The Day Accountability Died
Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent roughly seven hours on the Hill today fielding statements lauding her brilliance, praise for how many miles she has flown around the world, and the occasional question about Benghazi.
Remember that? On 9-11-12, four Americans died in a terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The Obama campaign/administration had just spent their political convention crowing that al-Qaeda is "on the run." The Benghazi terrorist attack suggested otherwise.
Beginning shortly after the attack and continuing through September 26, President Obama and his administration blamed that attack on a movie that was said to have offended Muslims.
The timeline of who decided to blame a movie, when and why, is at the center of the Benghazi cover-up. But very few Republicans and no Democrats bothered to ask her about it. Those Republicans who did ask, failed, because their tactics were idiotic.
The Democrats spent more of their time lauding Clinton, thanking her for her service and praising her for one thing or another, than they spent asking any questions. Sen. Dick Durbin swung into a dissertation on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, failing to note that the woman sitting before him at the hearing also believed in WMDs and advocated war against Saddam Hussein on that basis. Some of the Republicans, particularly Sens. Ron Johnson, John McCain, and Rand Paul, asked probing questions. You can see some of those in other posts.
Disappointingly, Sen. Marco Rubio asked no tough questions and he wasted the few minutes that he had to question the secretary. If he intends to be a leader, he missed a major opportunity today. He failed to lead. This is not a good sign from the popular Tea-flavored Floridian. It's worth asking why he chose to further the Benghazi cover-up today.
In the House hearing, the Democrats jumped again to praise Clinton. Several thanked her for this or that. None of them really probed her for any level of accountability. Several blamed the attack on budget cuts. Rep. Mo Brooks and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, both Republicans, took the toughest lines with Clinton. Rep. Jeff Duncan managed to ask Clinton about her "what difference does it make" quip from the Senate hearing. He said that she had made the Benghazi consulate a "death trap." But she managed to wriggle away.
Clinton later admitted that she wasn't troubled by Tunisia's release of the one suspect arrested outside the U.S. in connection with Benghazi. She never had to answer for the suspect who was arrested within the U.S. in connection with Benghazi, and who still remains in jail. He is the man whose movie Clinton et al dishonestly blamed for the attack. If she is troubled by that sidebar, she didn't let on.