Secretary of State Clinton performed masterfully on 23 January. Democrats and even a few Republicans praised her service. A few Republicans tried to get a few facts from her but failed basically. Between excessive speechmaking before questioning and then Clinton’s artful dodging I don’t think any of us learned anything new. Secretary Clinton’s carefully staged anger and skillful maneuvers ensured that nothing of any consequence was revealed to clarify the reasons the administration claimed for weeks that the Benghazi consulate attack on September 11, 2012, was the result of an anti-Islam movie and not an attack by terrorists. Apparently no one has been fired either.
I liked Senator Rand Paul’s comment that had he been president he would have relieved Secretary Clinton. Certainly someone should have been fired. I can sympathize a little with the person in charge being at the mercy of the decisions of subordinates, but there is a message of integrity and leadership responsibility in Senator Paul’s comment. Secretary Clinton should have tendered her resignation. The president could have refused to accept it, but she should have offered it. The four people in the State Department who have shouldered the blame for this also should have been fired. I thought at first they were but recent reports indicated they were only reassigned. Removal from government service for the idiocy that led to four needless deaths is the only proper course.
I remain curious about the reason Ambassador Stevens went to Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11. Based on the message he sent previously, a talking point during the hearing, Stevens knew Benghazi was not safe. What could have provoked an experienced diplomat to travel to an unsafe place on a volatile date 9/11? I have no answers, of course, and doubt we’ll know anytime soon, especially since no one seems to be able to speak with the consulate survivors. Nonetheless the answer to that question may disclose more of the story.
Secretary Clinton showed that she is a master of deception. The Democratic senators showed that they could care less about the reasons four Americans died and the reasons for the incompetence or lying by the Administration. The Republicans as a group showed that they cannot trap a slippery fellow politician even when they have time to prepare. The entire charade is over for now. Maybe in 20 or 30 years someone will publish the truth. I doubt we’ll know anytime soon.