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
When Hillary Clinton appears before Congress’s special committee on Benghazi Thursday, she’ll likely be asked all the wrong questions.
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
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
For President Obama, caution in the defense of liberty is no vice, and militarism in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
Obama didn’t come to Asia to paraphrase Barry Goldwater’s acceptance speech at the 1964 Republican National Convention. But he did after growing frustrated with recent editorial criticism portraying his foreign policy as weak and naive.
It started in Seoul, where Obama faced a second day of questions from reporters in Japan and South Korea about his commitment to defend these allies in the face of Chinese and North Korean military muscle-flexing. Continue reading
by Stephen F. Hayes
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed last summer by Judicial Watch, the Obama administration last week released 41 documents related to the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. An email from the deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, has received most of the attention. In it, Rhodes laid out four goals for Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who would be appearing on five Sunday talk shows 36 hours later. “To convey that the United States is doing everything that we can to protect our people and facilities abroad; To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy; To show that we will be resolute in bringing people who harm Americans to justice, and standing steadfast through these protests; To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”
The Judicial Watch documents also included White House talking points for Rice, with possible questions and answers she might provide to meet the goals set out by Rhodes. These new White House talking points included a broad discussion of the Arab Spring and its challenges, as well as several specific references to the attacks in Benghazi—a mention of Ambassador Chris Stevens, a question on Benghazi intelligence, and a separate section under the header “Benghazi.”
Barack Obama’s 949-word response Monday to a question about foreign policy weakness showed the president at his worst: defensive, irritable, contradictory and at times detached from reality. It began with a complaint about negative coverage on Fox News, when, in fact, it was the New York Times’ front page that featured Obama’s foreign policy failures, most recently the inability to conclude a trade agreement with Japan and the collapse of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Middle East negotiations.
Add to this the collapse of not one but two Geneva conferences on Syria, American helplessness in the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine and the Saudi king’s humiliating dismissal of Obama within two hours of talks — no dinner — after Obama made a special 2,300-mile diversion from Europe to see him, and you have an impressive litany of serial embarrassments. Continue reading
Nearly one year after the Benghazi terror attack, questions remain unanswered and the investigation incomplete, says Virginia Republican Rep. Frank Wolf.
Even with six different committees looking into aspects of the attack and the response by the Obama State Department, “The Congress, as of this moment, has failed to carry out its oversight responsibility,” Wolf told The Daily Caller.
The solution, he said, is a single “select committee” with the authority and resources to get to the bottom of the U.S. government’s inept response.
The public still has not learned why help was not sent to the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, to rescue Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Ty Woods, Sean Smith and Glen Doherty.
See video below.
In the beginning, the Hebrew Bible tells us, the universe was all “tohu wabohu,” chaos and tumult. This month the Middle East seems to be reverting to that primeval state: Iraq continues to unravel, the Syrian War grinds on with violence spreading to Lebanon and allegations of chemical attacks this week, and Egypt stands on the brink of civil war with the generals crushing the Muslim Brotherhood and street mobs torching churches. Turkey’s prime minister, once widely hailed as President Obama’s best friend in the region, blames Egypt’s violence on the Jews; pretty much everyone else blames it on the U.S.
The Obama administration had a grand strategy in the Middle East. It was well intentioned, carefully crafted and consistently pursued.
Unfortunately, it failed. Continue reading
by George Landrith
Obama is in trouble in the polls. His veneer of invincibility is gone. Team Obama spent $150 million over the past five months to make Romney appear unacceptable. In 90 minutes, Romney went straight to the American public and proved all those slick ads wrong. Now Obama’s allies in the media are despondent.
The next presidential debate will focus on foreign policy. Only a month ago, that would have been welcome news to the Obama campaign. Foreign policy was his strength – at least that is what they said at the convention in Charlotte.
But now there are serious allegations of a cover-up surrounding the security debacle in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the destruction of the American consulate and the tragic assassination of four American diplomats. Continue reading
Weeks before the presidential election, President Barack Obama’s administration faces mounting opposition from within the ranks of U.S. intelligence agencies over what career officers say is a “cover up” of intelligence information about terrorism in North Africa.