LETTERS: Benghazi hearing just more political theater

Benghazi hearing

On Oct. 22, I watched part of Hillary Clinton’s hearing on Benghazi before a House committee (“Clinton withstands GOP grilling over Benghazi,” Oct. 23 Review-Journal). What was it, the eighth, 10th or 15th hearing on the subject? Apparently, there have been more hearings on Benghazi than there were after Pearl Harbor, 9/11 or the financial collapse of 2008.

I’m not arguing that what happened in 2012 at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi wasn’t tragic. However, how many congressional hearings were held after the shootings at Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary School or the recent attack at Umpqua Community College?

Many political observers believe these endless hearings have been largely political theater and, like Mrs. Clinton’s “email scandal,” were motivated by Republican attempts to reduce the poll numbers and popularity of the Democratic presidential front-runner. So let me posit this: If Mrs. Clinton should be held accountable for the four Americans killed in Libya, then we should also hold Franklin D. Roosevelt accountable for the thousands of U.S. servicemen and women killed at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. And as Donald Trump recently intimated, George W. Bush should be held accountable for not keeping us safe on Sept. 11, 2001.

How so? Although I don’t know if conspiracy theorists are correct regarding President Roosevelt’s motives in seemingly provoking the Japanese and leaving Pearl Harbor relatively undefended, I’ve read that President Bush never bothered to read counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke’s memo that outlined the plans of jihadist terrorists to hijack commercial airplanes and use them as flying bombs. Those flying bombs killed more than 3,000 Americans.

I’m all for congressional hearings, particularly regarding attacks on our nation, acts of domestic terrorism or our justifications for attacks on others, especially when dozens to thousands of lives are lost. But let’s agree that another vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act or another Benghazi hearing simply represent the political theater of the absurd. It’s another reason why Americans are so disaffected by their representative democracy.

Jeffrey M. Shear

North Las Vegas

NV Energy’s new plant

Now NV Energy wants to spend nearly $1 billion on a new natural gas power plant (“Customers would pay for plant,” Oct. 6 Review-Journal). The power company plans to dismantle the coal-burning Reid Gardner power plant, and rightfully so.

My question to NV Energy is, why not convert Reid Gardner to natural gas? The entire infrastructure is in place, including transmission lines, receiving and probably distribution stations. If there isn’t a gas line in place, or one that is large enough, NV Energy could partner with Southwest Gas to get one built and offer the natural gas company a percentage of future revenue.

This would certainly be a lot cheaper than building a whole new plant and the associated infrastructure — unless NV Energy has plans to make a bundle of money by selling all the property that’s tied into existing facilities. If that’s the case, then that windfall should go toward the new plant.

Paul Mills

Las Vegas

Animal welfare

As always, the Review-Journal is quick to criticize people who care about the welfare of animals, as mentioned in the editorial on the Roos-N-More zoo (“Animal backers,” Oct. 23 Review-Journal). I would think someone at the newspaper would meet with animal welfare activists in our community and try to understand what they stand for, to get a better understanding of who they are.

For those with no understanding of the animal issues that face our community, it is easy to mock the activists. You might be surprised to find out that some of your assumptions are wrong, and you may even agree with animal welfare activists after hearing the facts. Isn’t a newspaper supposed to be fair and balanced, so that readers can form their own opinions?

Sandra Swearingen

Las Vegas

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