We learned five things at Hillary Clinton’s testimony on Capitol Hill last week regarding the Benghazi attack:
1. She takes responsibility for the matter.
2. She gets a lot of communications via cable (over a million per year), and she can’t possibly read them all.
3. Congress won’t give her the funding she needs.
4. If the administration blew smoke at the American people, it doesn’t make any difference. After all, she didn’t do it.
5. She’s not really responsible for the matter.
Actually, I think we really only learned one thing last week, and that is that our questions about the Benghazi attack will never be answered.
During the second Presidential debate last Fall, Mitt Romney brought the Benghazi issue up, specifically charging that “it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.” Obama was offended that Romney would make such a charge. Here are some excerpts from PolitiFact on the exchange:
Obama had bristled at the idea that his administration had played politics with the attack. He called the suggestion “offensive”.
Obama: “The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened — that this was an act of terror — and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime.”
Romney: “I think interesting the president just said something, which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.”
Obama: “That’s what I said.”
Romney: “You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you’re saying?”
Obama: “Please proceed, governor.”
Romney: “I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.”
Obama: “Get the transcript.”
We went to the transcript, and the president has a point. On September 12, the day after the attack, in the Rose Garden, Obama condemned the attack and said, “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation”…
…However, in the days that followed, the White House spokesman and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations suggested that the attack seemed to have taken advantage of a demonstration over an American-made video that disparaged Islam.
On Sept. 13, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “The protests we’re seeing around the region are in reaction to this movie. They are not directly in reaction to any policy of the United States or the government of the United States or the people of the United States.”
The next day, a State Department spokeswoman said, “We are very cautious about drawing any conclusions with regard to who the perpetrators were, what their motivations were, whether it was premeditated.” But she ended with this: “Obviously, there are plenty of people around the region citing this disgusting video as something that has been motivating.”
On Sept. 16, five days after the attack, Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said, “We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.”
On Sept. 20, Carney told reporters, “It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. Our embassy was attacked violently, and the result was four deaths of American officials.”
But that same day, Obama told an audience at a town hall meeting, “What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.”
It wasn’t until Sept. 21 that everyone in the administration as a whole stated publicly that the attack was planned and executed by a terrorist group.
Throughout all of this, Ben Stein was incredulous. He wrote this on September 16th:
Incredibly, Jay Carney, White House spokesman, is spinning a complete fairy tale that the Islamists really like America and Mr. Obama. The murderers are just upset about a movie trailer that came out months ago. How stupid do they think we Americans are? If Mr. Obama really believes (this), he belongs in a straitjacket. If not, his spokesman is the biggest fantasist of all time.
For my part, I can only conclude that the Obama Administration tried to give a giant snow job to the American people, and that they did so because what really happened in Benghazi didn’t fit their narrative. The war on terror was over. Bin Laden was dead. That’s all they wanted us to know, especially in the midst of a re-election campaign.
And their narrative now? The President was re-elected and we’ve all moved on. What difference does it make now, anyway?
If we can’t even get any answers on the snow job we were treated to, it’s an absolute certainty we’ll never know what happened (or didn’t happen) relative to the attack itself.