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The GOP's Halloween Witch Hunt

and, they've bolloxed that as well

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, October 30, 2013.

The Republicans today think they have their longed for trifecta of scandal for Obama to offset their swish down the drain. These are: the messy Obamacare rollout, NSA spying, and Benghazi. They don't. There is nothing as disgusting as the GOP trying to condemn others for those events whose trophy resides welded to the GOP mantel.

On Obamacare, the state insurance markets are working well, the federal one will be fixed, and given how the GOP excused Bush's much smaller and worse rollout of Medicare Plan D, their hypocrisy is again buffed.

British historian Macaulay, after years of observation, concluded: "We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality." Ah, Tom. You were spared these horrors. Today, atop the contrived Obamacare problems, we must pay attention to, and play our part in, the world announcing that they are shocked our National Security Agency has been listening in on their phone calls, including those of national leaders around the world and ourselves. Perhaps for over a decade. Who - who? - could have imagined such a thing?

Well, Margaret Thatcher, for one. It was due to British wiretapping Americans that the world was made aware of Oliver North and Iran Contra thirty years back. The Royal Family had its lines tapped by Rupert Murdock. Nobody was shocked at the act, only what was admitted and denied. Everybody has known for a half century that the US satellites pick up virtually everything. It's such common knowledge it has appeared in fiction for the masses as well as news stories. It's understood. We have the biggest computers and most of them, and they're focused on espionage and intelligence gathering. They should be.

Last night, I caught an episode of Person of Interest, a TV show that foreshadowed these events when it debuted two years back. Therein, a computer whiz designed a machine after 9-11 for the government to trace potential terrorists. It essentially connects with every surveillance system in the world and tracks everyone. In its search for terrorists, it happens upon other people in danger themselves or a threat to others, which the whiz and his team save or ensnare. This is a hit show, nobody questioned and everyone around the world accepts its plausibility. Yet, we are treated with the news that President Obama has to soothe ruffled feathers with Merkel of Germany and the leaders of Spain and France and England and everywhere because we've been listening in. No head of government could be surprised, and they all spy on us as well, although it's unlikely they have the resources to do what we can. It's illegal everywhere, but near all intelligence gathering is illegal everywhere. It is outside everyone's law. It's the reason the FBI, a crime fighting unit, has no business in intelligence, only counter intel, and that itself requires bending the law.

It's well accepted now that the Patriot Act was just taking advantage of a crisis to install domestic surveillance, and under guise of national safety was really interested only in protecting large corporate interests, mostly owned by Republican supporters, but not all. So now, we know no spectacle so ridiculous as the American public in one of its periodical fits of patriotism, because we pass bills willingly lowering the standards of everything this country was initially concerned about.

Last Sunday on 60 Minutes, Lara Logan interviewed a British guy, a contracted security pro, who described how scary and vicious and planned the attack was that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Stevens, in Benghazi, Libya. Nobody doubts it, but the Republicans had been trying to make Benghazi a scandal before the last election for their benefit. That failed, and since they fear Hilary Clinton more than Obama, they want to install it now as she was Stephen's boss at State. Fox News pushed the Benghazi narrative, but after CBS came out this week with the Brit's story, they sort of rained on it by saying that he'd approached them first, but started asking for money, so they stopped talking. The implication is that CBS based their story on a paid informant, something Fox News would never do.

As Gretchen Carlson said on election night to Karl Rove: "This is awkward."

Few noticed that Logan didn't mention Ambassador Stevens had turned down increased security twice. It really is no scandal, but a tragedy. And nothing is so nauseating as the GOP on its perpetual witch hunt, which they can bollox even on Halloween.