On Jan. 23, 2013, Hillary Clinton asked an infamous question about the attack on the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
“What difference, at this point, does it make?” Clinton said. And Republicans have been attacking her for that line ever since.
“Why didn’t you just pick up the phone and call the survivors?” was the simple question Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., asked Clinton that day. Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention, he finally answered Clinton’s question.
“It made a difference to the young Yazidi woman I met who was captured and brutalized by ISIS barbarians, the joy of life hauntingly absent in her eyes,” Johnson said. “It made a difference to the businessmen traveling through the airports in Brussels and Istanbul, who just wanted to make it home to their family and their friends.
“It made a difference to the ordinary Americans sharing holiday cheer at a Christmas party in San Bernardino. It made a difference to the young men and women dancing on a summer night at a club in Orlando. And it made a difference to the families watching fireworks at a celebration of freedom in Nice.”
Although Johnson spent most of his speech attacking Clinton, he also attacked the Democratic foe running against him in November: former Sen. Russ Feingold.
“Even after 9/11, [Feingold] was the only senator to vote against giving law enforcement the tools they need to help stop international terror. During his 18-year Senate career, he also voted against authorizing our military 11 separate times.” He said the world is too dangerous to elect either Clinton or Feingold.
After formally winning the Republican nomination, it was Donald Trump’s night. But Johnson mentioned him only once, toward the end of his speech. “Donald Trump and Mike Pence understand that these must be America’s top priorities,” Johnson said, referring to defeating the Islamic State. “They will be strong leaders, working with Republicans in the House and Senate to achieve a goal that can unite us all: a safe, prosperous and secure America.”
Report: The Obama administration misled the public and obstructed investigations into Benghazi.
By Mollie Hemingway • The Federalist
Here are the five big takeaways from the U.S. House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi, Libya, gleaned from a summary report by Reps. Jim Jordan, R-OH, and Mike Pompeo, R-KS.
1. Administration Misled Public Immediately and Continually
Even though U.S. officials — including Hillary Clinton — knew immediately that the siege in Benghazi was a highly coordinated terror attack, they chose to mislead the public with statements about spontaneous protests caused by a YouTube video. Continue reading
By L. Brent Bozell III • CNSNews.com
Our news media are so overwhelmingly obsequious to the Democrats that Hillary Clinton can imply the relatives of the Americans killed in Benghazi are liars on national TV, and no one in the press blinks an eye or finds it newsworthy.
ABC is about to host another one of those hide-and-seek Saturday night Democrat debates. There is something very ironic here: It was on this network where she made that outrageous statement.
Clinton lied to her former employee (and donor) George Stephanopoulos on his ABC program “This Week” on Dec. 6. In his toughest question of the day, George told his pal, “Some GOP rivals and family members of the Benghazi victims are saying you lied to them in the hearing. They point to emails that you sent the night of Benghazi attack, one to your daughter, Chelsea Clinton, saying… ‘Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an al-Qaida-like group.'” He added that she had told the Egyptian prime minister on a phone call on Sept. 12, 2012, “We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film.” Continue reading
But they did anyhow.
by Debra Heine • PJ Media
Two days after the 9/11/2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, the United States embassy in Tripoli, Libya, was warning the State Department via email not to conflate the Innocence of Muslims YouTube video with the attacks.
The email, released by the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Saturday, was sent by a Tripoli embassy official to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s staffers in Washington, D.C., at 6:43 a.m. on September 14, 2012.
That is the day Clinton declared at the transfer of remains ceremony, “We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.” Continue reading
The House hearing on Benghazi reveals that Hillary Clinton’s spin about the attack was a politically expedient fiction.
by Kimberley A. Strassel • Wall Street Journal
Thanks to Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony on Thursday, we now understand why the former secretary of state never wanted anyone to see her emails and why the State Department sat on documents. Turns out those emails and papers show that the Obama administration deliberately misled the nation about the deadly events in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012.
