Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) tends to push the limits of propriety. Yesterday, Inhofe turned his attention to Benghazi, with the senator suggesting the capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala, the suspected ringleader of the deadly 2012 attack, was itself part of a "cover-up." Asked what that meant, the senator's office sent a statement to ThinkProgress' Igor Volsky:
"The Senator's statement was not that the arrest was to help a cover-up but the timing of the arrest was to help distract from the scandal of Benghazi in and of itself and give the Administration a 'victory' story. Inhofe said 'it's covering it up and I'm very much offended by that,' and regularly says that in reference to Susan Rice's appearance on the Sunday talk shows to blame the 'spontaneous' attacks to a video that prior to the attacks had a meager 50,00 views."
Just so we're clear, we're approaching the point at which the conspiracy theory eats its own tail. According to Inhofe's office, the senator genuinely believes developments in Benghazi are intended to "distract from the scandal of Benghazi."
Remember, they're not kidding. This isn't intended as satire or an attempt to make Republican conspiracy theorists appear foolish. Inhofe is quite sincere when he argues that the "timing" of the suspected terrorist's capture, months in the making, is part of a larger plot to to "distract from the scandal of Benghazi." The White House's plan is to shift attention away from Benghazi by shifting attention towards Benghazi.
Of course, this is not to suggest Inhofe is somehow alone on an unhinged island.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is there, too.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Wednesday said that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participated in a Benghazi cover-up by placing some blame for the attack on an anti-Islamic video made in America.
"I think she understands how culpable she is, and she understands exactly her dereliction of duty that really results in the death of four Americans," Johnson said of Clinton on the Hugh Hewitt Show.
The New York Times reported this week that on Sept. 11, 2012, "Islamists in Cairo had staged a demonstration outside the United States Embassy there to protest an American-made online video mocking Islam, and the protest culminated in a breach of the embassy's walls images that flashed through news coverage around the Arab world." The attack in Benghazi followed a few hours later, and Abu Khattala "told fellow Islamist fighters and others that the assault was retaliation for the same insulting video." www.msnbc.com