Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finally made it to Capitol Hill to testify about what happened five months ago in Benghazi, Libya on September 11th — the 11th anniversary of the original 9/11 attacks. What we knew before Hillary’s testimony is that a well-planned and coordinated terrorist attack in Benghazi killed four Americans, including our Ambassador. After Ms. Clinton testified, the mainstream media rushed to tell Americans how amazing Ms. Clinton’s performance was and how small-minded the Republicans had been. As usual, the mainstream media demonstrated itself to be shamelessly dishonest and embarrassingly servile. But there is nothing new in that.
There were two things of note after Ms. Clinton’s testimony. One is that the survivors of the attack seem to be in a witness protection program and not even Congress has been given access to them. Why is it that those who were on the ground during the attack cannot speak to Congress? Such a discussion could be had behind closed doors if need be. What is the Administration hiding?
The second item of note was when Ms. Clinton became angry at a very reasonable question about why the attack took place. Was it a spontaneous mob that spiraled out of control? Or was it a carefully planned and executed terrorist attack? She became visibly angry and said, “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”
Ms. Clinton, perhaps you can answer that question yourself. What difference does it make? After all it was you, and several others including President Obama himself and his Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, that went to great pains to paint the attack as the result of a spontaneous and angry mob that became enraged over a youtube video. If it didn’t matter which it was, why were you, your boss and others in the Administration so determined to sell the spontaneous angry mob story?
Why did you stand next to the coffins of the four Americans at Andrews Joint Base and wax indignant about an offensive youtube video during the memorial service? Why did you and the President consistently talk about the offensive video and tell the us that no matter how offensive, it didn’t justify killing? The president spent most of his time at the UN talking about the video. If it didn’t matter, why?
Ms. Clinton, for you to try to avoid this question by acting as if it angered you is deplorable. It was a serious question and it deserved a serious answer. Ms. Clinton’s actions, the President’s actions, Ms. Rice’s actions, as well as others made it clear that it mattered to the President whether the attack and assassination of four American diplomats was the result of a spontaneous mob angered by a video or a planned and coordinated attack by Al Qaeda. It mattered a lot — to the Obama Administration!
President Obama spent a significant amount of time since Osama bin Laden’s death, telling Americans that he has decimated al Qaeda and that the war on terror has essentially been won. It simply would not due to have the same terrorists that Obama claimed during his much ballyhooed convention speech that he had defeated, rise up within a couple weeks and plan, organize and carryout a sophisticated attack on our consulate in Libya killing our Ambassador and three other Americans — something that had not happened since Jimmy Carter was president. The honest truth was very unhelpful to Obama’s campaign narrative and it proved that his policies were not working as advertised.
So Obama, Ms. Clinton, Ms. Rice, and others spun the yarn that it was a spontaneous attack from a mob that just grew out of control with anger over a video. They stuck with that story for weeks. Now, when asked about that story, Ms. Clinton angrily denounces the question and asks, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
It makes a big difference! In a democracy, we have open government and our officials are required to be transparent. But the man who promised the most transparent administration in history, lied to America because it was an election year. Ms. Clinton, you and others actively participated in that lie. Now that the election is over, you have the nerve to ask “what difference does it make?”
Here’s the answer: It matters because the truth matters! Transparency matters! Openness matters! Accountability matters! It matters because if we want to be sure that something like this does not happen again, it will help to honestly acknowledge who did it and why. Lying to ourselves that it was an angry mob motivated by a youtube video means we will not fix the problem and that it will likely happen again.
That is why it matters, Ms. Clinton! But she knew that. Anyone with a shred of intelligence and a modicum of honesty would know that. She was just cynically hoping that the dishonest and servile media wouldn’t figure out the obvious.
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George Landrith is the president of Frontiers of Freedom, a public policy think tank devoted to promoting a strong national defense, free markets, individual liberty, and constitutionally limited government. Mr. Landrith is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was Business Editor of the Virginia Journal of Law and Politics. In 1994 and 1996, Mr. Landrith was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District. You can follow George on Twitter @GLandrith.