Don’t forget how we came to this point. Mrs. Clinton complained in her testimony on Capitol Hill that past Congresses had never made the overseas deaths of U.S. officials a “partisan” issue. That’s because those past deaths had never inspired an administration to concoct a wild excuse for their occurrence, in an apparent attempt to avoid blame for a terror attack in a presidential re-election year. Continue reading
She still defends the invasion as ‘smart power at its best.’ But war backers like Clinton had no plan for securing the country, says ex-Pentagon chief Bob Gates.
by Nancy A. Youssef • The Daily Beast
Clinton will be peppered with queries about why she kept a private email server, what caused the 2012 attacks on the U.S. special consulate in Benghazi, and how come U.S. forces didn’t respond more quickly to the strikes. But the really important issues—the questions longstanding followers of the U.S. and NATO intervention want answered—are: Why did Hillary Clinton push for strikes that contributed to the fall of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi? And why didn’t the Obama administration bother to plan for the all-too-predictable chaos that came next?
In 2011, as the United States considered intervention, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was among those who pushed for intervention—without resolving just how Libya would be governed after Gaddafi, according to a senior defense official who was part of the decision-making process. Continue reading
The Clinton-McCarthy spat is a shame. Trey Gowdy has led a model search for the truth.
by Kimberley A. Strassel • Wall Street Journal
Kevin McCarthy unexpectedly withdrew from the House speaker’s race on Thursday, a casualty of a fractured Republican conference. The Californian didn’t do much to inspire confidence last week when he suggested that the House Benghazi committee had been designed to attack Hillary Clinton.
One pity of the McCarthy comments is that they tainted the committee’s work with politics. The bigger pity is that they are dead wrong. South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy is 18 months into the committee that the House purpose-built to investigate the 2012 terrorist assault in Libya that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. His Benghazi investigation has been a model of seriousness, professionalism and discreetness.
The statistics alone bear this out. The committee has so far reviewed 50,000 new pages of documents. Less than 5% have anything to do with Mrs. Clinton’s work as secretary of state. It has interviewed 51 witnesses. Forty-one of those were brand-new—no committee had bothered to speak with them before, though seven were eyewitnesses to the attack. Continue reading
Once a proud moment, the U.S. military intervention in Libya continues to haunt candidate Clinton.
by Michael Hirsh & Jeff Bartholet • Politico Magazine
Hillary Clinton tried to turn the page with her most recent campaign kick-off rally. She confidently laid out her claim to the presidency at her Roosevelt Island campaign rally, even as she conceded: “Lord knows I’ve made my share of mistakes. And there’s no shortage of people pointing them out.”
This week, one of those mistakes—perhaps her biggest and certainly her most politically potent one—will be front-and-center yet again when her longtime confidant and vast-right-wing-conspiracy whisperer, Sidney Blumenthal, testifies before a congressional oversight committee that is digging through what even Clinton has admitted was the No. 1 “regret” of her tenure as secretary of state: the unanticipated attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that left the U.S. ambassador dead. Continue reading
by Stephen Collinson • CNN
Hillary Clinton has another Libya problem.
She’s already grappling with the political headaches from deleted emails and from the terror attack that left four Americans dead in Benghazi.
But she’ll face a broader challenge in what’s become of the North African country since, as secretary of state in 2011, she was the public face of the U.S. intervention to push out its longtime strongman, Moammar Gadhafi.
