. EDT