I have never run a marathon, but suspect running 26 miles cannot be more exhausting than spending eleven hours watching Hillary Clinton give testimony to the House Select Committee on Benghazi. While the Democrats are claiming that nothing new was discovered during the marathon, it was simply about politics and she was not hurt at all by the testimony, the Republicans contend that there was plenty of new news, it had nothing to do with politics, Hillary was caught in lies, and it will hurt her. In truth they are both correct.
To start with the “investigation” is not even close to being over with Hillary’s testimony, and in lieu of a smoking gun (which was not expected by the committee) there was no way Clinton was going to be “brought down” by her testimony, it was not the purpose of the hearing despite what the Democrats say. But that doesn’t mean it won’t hurt her long-term.
There was new information about the attacks discovered during the testimony, but with the possible exception of Rep Duckworth the Democrats’ “questions” were all about politics, Hillary was caught lying, and in the short term Hillary will not be hurt by her testimony…long-term maybe.
Lets start with what we learned.
The first thing we learned was not about Benghazi. We learned that the Democrats on the Benghazi committee couldn’t give a rats arse about Benghazi. Through three long rounds of questions Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill) was the only Democrat who asked Clinton legitimate questions. Every other Democrat used their time to attack the committee, the GOP questioners, and Chairman Trey Gowdy.
As far as Clinton’s testimony the biggest thing we learned was that the video story was a lie and Hillary knew it from the start. And we learned it because of new information discovered by the committee.
On the evening of 9/11/12 at 10:30 at night, Clinton issued a statement about the attack blaming the video. She repeated the charge in a speech the next day. President Obama gave his own speech on 9/12 referring to the video and refusing to use the word “terrorism.”
On 9/13 Mrs. Clinton mentioned the video twice more. On 9/14 White House Spox Jay Carney said, “We have no information to suggest that it was a preplanned attack.” Mrs. Clinton promised the father of one of the victims that the administration would “make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.” In his weekly address, Mr. Obama talked about the video. When the Libyan president said there was evidence the attack was planned months in advance, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice contradicted him. She instead told five Sunday talk shows—five days after the attack—that “based on the best information we have to date,” the attack “began spontaneously” in response to “this hateful video.” Mr. Obama for two full weeks continued to talk about YouTube.
But yesterday Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) referred to an email Mrs. Clinton sent to her daughter, Chelsea, at 11:12 the night of the attack, just 45 minutes after Hillary issued a statement blaming the YouTube video. The email reads, “Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Qaeda-like group.” Despite what she told the American people, despite what she told the families of the four American’s killed in Benghazi, she told her daughter the truth, that on the anniversary of 9/11 an al Qaeda group assassinated four Americans.
And there’s more, Jordan also explained that later the same evening Clinton spoke on the phone with Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf. The notes from that conversation are in a State Department email. It says she told the Libyan president, “We have asked for the Libyan government to provide additional security to the compound immediately as there is a gun battle ongoing, which I understand Ansar as Sharia [sic] is claiming responsibility for.” Ansar al Sharia is al Qaeda’s affiliate on the Arabian Peninsula. So several hours into the attack, Mrs. Clinton already believed that al Qaeda was attacking U.S. facilities.
And for the third strike on 9/12 Hillary had a call with the Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil. According to those notes, she told him, “We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack—not a protest.”
It all proves that Hillary said one thing to the public when she knew it wasn’t true. Also she saw Obama and Susan Rice lie to the people for months without correcting them even it private. We know that because they never changed their tune. It doesn’t take a genius to know that the Obama team was in cahoots telling a lie to ensure Obama’s reelections.
When the father of Charles Woods, the father of Benghazi victim Tyrone Woods was at the ceremony receiving the four bodies from the attack. Hillary told him the attack was caused by a video:
“She came over…she talked with me. I gave her a hug and shook her hand and she did not appear to be one bit sincere at all and she mentioned about, ‘We’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video.’,” recalled Mr. Woods. “That was the first time I even heard about anything like that.
There were other lies and revelations we learned during the testimony. , Hillary Clinton has no real answer on why the repeated security warnings about the deteriorating conditions in Libya were ignored. When pressed, Clinton either ducks responsibility or obfuscates – neither are the traits of a strong leader. As secretary of state, Clinton was a “strong advocate” for the war in Libya, yet had no plan in place for the region for the peace.
If Hillary was telling the truth about how her department was compartmentalized, we learned that she was too distant a manager. Her friends like Sid Blumenthal could reach her at will, but Chris Stevens’ requests for protection were directed to her subordinates to deal with (incorrectly).
Hillary said that the State Department could not send help to Chris Stevens because they didn’t have the budget, even though one of her subordinates testified that budget had nothing to do with it. During a hearing October 10, 2013 Rep. Rohrabacher (R-CA) asked State Dept.’s Charlene Lamb “Was there any budget consideration and lack of budget which led you not to increase the number of people in the security force there?” Lamb responded “No, sir.”
None of the above will have any standing in the short term because the mainstream media is already spreading the message of no harm, no foul. But I do believe that her lie about the video sets up a wonderful couple of attack commercials for the GOP candidate whoever that might be.
Also a problem for her on the long-term is the final committee report. You see the Benghazi hearing put Hillary on the record under oath. Any final report will show all the contradictory evidence the testimony from other’s under oath, including the people who were there, including for example General Carter Ham who has already said they knew from the start that it was a terrorist attack and not a video.
These contradictions don’t have to be written as an attack on Hillary, just a finding of truth when the committee explains what really happened. And the fact that her testimony was on live TV may make the former secretary of state rue the day she demanded an open vs. a closed door hearing.
Finally there is one more long-term danger for Ms. Clinton. Judge Napolitano said on “Special Report” Thursday night that Hillary Clinton may have hurt herself during her testimony because she forgot who else was watching–the FBI
There is still much to learn about Hillary Clinton’s involvement in the cover-up of the Sept. 2012 terrorist attack in in Benghazi. But it will be a few more months before we learn if Hillary’s testimony before the House Benghazi Committee will be as deadly for her presidential aspirations as it was for political nerds like me to watch.
At Constitution.com Bethany Blankley brings up a point I wish I had thought of, how the interconnected facts and events linking Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, the Arab Spring, ongoing human suffering throughout the Middle East– and the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya.
Her take is unique, logical and most importantly interesting. you can read it all by clicking here.