Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gave her long awaited testimony today on the Benghazi debacle before two separate congressional committees, and it was quite a spectacle, one that will undoubtedly surface in campaign commercials should Mrs. Clinton decide to run for president in 2016.
While Mrs. Clinton is a serial prevaricator with a great deal of practice, she lacks the polish and the amorality of her husband or the demeanor and expertise of her current boss. And it was a difficult position, frankly.
The State Department’s own inquiry found itself at fault, although they limited any characterization of blame to a few lower level sacrificial lambs and avoided tackling a number of the more difficult questions what happened in Benghazi raised.
One of the high points of today’s festivities came when Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI)raised the every valid point of asking why the Administration continued to push the talking points of a protest based on an obscure video when they clearly knew it was a lie, and Mrs. Clinton angrily shouted back “What difference does it make?”:
Ah, but it does make a difference, Madame Secretary.It makes a difference because the Obama Administration made a political decision to cover this up in the middle of an election by coming up with a narrative they knew at the time was absolutely false. It matters because it appears to have been deliberately done so as not to tarnish President Obama’s supposed foreign policy credentials and contradict his chest thumping about how al-Qaeda was finished and on the run.
It matters because it wasn’t, as you phrase it, ‘some guys out for a walk some night who decided they’d go kill some Americans’ but a highly organized, preplanned attack by al-Qaeda affiliates who were around and in a position to kill Americans only because of President Obama’s ill-advised intervention in Libya. And it matters because they only were able to obtain the arms and heavy weapons for that kind of attack because President Obama’s Libyan adventure enabled them to loot Moamar Khaddaffi’s arms stocks.
And it matters because now, today, those same arms are being used to kill Americans in Algeria by al-Qaeda in the Maghreb and to attempt to take over Mali and impose sharia there.
Other parts of Secretary Clinton’s admissions were equally troubling.
Mrs. Clinton, for example, claims she did not select nor was she even consulted by the president on the choice of UN Ambassador Susan Rice as the Obama Administration spokesperson to hit the Sunday news show and mouth the self-serving falsehood lie that the attack in Benghazi was a protest against a You Tube video.
Well and good, but if Mrs. Clinton wasn’t in on what amounts to a conspiracy to deceive the American public, why did Secretary Clinton push those exact same talking points at every opportunity? Why did she appear in videos apologizing for the video that were shown in Pakistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world?
In view of the fact that she, White House Spokesperson Jay Carney, Ambassador Rice, Vice president Biden and even the president all pushed the exact same narrative in the media in what appears to be a co-ordinated fashion, let’s just say I have my doubts and leave it at that.
Mrs.Clinton also claimed that she never read any of the numerous cables sent by the CIA, Ambassador Stevens and others about the dangerous situation in Benghazi and the need to increase security there. In fact, on her watch just the opposite happened with security being actually decreased.
If in fact she’s telling the truth and as a sitting Secretary of State she never read those cables, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was exactly right in saying to her, “Had I been president at the time and I found that you did not read the cables … I would have relieved you of your post. I think it’s inexcusable.”
What was more disappointing was that the congressional committees Secretary Clinton testified before today did not get into a number of unanswered questions about what occurred that night in Benghazi and its aftermath.
Given that there had been a number of attacks in Benghazi recently, and that even the International Red Cross and the British Embassy had pulled their people out of what they saw as an unsafe location, what was a U.S. Ambassador doing there, especially after he had communicated his belief to the White House that he was on an al-Qaeda hit list and especially on the anniversary of 9/11?
Why exactly were repeated requests for enhanced security for the consulate in Benghazi denied? Secretary Clinton would have us believe it was because those awful Republicans in the House denied funding, and said as much today. But if this is true, why not simply pull our personnel out of a location we were supposedly unable to afford to secure properly? And if funding was the problem, as Senator Rand Paul mentioned above, how was money found to present the entire staff of the Vienna Embassy a fleet of Chevy Volts and a state of the art charging station a few months prior to the Benghazi attack?
It’s now known that the president and his circle were formally informed by the local CIA Head of Station within 24 hours that this was not a spontaneous ‘protest’ but a well planned attack by al-Qaeda affiliates. Who made the decision to proceed with the false narrative for nine days? And if in fact that wasn’t President Obama, why didn’t he contradict it once he found out about it?
The attack took place over 7 hours, with the White House watching the action live via a drone circling overhead as well as being in direct contact with both the consulate and the CIA annex nearby.We had ample security assets well within range that could have intervened on the ground to save the lives of our people, yet repeated requests for orders to go in were denied.Who made that decision?
And I would have particularly liked to have seen CBS’ Sharyl Atkinson, one of only a handful of reporters actually covering this story get a chance to receive a few answers from Secretary Clinton on these questions.
What happened today was a political sideshow, and so far it’s been largely successful because the majority of the press has abrogated any semblance of ethics or integrity in favor of what amounts to a love affair with this president and his agenda.
But sometimes justice takes time and this is still not over yet, by any means. The truth will out eventually and the ghosts of four dead Americans as well as others yet to come aren’t going to allow it to disappear.
Authored By J O S H U A P U N D I T