Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked on Wednesday at a Senate hearing about the White House official story that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi sprang from spontaneous protest. Her response: "so what?"
They lied. That's why it matters. People holdling public office have a duty to tell the truth to the people they represent.
“What difference does it make [whether American's at Benghazi died from a protest or not]?” That's what Clinton testified Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Secretary Clinton was pressed by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Minn.) to explain why the Obama administration stood by an absurd story claiming that four Americans we're murdered in Libya due to a spontaneous protest gone bad.
Secretary Clinton's response?
“With all due respect, the fact is we have four dead Americans. Whether it was because of a protest or because guys outside for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans. What difference at this point does it make?” Clinton said.
Really? The indignation card? Really? The “it doesn't matter” card?
In 1974 Clinton was a member of the impeachment inquiry staff advising the House Committee on the Judiciary during the Watergate scandal. What difference did it make whether it was a burglary or not at that point? All the difference in the world to the American people and the only sitting U.S. president to ever be removed from office (technicality: Nixon resigned before officially being removed – the only sitting president to resign).
Picking apart her statement “Was it because of protest or because guys outside for a walk one night decide to go kill some Americans,” I don't believe Secretary Clinton is dumb, but she must think everyone else is “guys out for a walk?" And she's still trying to leave a seed of doubt that 'hey, maybe it was a protest.'
Thanks for playing, but no. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt it was not a protest. An independent State Department investigation (the Pickering Report) led by Thomas Pickering, President George H.W. Bush's U.N. ambassador, confirms that "there was no protest prior to the attacks," contrary to administration's position for several weeks afterward that the attacks arose from a spontaneous demonstration against a YouTube video had gotten out of hand (an extremely low budget video that was released nearly 3 months earlier).
She goes on to say “it is our job to figure what happened, and prevent it from ever happening again”
We know now that there were live video feeds. Documents released by the House Oversight Committee show that on the day of the attack (September 11) the White House situation room starts receiving emails at about 1 p.m. that the mission is under hostile surveillance and the Pentagon sends a drone with a video camera which provided real-time video to the White House, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the CIA.
We know what happened. We even know that an Embassy cable on June 25 expressed fear of rising Islamic extremism in eastern Libya around Benghazi, and noted that the black flag of Al-Qaeda “has been spotted several times flying over government buildings and training facilities.”
We know the administration received requests for additional security from the embassy and the ambassador himself as early as February. On August 2, Ambassador Stevens sent a cable requesting 11 additional body guards, noting “Host nation security support is lacking and cannot be depended on to provide a safe and secure environment for the diplomatic mission of outreach.”
These requests for additional security were repeatedly denied.
We know that they administration lied. We know President Obama repeatedly blamed the attack a Youtube movie. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney lied (both blaming violence on the Youtube video and stating the White House was not “aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent. That report is false”). Secretary Clinton lied. UN Ambassador Susan Rice lied. The below video shows Secretary Clinton blamed the attacks on the YouTube video on September 14th.
What difference does it make? Ask Nixon. All the difference in the world. They knew the truth, lied repeatedly about it, and still try to sort-of, maybe sound like it possibly could be. The American people deserve to know the truth. We deserve better of our pubic officials and elected representatives. Character, though scoffed at sometimes, still matters. That's why this matters.