In the aftermath of the 800 page report by the Republican-led panel which investigated the attack on Benghazi, the sister of Ambassador Chris Stevens — one of the four American casualties from the September 11, 2012 attack on a compound in Benghazi, Libya — says that the fault does not lie with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Dr. Anne Stevens spoke to the New Yorker, and said, in part:
It is clear, in hindsight, that the facility was not sufficiently protected by the State Department and the Defense Department. But what was the underlying cause? Perhaps if Congress had provided a budget to increase security for all missions around the world, then some of the requests for more security in Libya would have been granted. Certainly the State Department is underbudgeted.
I do not blame Hillary Clinton or Leon Panetta. They were balancing security efforts at embassies and missions around the world. And their staffs were doing their best to provide what they could with the resources they had. The Benghazi Mission was understaffed. We know that now. But, again, Chris knew that. It wasn’t a secret to him. He decided to take the risk to go there. It is not something they did to him. It is something he took on himself.
Dr. Stevens went on to say about Hillary Clinton, “She has taken full responsibility, being head of the State Department, for what occurred. She took measures to respond to the review board’s recommendations. She established programs for a better security system.
“But it is never going to be perfect,” she admitted to The New Yorker. “I don’t see any usefulness in continuing to criticize her. It is very unjust.”
The more than 800-page report paints a picture of a perfect storm of bureaucratic inertia, rapidly worsening security in Libya and inadequate resources in the months that led up to the killings of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three colleagues on September 11, 2012.
The attack was initially thought to be perpetrated by an angry mob responding to a video made in the U.S. mocking Islam and the Prophet Mohammed, but the assault was later determined to be a terrorist attack — a finding Republicans accused the White House of covering up to protect President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects.
The House Benghazi Committee report doesn’t directly blame Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time and is now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, for the attacks. But it does suggest she and other administration officials did not adequately address the risks involved. It also found Stevens himself bore responsibility for securing his post.
At the end of the day, House Republicans were unable to actually pin blame on Hillary Clinton for the attack. The most they could attach to Clinton was that she should have realized the situation in Libya was dangerous from available intelligence.
I’m guessing they mean that in the same way that President George W. Bush “should” have been able to avoid 9/11 after intelligence reports were available saying “Bin Laden Determined To Strike In US?”
Oddly, I don’t recall House Republicans holding investigations into Dubya’s culpability.
The Republican-run Congress spent more time investigating Benghazi than both 9/11 and the Iraq War combined, and yet thousands more Americans died in those conflicts.
Legendary journalist Dan Rather posted this on Facebook regarding Hillary Clinton’s testimony this week at a Congressional hearing investigating the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi:
Hillary Clinton has done a lot in her life. But I think she likely cleared her path to the Democratic nomination for president, and maybe very well the Oval Office itself, by what she didn’t do. She didn’t lose her cool.
Her performance in a grueling marathon of a Congressional hearing on Benghazi (or more accurately on Clinton herself and maybe Sidney Blumenthal?) was one of poise, stoicism, self-confidence and maturity. Just the sort of attributes her questioners lacked. In the language of poker, she was drawing aces and the committee was drawing deuces. They might not admit it publicly, but even many Republican leaders know it’s true. Hillary Clinton is a stronger general election candidate today than she was before the hearing.
It has often been said that you vote for president with your heart more than your head. And I think for all the questions about Clinton’s record among the Democratic base, whether she is progressive enough on economic issues or too hawkish on foreign policy, the real sense of unease boiled down to intangible questions about her personality, values and character.
Yesterday assuaged many of those concerns. When combined with her recent debate performance and Biden deciding not to run, this is arguably one of the best stretches of her political career. Where are all those whither Hillary articles now? It is still early and a lot can still go wrong, but I believe this is the Hillary Clinton that so many Democrats wanted to love – tough, smart, unflappable, a woman who is ready to be president.
In advance of her upcoming appearance before a Congressional hearing regarding questions about the use of a private email server, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has released this spot highlighting her many accomplishments.
The video is a virtual “sizzle reel” of her work at the State Department that includes endorsements and testimonials from Cabinet officials and other high level politicos praising Clinton’s diplomatic work.
According to the Washington Post, the campaign will also organize public appearances and outreach by prominent surrogates to make a case this week that Clinton’s four years as secretary of state are anything but a liability.
It’s worth noting that although she left the State department with approval ratings well into the high 60%, Donald Trump (who previous to his own campaign praised her) now calls her tenure a disaster.
A few weeks ago, House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy accidentally revealed that the GOP focus of the congressional committee “investigating” the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi is actually on bringing down Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy.
Now, another GOP lawmaker, Rep. Richard Hanna of Central New York, has admitted the same during a radio interview.
“This may not be politically correct, but I think that there was a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people – an individual: Hillary Clinton,” Hanna said in a live interview with Utica radio station WIBX (950 AM).
Clinton’s campaign responded, “Yet another House Republican has admitted the House Select Committee on Benghazi is a politically motivated sham intended to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.”
In September, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talked about the success of the committee’s investigation in hurting Clinton’s poll numbers. McCarthy later said he misspoke.
A former staffer for the Benghazi committee came forward this past weekend and claimed that the panel’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., fired him for not keeping the investigation focused on Clinton.
“Kevin McCarthy basically blew himself up with that comment over the Benghazi committee,” Hanna said, adding, “Sometimes the biggest sin you can commit in D.C. is to tell the truth.”