Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finally made it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to testify on the events of 9/11/12 in Benghazi, Libya.
And as expected, we were treated to political theater of the highest order. Republicans dutifully lined up to take shots at Clinton, knowing full well she wouldn’t give them any answer they could use against her and Democrats chimed in giving speeches about her historic work and tireless efforts as secretary of state. Spare me.
While Clinton accept a measure of blame, and admits to systemic problems in the departments she oversees, we are no closer to figuring out why the American people were purposely misled by this administration about the terrorist attack which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. I can only use motive with a touch of common sense to deduce the reason behind such deception.
First, many other nations (like England) determined the security situation in Libya was such that they could not adequately protect their diplomatic staff, and had removed all embassy personal well before the attack in September. One can reasonably assume that the Brits receive and share intelligence information with the United States, but the determination inside our government was the risks were not worth acting upon.
What was different between these two nations in the weeks and months leading up to the attack? America was in the middle of a tight presidential race, and every policy decision was vetted by the White House for its potential impact on the election.
That is the same reason the White House lied, obfuscated, misdirected — call it what you want — the official statements following the attack and deaths of our personnel. The president (and Democrats in general) have always been susceptible to cries of “soft on terror” and “weak on defense,” and it was a conscious effort to remove these attack lines from the Republican bag of tricks. The DNC chant/slogan, “General Motors is alive and Osama Bin Laden is dead” starts to lose its punch if your biggest foreign policy victory (Libya) is so unstable that you have to remove the ambassador, or worse, he is killed by terrorists in the line of duty. So, the only people with the motivation to lie about it is the White House.
Not removing the staff and spinning their deaths as something other than terrorism were political calculations brought about by the presidential election cycle. It’s called “controlling the message” and this White House wasn’t going to let anything, including an act of terror, ruin the narrative that this president, and his policies, were working and terrorism was on the run.
Facts (and bodies) be damned.