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“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest? Or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”
Thus did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attempt to dismiss the blame and investigation of the Obama administration’s actions in the terrorist attack on the consulate in Benghazi which left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his staff dead.
Rand Paul had it absolutely right when he said, “Had I been president at the time and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it’s inexcusable.”
Among Clinton’s more disturbing comments: Islamist fighters throughout the region are now flush with heavy weapons seized from unsecured Libyan arsenals after the fall of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Republicans and conservative commentators had warned of the prospect that Gadhafi’s arsenals would fall into extremist hands. Their concerns were dismissed by the Obama regime and its sycophants as needlessly alarmist.
While she said repeatedly that she accepted responsibility, the fact that the person truly responsible for the security failures, the deaths of American diplomatic staff and the subsequent cover-up is the President of the United States, Barack Obama. The remarks that should have been made by a Republican (or any member of Congress who truly wanted to uncover the truth) could very well be considered the following:
“Secretary Clinton, the security failures that placed our consulate and staff in mortal danger were not an oversight. They were a direct result of failed, misguided and wrong-headed policy. Compounding this tragedy was the deliberate and intentional attempt by the Obama Administration – led by the President, Ambassador Rice and yourself – to deceive the American people by blaming the attack on a “spontaneous demonstration in response to an offensive internet video”, in an attempt to avoid damaging President Obama’s re-election effort. You, Ambassador Rice and President Obama deliberately, intentionally and willfully lied to the American people, in the desperate hope that people would not connect Al-Qaeda – which the President assured America was on the run and all but extinguished – to this monstrous attack, because knowing that he had failed to defeat this terrorist organization may have caused voters to decide that the President’s accomplishment of killing Osama Bin Laden had yielded little measurable result, thus depriving him of his one actual accomplishment of his first term. Given this pattern of institutional deception Madame Secretary, for any of us to believe your concocted hogwash now would require – as you put so eloquently – ‘a willing suspension of disbelief.'”
Is it possible that Obama set up the events following the Benghazi debacle in a way that absolved him of any blame, but torpedoes any chance for Hillary Clinton to get the Democrat nomination in 2016? I think the answer (and his history is an excellent guide) is absolutely yes. Were she to run, the question of the events surrounding the Benghazi debacle would be front and center, the constant question with regard to her time as Secretary of State, making her judgement questionable and seriously clouding perceptions of her abilities to lead the country.
Barack Obama has successfully deflected all questions with regard to the incident. Questions such as: the failed security arrangements at the facility, the failure to provide resources that were lacking for staff and facility, the failed preparation in anticipation the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the failed response to the attack on the consulate and the assassination of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his staff, the failed effort to rescue consulate personnel, and most critically, the failed attempt to spin the narrative of the events in communication to the American people; specifically, falsely blaming the attack on a “spontaneous demonstration in response to a video on the internet.”
While Obama was able to successfully dodge blame and responsibility during the election season, thanked in large part to a helpful media that failed to ask critical questions and willingly went along with the cover-up. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice already paid the price for her role in the scandal by withdrawing from consideration for the post of Secretary of State. While Clinton has to date successfully avoided testifying before Congress on the facts surrounding the incident, it’s only a matter of time until she has to explain her role in the incident and that explanation will haunt her, primarily because as Secretary of State, the consulate and the Ambassador fell under her direct responsibility.
Obama was successful at avoiding the blowback just before the election, and was reelected. He may (because he’s a lame duck) take steps to accept more blame and responsibility in order to absolve Clinton and members of his administration. But that requires an act of decency, honor and personal integrity – qualities which Obama has yet to demonstrate. In saving himself from the massacre of Benghazi, Obama did what he has always done, allow the blame to be placed on other shoulders.
*UPDATE: – 01/24/2013 – Michael Ramirez, political cartoonist extraordinaire has an excellent piece on Hillary’s Hissyfit today:
*UPDATE: – 02/07/13 – During congressional hearings, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey testified the following:
- The White House left Ambassador Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Sean Smith on their own on September 11 in Benghazi. Despite claiming that he had done “everything he could do” and that he “issued a directive”, the net effect of Obama’s actions on the night of September 11, 2012 was to leave the Benghazi 4 to die.
- No Word from Hillary During Benghazi Attack That the Secretary of State was completely out of the loop is unbelievable and unforgivable.
- Dempsey ‘Surprised’ Hillary Didn’t Know About Cable from Benghazi Consulate Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may very well have perjured herself. A congressional subpoena may be in order.
