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Opinion

Benghazi hearings a waste of resources

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October 29, 2015

Another week, another failed takedown of former Secretary of State, First Lady, United States Senator, and current democratic Presidential candidate Hilary Rodham Clinton.

With a front-row seat to eleven hours of repetitive and redundant questioning, Clinton was stalwart, calm, and quite presidential as audiences watched a split screen view of the live-streamed proceedings. And by the way, the split-screen style of live-streaming was probably the best part of these hearings – watching the faces of the committee members AND Clinton at the same time was priceless, almost like I was there. I felt sorry for special committee members Trey Gowdy and his other GOP-ers as their performance paled in comparison to Clinton’s, who looked completely in her element and in charge as she conducted herself with the grace and ease of what I hope any leader of our country would have.

After the intense but seriously lacking investigation and interrogation of Clinton about whatever misdoings she was supposedly said to have had in connection with Benghazi; I made myself stop angrily fixating on how Gowdy was so intently narrowed in on her emails and of his plain intentions of attacking Clinton for political reasons. I made myself not watch Hilary’s killer facial expressions but instead narrowed in on other compelling information that I don’t think people even realize they should be focusing on: the price of these relentless “investigations”.

From information from the Benghazi Research Center’s own website I found a convenient and detailed infographic that lays out the raw numbers of this whole charade. The first fact that stood out to me also happened to be the largest number on the chart, a number about this committee’s budget—a “$20 million minimum total cost – with operating costs of the first seven congressional investigations unknown,” kind of budget.

Which brings me to the point of all of this, and the point to your own personal connection to these Benghazi hearings. I bet some of you didn’t even know you had a connection to any of this. If you pay taxes, you have contributed, albeit unwillingly and most likely unknowingly, to this farce to the tune of $4.5 million dollars AND COUNTING, according to an online post published on HuffingtonPost.com.

As someone who does in fact pay taxes, I really prefer to believe that the money I contribute out of my wimpy paychecks fund the desperate need for rebuilding our country’s infrastructure or for projects that will greatly impact people in need. I am almost always unsurprised, however, when I realize that I am part of “The Bank for Fools” – a name of my own creation – which wastes money faster than it can get its hands on it.

Going back to the Benghazi Research Center’s website, where crucial information for all to easily understand can be found, lets any curious minds know that out of all the investigations started there has been “0 investigations that have found any administration wrongdoing…[or] evidence of an intelligence failure” money hardly well-spent, I think.

With money still being leeched from taxpayers and no end to this investigation or any real proof in sight, I don’t understand how there are not more people who are outraged by this. Frankly, at this point I would take just plain bothered. Do people not even know where their taxes go? Apparently not.

If a definition of the word “insanity” is, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” (thank-you Albert Einstein), isn’t it insane that after 32 Benghazi hearings (again, please take a look at the Benghazi Research Center’s website), there is no evidence and not even any proof of any wrongdoings? Does anyone else think that it is crazy that money that should be allotted for other purposes is stuck in the choke-hold grips of elected politicians and officials who are trying to discredit a person instead of focusing on the facts?

With an “unlimited budget granted to the Benghazi Select Committee by the Republican controlled House of Representatives,” it is time that people affiliated with any political party know what their money is paying for; let us all willingly and knowingly fund progress and defund regression.

Lauren Simenson is a student at UW-River Falls.