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.”
PBS covered the Republican convention for three hours of prime time on Monday night, in association with its pubcasting buddies at NPR. But they were allergic to showing any Hillary-scandal films that were offered on the convention floor. As a mini-documentary ran about Benghazi, PBS anchors Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff clumsily talked over it, and NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson had a wide-eyed freakout at what she claimed was a historically “intense animus” against an opposing candidate.
GWEN IFILL: Mara Liasson, why is it that this Benghazi episode gets so much attention? Why does it resonate, as it is tonight with the crowd?
MARA LIASSON: This is something that really for a lot of Republicans, and Hillary Clinton opponents, kind of crystallizes the worst thing about her, that she caused the deaths of these, of these soldiers and other personnel. I don’t know if Mark remembers a time when so much intense animus has been directed at the opposing candidate. This strikes me as being pretty intense. Continue reading
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 Jazz Shaw • Hot Air
The GOP primary has probably been the best thing to happen to Hillary Clinton in years. There was a period of time during the spring and early summer of last year when it seemed as if nobody could talk about anything except Hillary’s emails and the various investigations into the horrible events at Benghazi. You couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting some story about the former Secretary of State being corrupt, deceptive or just plain lying. (Ah… good times, my friends.) But then the Republican race heated up, our candidates began flinging monkey poo at each other, several parts of the western world caught fire and most of the discussions of Hillary seemed to fade into the past.
Not entirely, however. Our friend Jeff Dunetz has a great story over at his place to kick off the year and it deals with a recent Q&A that Clinton did with the editorial board of the Conway Daily Sun. In it, the editors asked her some rather pointed questions about the initial response to the Benghazi attacks and why she told one group of people one story while singing another tune entirely for others. 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
by Catherine Herridge • Fox News
Three months after Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email address and server while secretary of state was referred to the FBI, an intelligence source familiar with the investigation tells Fox News that the team is now focused on whether there were violations of an Espionage Act subsection pertaining to “gross negligence” in the safekeeping of national defense information.
Under 18 USC 793 subsection F, the information does not have to be classified to count as a violation. The intelligence source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity citing the sensitivity of the ongoing probe, said the subsection requires the “lawful possession” of national defense information by a security clearance holder who “through gross negligence,” such as the use of an unsecure computer network, permits the material to be removed or abstracted from its proper, secure location.
Subsection F also requires the clearance holder “to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer. “A failure to do so “shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.” Continue reading
by David Martosko • Daily Mail Online
Separately, the law’s text makes a criminal of any security clearance holder who fails to notify his or her ‘superior officer’ when a breach of security occurs through such negligence.
‘If investigators conclude that the former secretary [Clinton] was criminally careless in how she approached the security of the sensitive documents in her possession, then this part of the law could be used to prosecute her,’ the agent said, on condition of anonymity. Continue reading
by Matt Apuzzo and Michael S. Scmidt • New York Times
“I don’t think it posed a national security problem,” Mr. Obama said Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” He said it had been a mistake for Mrs. Clinton to use a private email account when she was secretary of state, but his conclusion was unmistakable: “This is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.”
Those statements angered F.B.I. agents who have been working for months to determine whether Mrs. Clinton’s email setup did in fact put any of the nation’s secrets at risk, according to current and former law enforcement officials. 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
by John Kass • Chicago Tribune
Can you pick just one?
She’s the inevitable Democratic presidential candidate even though 60 percent of Americans consider her a liar. So her pants suits are always on fire, and only a Hillary Meat Puppet would say otherwise.
Yet rather than criticize her — like those other men who just don’t get it — I’d like to celebrate her amazing truth-bending superpowers.
We’ve had males in high office who were great liars, like her husband. So why can’t we have an awesome female liar, say a shrewd Mistress of Big Fat Whoppers? 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