Hillary and Benghazi: The disgraceful truth

Last night in an interview with CNN’s Elise Labott, Hillary Clinton took the buck away from CinC Barack Obama and announced that the Benghazi fiasco was her responsibility. As many of you know, I’ve long thought that had Hillary been the one answering that 3:00 AM call, the nation would have been better served. But she wasn’t and she didn’t and her willingness to throw herself on a grenade for Obama doesn’t reflect as much good on her as it does ill on the president of the United States. Why? Not because she’s a woman and a real man doesn’t let a woman take the blame. Please. In this day and age? Rather, it is because after having quoted Harry S. Truman about buck stopping, this is the president’s mess. Period.

Let’s be clear about Benghazi. *^&* happens. People are killed in the line of duty. Sometimes governments miss signals, turn their backs, screw up. Having lived in Washington this long, I know it’s true. And had the Obama team stepped up on day two, clarified their earlier pronouncements (The video! The video!), admitted this was a colossal, tragic disaster and that there would be an investigation, there’s every chance the story would have gone away. Instead, official after official doubled down on the lies, buttressed the lies with the arrest of the film-maker, ran what we can only label as loony ads in Pakistan against the film, sent the feckless Susan Rice out to shill the lies and then poured oil on the fire by lying about the lies (What demonstration? What video?). They serially blamed anyone who wasn’t in the room (the CIA, the State Department, the Libyans, Waldo).

What’s at the root of it all? Some have speculated that the administration is hiding the fact that Stevens was killed with US weapons. What? We didn’t ship weapons to Libya. The disgraceful truth is that Obama and his coterie of praetorians are lying for political reasons. They want the I-killed-bin-Laden-al-Qaeda-is-on-its-heels meme to stick. But it won’t. They didn’t lie to protect sources and methods nor to maintain the sanctity of their belated investigation. They lied to protect Barack Obama’s political future. And because they lied, his political future is in jeopardy.

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About the Author

 

Danielle
Pletka

  • As a long-time Senate Committee on Foreign Relation senior professional staff member for the Near East and South Asia, Danielle Pletka was the point person on Middle East, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan issues. As the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at AEI, Pletka writes on national security matters with a focus on Iran and weapons proliferation, the Middle East, Syria, Israel and the Arab Spring. She also studies and writes about South Asia: Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.


    Pletka is the co-editor of “Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats” (AEI Press, 2008) and the co-author of “Containing and Deterring a Nuclear Iran” (AEI Press, 2011) and “Iranian influence in the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan” (AEI Press, 2012). Her most recent study, “America vs. Iran: The competition for the future of the Middle East,” was published in January 2014.


     


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    Email: dpletka@aei.org
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