Libya’s lapse into the chaos of failed statehood has provided a breeding ground for terror and a haven for groups such as ISIS. Its plight is also creating an opening for Republican presidential candidates to question Clinton’s strategic acumen and to undermine her diplomatic credentials, which will be at the center of her pitch that only she has the global experience needed to be president in a turbulent time. Continue reading
Is Barack Obama’s presidency imploding? Al Qaeda is resurging. Iraq is disintegrating. And now we may look to Iran to help us stop it. Iran – a terrorist regime responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans. What could possibly go wrong? We have drawn red lines in Syria we refuse to enforce. We stood by as Russia ceased part of Ukraine. And now we are releasing top Taliban leaders as the Afghanistan war is still going. Not to worry, they tell us Cutter’s gonna watch ’em. For a year. We hope. Domestically, we have a president who has lost the trust of the American people by repeatedly misleading them. He bypasses Congress, the people’s representatives, on matters ranging from Obamacare to immigration law, to the point where one of the most respected liberal law professors in the country has called our president “the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid”. The American public overwhelmingly regrets Obamacare. Our veterans are dying waiting to see doctors. The IRS intimidates conservative groups. The southern border is compared to a sieve. And the president assures us not to worry – smiling, golfing, and, at this very moment, partying with fashion queen Anna Wintour. Because the fundraising never stops – not when four Americans died at Benghazi and not when Baghdad is at the brink.
When President Obama took the oath of office in January 2009, he became the leader of the world’s greatest military power, and the nation that more than any other in history represented a beacon of freedom and opportunity. In June of 2009, he travelled to Cairo to proclaim “a new beginning” in America’s dealings with other nations, including especially those of the Islamic world. Barely nine months later, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize amid immense praise and adulation for his idealism. The chairman of the Nobel judges panel said of Obama’s selection that “we have not given the prize for what may happen in the future. We are awarding Obama for what he has done in the past year.” Continue reading
Why the House continues to investigate.
NBC News’s Chuck Todd, speaking on MSNBC Tuesday morning, contended that the newly formed House select committee investigating Benghazi was likely to rehash familiar arguments and miss broader issues worth discussing:
It certainly looks more partisan than it looks like a serious inquiry. They’ve done a ton of these inquiries already, the House has. There’s been a Senate Intelligence investigation. Forget just the State Department. I think you could argue that yes, Congress should have done what it did, which is go through some of these committees. But as for the need for the select committee — you know, I’ll hear from Republicans that say, ‘But there are unanswered questions!’ Well, no, all the questions have been answered. There’s just some people that don’t like the answers, that wish the answers were somehow more conspiratorial, I guess.
Their focus seems to be off. Have a conversation about the policy. Have a debate, an investigation into whether the policy is working; to whether the response to the Arab Spring, whether we did the right thing with the light footprint in Libya. But to sit here and investigate talking points seems to be totally missing the larger point here. It’s like investigating who cut down one tree in a forest that’s been burned down.”
Todd is half-right that there are broader issues worth examining. But there is good reason for Republicans to believe that full answers have been withheld, and Americans have seen little or no real accountability for a largely preventable outrage. Continue reading
At last, we have a Benghazi scandal that Democrats are willing to acknowledge — House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to form a select committee to investigate the administration’s handling of the 2012 terror attack in Libya.
This has been the occasion for outrage that Democrats haven’t been able to summon for any aspect of Benghazi to this point, including the lax security at the compound.
The Democrats and their allies are in denial. They think the Republican notion of a scandal is a complete hoax. Yes, a mistake was made here or there, but otherwise, nothing to see here. Continue reading
The comparison reflects poorly on the Obama Administration and the facts show an important difference – which reflects poorly on Obama himself.
The Benghazi investigation should go forward but with knowledge that it will face heavy partisan and media pushback.
Democrats will argue—they already are—that with the country in crisis the attention of Congress should be turned to addressing the issue that weighs most on the public mind: a bad economy with the very top flourishing while the middle is stuck, stressed and sinking. Continue reading
The testimony laid bare uncomfortable facts.
BRIG. GEN. ROBERT LOVELL (RET.): This was a hostile action. This was no demonstration gone terribly awry.
HERRIDGE: Retired Brigadier General Robert Lovell, a deputy intelligence director for the Africa Command testified that seven hours into the Benghazi assault, at their command post in Germany, they knew there was no connection to a protest or an Internet video. Continue reading