I listened today to Secretary of State Clinton testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She is a loyal public servant, someone who does what is expected of her. Therefore she has to testify as if the Benghazi attack were solely a State Department matter, when it is nothing of the sort. Two of the people killed in Benghazi were CIA employees. The so-called annex located a mile away from the consulate was a CIA safe house. It wasn’t so safe on September 11, 2012. Why did the attackers know where the safe house was located?
The most prominent victim of the attacks, Ambassador Chris Stevens, was a State Department employee. First Susan Rice, U. S. ambassador to the United Nations, does the Sunday morning talk shows to tout the government’s cover story. That didn’t work, so Hillary Clinton takes the next shot. She’s retiring anyway, so what does she have to lose?
Plenty. The credibility of the entire government, both domestically and abroad, is so poor that any tiny scrap of truth it lets out can only improve its standing. To make Hillary Clinton shill for this government after all her good service is disgraceful. I don’t know how willing a partner she is in this disgrace, but she shouldn’t do it, especially not now when she is about to leave. Let’s have even a little bit of truth out of this administration.
Dishonesty is a bad habit, probably one of the worst ones you can have. By being a loyal soldier, Clinton participates in this dishonesty. She helps the habit become more and more ingrained. Let’s find people who are inveterate truth tellers, who could no more be dishonest and disloyal to the truth than they could be disloyal to their country.
The country and its government are not the same thing. One deserves our loyalty; the other does not. While she is secretary of state, Hillary Clinton has to speak for the government. She has taken up that role for four years, and it has cost her. You can see it in her physical appearance. I hope that after she leaves the State Department, she can do even a little to break the pattern of dishonesty she found herself in.
Update: Here are Secretary Clinton’s words after Republican Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin said that the American people were misled about why the attack in Benghazi occurred:
With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.
Watch the live action:
Senator Johnson commented in an interview with Milwaukee radio host Charlie Sykes, shortly after the hearing:
I wasn’t trying to get under her skin, I was just trying to get a relatively simple question answered, which she didn’t really want to answer.
Note Clinton’s testy comeback: “What difference, at this point, does it make?” If you want to throw up a wall, that reply serves well. It recalls President George W. Bush’s response years ago, when a reporter asked him if we were really justified in attacking Iraq if Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction after all. “What difference does it make?,” Bush responded: Hussein was a threat, and we had to take him out. Bush might have explained how Hussein was a threat if he didn’t have the weapons, but that wasn’t the point. The point was the president didn’t want to respond to the question.
Our public servants actually owe us better answers than that.