The big story on the eve of the second debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton doing some sort of mea culpa in an interview with CNN while on a trip to Peru. It was all very sudden and the immediate reaction was that she had “fallen on her sword” on behalf of her boss, the President. But…did she?
I take responsibility. I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world [at] 275 posts. The president and the vice president wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They’re the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs.
In the wake of an attack like this, in the fog of war, there’s always going to be confusion. And I think it is absolutely fair to say that everyone had the same intelligence. Everyone who spoke tried to give the information that they had. As time has gone on, that information has changed. We’ve gotten more detail, but that’s not surprising. That always happens.
What I want to avoid is some kind of political gotcha or blame game.
The statement started out as a rather generic “the buck stops here” admission that smacked of a head coach publicly taking the blame for not preparing his team while saving the tongue-lashing for the locker room and the practice field. A nice gesture, but not particularly illuminating. Also, note that she did not apologize for whatever it was she was “taking responsibility for” nor did she say anything that could possibly be interpreted as an apology. Nothing. What’s the point of “taking responsibility for” something as serious as the death of four Americans if you’re not willing to apologize?
Furthermore, her tone and mannerisms were remarkably upbeat for someone claiming to “take responsibility for” the death of Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. This was pure Clintonian political theater. This was a CYA moment designed to salvage her reputation, not Obama’s. Given the deadly results of her apparent failure, one could easily conclude that a resignation would be in order. But that’s not the way Clintons handle their messes.
That’s all well and good, but where does the buck stop on all the lying and covering up that followed? Yes, I used the unvarnished “L-word” because that’s what it was. How else to characterize UN Ambassador Susan Rice running around telling everyone in earshot that the Benghazi events were caused by an idiotic and unwatched YouTube trailer when Occam’s Razor — not to mention rocket-propelled grenades, an ambassador dragged through the streets, and a safe house mysteriously under fire — pointed to a terror attack commemorating September 11?
And then the president, acting like an errant husband unwilling to confess his adultery (who do you believe – me or your lying eyes?), repeated the same swill on The View nearly a week later. Unconscionable.
So while Hillary stepped forward and made a pretense of accepting at least some of the blame, there are still plenty of questions that have yet to be officially answered. Her statement did little to change the narrative, which for Barack Obama began on Sept. 12, 2012, the day after the attack. The following indepth timeline is damning, to say the least.
Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post has come up with a list of questions that Hillary did not address but that need to be answered before this case can be satisfactorily settled. Guy Benson at Townhall.com pointed out on Monday that FNC’s Chris Wallace asked David Axelrod a direct question to which Axelrod could not give a direct answer.
Without knowing what is inside Hillary Clinton’s mind, it’s clear that Team Obama was hoping that Hillary’s fake mea culpa would be sufficient to defuse the political issue and bring the controversy to a close. This would allow the Obama administration and their allies in the media to claim that any attempt at further discussion about Benghazi on Romney’s part would be nothing more than “playing politics” with the tragedy.
Indeed, Obama wants desperately to make the American people believe that it’s Romney who has been politicizing the Benghazi debacle from the beginning. The media was working hard to do exactly that as early as Romney’s presser the day after the attack. The media became a story in and of itself when they were heard on an open mic colluding with each other to manipulate Romney.
The reality is that it’s Obama who was politicizing the issue of national security even before the attack occurred. He’s the one who has spent the last year making the killing of Osama Bin Laden a political issue. He’s the one who has been leaking classified intelligence to movie directors and his media lapdogs as political propaganda. He has always thought that administering justice on Bin Laden would make him invulnerable on the issue of national security. He thought wrong. But because of the non-stop bragging, including the pathetic pep rally the DNC held in Charlotte, he invited retaliation from Al-Qaeda.
Obama used the death of Bin Laden to highlight his claim that Al-Qaeda has been decimated, forced onto the defensive and is no longer a serious threat to American security. Al-Qaeda’s brutal response was delivered on September 11, 2012. Obama’s been lying about it ever since.
It’s easy to imagine the outrage and humiliation that Obama felt when he found out that Al-Qaeda had struck back and killed four Americans, including the first U.S. ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since the Carter administration. Obsessed with winning re-election, Obama apparently couldn’t handle the idea that his great national security achievement and the false claims of “victory” over Al-Qaeda could be damaged. So he orchestrated a coverup that continues to this day.