- No Military Assets Were Deployed to Defend Benghazi Consulate If the President had “issued a directive” ordering that anything necessary be done to save the Benghazi consulate staff, why were no military assets deployed?
- General on Benghazi: ‘We Never Received a Request for Support from the State Department’ Why did the Secretary of State do absolutely nothing to try an help a consulate and staff that were under terrorist attack for hours?
- Panetta: Obama Absent Night of Benghazi Where exactly was the President and what was he doing that could possibly have been more important than an attack on American sovereign soil?
It’s safe to say that at the very least this is proof of a massive cover-up by Team Obama just prior to the 2012 election, in an effort to minimize potential damage from the fallout of a diplomatic, military and leadership debacle. At it’s worst, this is an impeachable offense and the House of Representatives should and must begin the groundwork leading to the impeachment of President Obama.
*UPDATE: – 05/09/13 – A massive cover-up by the Obama Administration began unraveling following riveting, heartbreaking and infuriating testimony on the 2012 terrorist attack on the Benghazi embassy in Libya, which led to the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three staff members. Appearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the former deputy chief of mission in Tripoli, Greg Hicks, Eric Nordstrom, the regional security officer posted in Libya when the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi was attacked, and Mark Thompson, the State Department’s acting deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism, offered their account of last year’s deadly attack on U.S. installations in eastern Libya as they accused senior government officials of withholding embarrassing facts, failing to take enough responsibility for security lapses, and misleading the American people on the causes and nature of the attack. The new facts and truths which emerged have begun to destroy the intricate web of lies constructed by the Obama Regime in an effort to shield President Obama and former Secretary Clinton from any blame or blowback resulting from the Benghazi Attacks:
– Thompson testified that he had urged the deployment of an elite response team—known as the Foreign Emergency Support Team, or FEST—but was rebuffed by the White House. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, called the motivation for that decision one of the “mysteries” that need to be solved. Hicks said he pleaded for fighter planes to buzz the compound but was told none was close enough (and that military officials have cast doubt on the effectiveness of such a tactic). Hicks also said higher-ups nixed his request to send four special forces to the burning compound.
– Hicks said he spoke by telephone with Stevens shortly after armed men stormed the compound. “Greg, we’re under attack,” Stevens said, according to Hicks. Hicks said American officials in Libya concluded from unspecified Twitter feeds that al-Qaida-affiliated Islamist extremists were carrying out the attack. He confirmed that officials on the ground never believed that the attack grew out of a demonstration.
– Hicks slammed U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s appearance on Sunday news shows days after the attack, when she linked it to angry demonstrations in the Muslim world against the video denigrating Islam. “I was stunned. My jaw dropped,” Hicks said in response to a question from Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. “I was embarrassed.”
– Rice’s comments flatly contradicted Libyan President Mohammed Magariaf’s public statement that the attack was the work of terrorists, effectively humiliating him, with the result of delaying the FBI’s access to the compound, Hicks said.
– After Hicks received the phone call about Stevens’ death, unidentified Libyans called to say Stevens was with them and that American staff should come get him. “We suspected that we were being baited into a trap,” Hicks said. “We did not want to send our people into an ambush.” The Americans stayed put.
– Hicks said that, after years of glowing performance evaluations, higher-ups at the State Department turned on him when he questioned Rice’s account of the events. He described his current position as a demotion.
– Hicks said that the State Department directed him not to speak to Chaffetz when he came to Libya as part of a congressional investigation into the attack. “We were not to be personally interviewed by Congressman Chaffetz,” Hicks said. (A top aide to Clinton emailed NBC News to dispute the notion of a cover-up.)
– Hicks also suggested that a State Department-commissioned independent investigation into the tragedy, by retired diplomat Tom Pickering and retired Adm. Mike Mullen, had failed to hold senior figures responsible, pointedly naming Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary for management, as someone who bore some responsibility for poor security at the site. (Issa said he had invited Pickering and Mullen to testify, but that they refused.)
– Gowdy provided one of the few surprises in the hearing, reading what he described as an email from the day after the attacks in which acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones said she had told the Libyan governor that “the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al-Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.” That raised fresh questions about why top Obama aides emphasized the role of spontaneous demonstrations against the video in public remarks for days afterwards. Greg Hicks said that the “the YouTube video was a non-event in Libya.”
With all this new damning information, Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor should and must establish a Select Committee to fully investigate the Benghazi Attack and subsequent cover-up.