WASHINGTON, May 12, 2014 — Amid much discussion about the emails and the talking points memos that indicate a deliberate attempt to deceive America and Congress in the days immediately following the terror attacks in Libya on September 11, 2012, one subject has not received the attention it warrants: That is the now obvious efforts of Hillary Clinton to stage her own exoneration in the Benghazi betrayal.
While Democrats have labeled the formation of a new House Select Committee to investigate the management of Benghazi before, during and after the terror attack that left Ambassador Chris Stevens dead, with 3 other Americans, “a political ploy,” a “stunt,” a “sham,” a “waste of taxpayer dollars”and a blatantly political and partisan effort,”the real stunt and sham is the blatantly political cover up staged by Hillary Clinton on January 23rd, 2013.
Hillary Clinton, in the accounting of the Benghazi betrayal, is stark naked, without the cover of the one contrivance she engineered to hide behind, during her testimony before House and Senate committees in 2013; the ‘Accountability Review Board’, or as she most often referred to it in her non-responsive answers, the “ARB”. This from Clinton’s prepared testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
“Taking responsibility meant moving quickly in those first uncertain hours and days to respond to the immediate crisis and further protect our people and posts in high-threat areas across the region and the world. It meant launching an independent investigation to determine exactly what happened in Benghazi and to recommend steps for improvement.”
The dissembling within this statement is nauseating. In the harsh and unforgiving light of her own definition of “taking responsibility”, Ms.Clinton completely and miserably failed in her duties. In those “first uncertain hours”, no response whatsoever was launched to even attempt to save the Ambassador and his brave would be rescuers. Clinton goes on to employ today’s most popular refuse of scoundrels – false sentiment. “I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.”
We’ve just celebrated Mother’s Day and the moms of the victims of Clinton’s betrayal have yet again another opportunity to reflect on Hillary’s role. One of them, Pat Smith, said:
“Not only that, but she knew at the time that it was wrong what she was telling me,” referring to the administration’s claim that the attacks were instigated by a YouTube video. “I want the whole world to know it: she lied to my face, and you don’t want this person to be president.”
To imagine Clinton being elevated to the presidency, when she made an abject failure of her obligations at State, is to contemplate an annihilation of decency, threatening to eclipse even the standards of illegitimate power that Barack Obama has established. Her performance at those hearings is a model of deception, insincerity and dancing around the truth of her role in the deaths caused by her dereliction, negligence and wanton disregard. And that’s if the “oops, my bad” narrative holds up to the scrutiny of further revelations. If it doesn’t, we’re looking at something different, something almost too horrible to imagine.
State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said of the ARB’s work: “We think that we’ve done an independent investigation, that it’s been transparent, thorough, credible, and detailed, and … we’ve shared those findings with the U.S. Congress.”
“Transparent, thorough, credible and detailed”? Impossible – it is a near complete whitewash. Clinton’s role in the treasonous sequence of events is nowhere in the report and the four mid level State Department officials who were chosen to be the targets of the report’s timid assessment of negligence, were only temporarily suspended and then brought back into the agency upon John Kerry’s assumption of Clinton’s job. Darrell Issa frames it thusly:
“The haphazard decision to place the four officials cited by the ARB on paid administrative leave created the appearance that former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s decision to announce action against the individuals named in the ARB report was more of a public relations strategy than a measured response to a tragedy,”
In Ms.Clinton’s responses to both committees, the tactic she and her handlers devised was to parrot the ‘findings’ of the ARB, rather than to actually provide real answers. Not surprisingly, Clinton was incommunicado on the entire subject of Benghazi, until the ARB report was published and then she rehearsed its contents for the purpose of obfuscating and pettifogging. She did a lot of pettifogging at the hearings.
“The [Accountability Review Board] made very clear that the level of responsibility for the failures that they outlined was set at the assistant secretary level and below.”
That’s an interesting turn of a phrase, “was set”. Translate that to mean, Hillary’s role in the betrayal was never a subject of question. Madam Secretary has fall guys and fall gals to avoid taking the personal hit. This renders her comment, “I take responsibility. I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts” as absolutely cynical and entirely meaningless. In fact, she followed that up with “I’ll take responsibility but it’s not my fault”. Of course not, after all, your job, Madam Secretary, wasn’t a serious one, it was just a political payoff from Barack Obama.
But even so, Hillary has a problem. She lied to committee members during the hearings in January. The House committees on Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, Judiciary, and Oversight & Government Reform issued an interim progress report, based on the paper trail they had to pry from the Obama administration with a crowbar. One of the findings –
“Reductions of security levels prior to the attacks in Benghazi were approved at the highest levels of the State Department, up to and including [former] Secretary [of State Hillary] Clinton. This fact contradicts her testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23, 2013.”
The so called Accountability Review Board as a name for a fact finding group, is an oxymoron. There was no accountability with regards to Ms.Clinton, nor was their ever any intention of such an outcome. In fact, Hillary Clinton was not interviewed by the ‘investigators’ who prepared the report and is only mentioned one time, and then only in the context of her having commissioned it. Neither was her boss, Barack Obama or DefSec Leon Panetta. Why? Mainly because the ARB was a creation of Madam Secretary herself and stacked with sycophants rather than disinterested individuals hungry for the truth wherever it might lead. As the ARB report was in development, staffers brought copies of the draft up to the ‘7th Floor’ for Madam Secretary to review – and to no doubt red line if necessary.
Clinton, admitted to the Senate that she appointed the ARB. “I also appointed the Accountability Review Board led by Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen so that we could more fully understand what went wrong and how to fix it.” Imagine for a moment, a CEO of a Fortune 100 corporation going in front of an executive board, after presiding over an incredibly treacherous abdication of duty and telling them all is well because she or he picked a panel of her subordinates and cronies “so that we could more fully understand what went wrong and how to fix it.” Of course, with bonuses having been handed out to executives at Goldman Sachs and AIG after being rescued by TARP bailouts, perhaps credulity can be stretched to such an extent.
Thomas Pickering, who chaired the State Department’s official inquiry, said his panel concluded Clinton’s performance was appropriate: “We did look at her role. We thought that she conducted her meetings and activities responsibly and well.”
First of all – what?!!!! Are you kidding? But secondly, what about Pickering and the rest of the ARB, that Hillary uses as a shield between her and the truth? As Maggie’s Notebook, points out, Bill Clinton appointed Pickering to U.S. Ambassador to Russia. He was the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 1997 – 2001.
Admiral Mike Mullen is a problem as well. “An order to stand down was never given.”, Mullen is quoted as declaring. There’s a problem here. Either Mullen is lying or General Carter Ham, the Combatant Commander of Africa’s Command (AFRICOM) and General Martin Dempsey, now Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are. Front Page Magazine reports that Generals Dempsey and Ham are now both on record as saying that the forces were available, but did not get used. This is confirmed by GOP Congressman Jason Chaffetz. General Ham told Chaffetz that the forces were available, but that no order to use them was given. If Mullen is acting as a water carrier for the Obama administration, how can his role – likely nominal only, in the ARB report be taken seriously?
As many hazards as exist for Hillary Clinton in the revelations of ginned up talking points about spontaneous protests, spurred by a film so bad that it was funny – more rat traps lurk in the details of her callous disregard before and during the attack on September 11th, 2012. We’re only one CIA or State Department whistleblower away from discovering that the deaths of Ambassador Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith and two CIA operatives, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods both former Navy Seals.