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GOP Swings And Misses At Clinton Benghazi Hearings

Clinton Testifies On Benghazi Attack

Yesterday, after having delayed her appearance due to medical problems in early December that persisted until shortly after Christmas, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared before two Congressional Committees to testify regarding the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of four Americans. Ever since that attack happened, many on the right have attempted to use it to attack the Obama Administration, or in some cases Clinton herself in what some might interpret as a pre-emptive 2016 move. Most of their focus has been upon the rather odd messaging that came from the Administration in the first days after the attack, when spokespersons such as U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice blamed the attacks on protests that had erupted over an anti-Muslim YouTube video. We quickly learned, however, that intelligence within hours of the attack seemed to confirm that this had been a coordinated pre-arranged attack and, indeed, that there had not even been any protests in Benghazi on the day of the attack. Since then, an independent review conducted for the State Department has confirmed that there were serious lapses by the people responsible for embassy security, and that warnings about the dangerous situation in Benghazi by Ambassador Chris Stevens were largely ignored.

In the end, though, the political significance of the Benghazi incident appears to be rather minimal. The Romney campaign attempted to make an issue out of it during the Presidential campaign, only to see that meme blow up in their case. And, yesterday, Secretary Clinton effectively blunted the Republican Senators and Congressman who went after her:

WASHINGTON — In one of her final appearances as secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday vigorously defended her handling of last September’s attack on the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans and prompted a scathing review of State Department procedures.

“As I have said many times, I take responsibility, and nobody is more committed to getting this right,” she said, reading a statement during a day of testimony before Senate and House committees. “I am determined to leave the State Department and our country safer, stronger and more secure.”

But Mrs. Clinton, whose appearance before Congress had been postponed since December because of illness, quickly departed from the script. She jousted with Republican lawmakers over who deserved blame for the security problems at the compound, and choked up as she described being at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington when the bodies of the Americans killed in the assault arrived from Libya.

“I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews,” she said. “I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.”

The continuing controversy over the attack, which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, has cast a cloud over Mrs. Clinton’s final months at the State Department. It also has enormous political implications for Mrs. Clinton, the former New York senator who is already regarded as the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination if she chooses to run. It was the first time she had faced extensive questioning about her role in the episode.

In essence, Mrs. Clinton’s approach was to accept the responsibility for security lapses in Benghazi but not the blame.

“I feel responsible for the nearly 70,000 people who work for the State Department,” Mrs. Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the morning. “But the specific security requests pertaining to Benghazi, you know, were handled by the security professionals in the department. I didn’t see those requests. They didn’t come to me. I didn’t approve them. I didn’t deny them.”

When the question of her role was taken up again in the afternoon hearing by Representative Ed Royce, the California Republican who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Mrs. Clinton acknowledged that she had been briefed on a series of events that indicated that security in Benghazi was deteriorating in the months before the attack. They included the placement of a bomb at the outer wall of the compound in June and an ambush that month on the British ambassador.

But she said she had gone along with a recommendation from subordinates that the Benghazi post be kept open and assumed that they would take the necessary steps to protect it.

(…)

One of the sharpest exchanges of the day came when Mrs. Clinton responded to questions from Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, by saying there was too much focus on how the Benghazi attack had been characterized in its early hours and not enough on how to prevent a recurrence. Republicans have repeatedly charged that Obama administration officials deliberately played down the attack, focusing much of their criticism on Susan E. Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations and once Mr. Obama’s choice to succeed Mrs. Clinton.

“Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?” Mrs. Clinton said, her voice rising. “It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”

Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, began his questions by saying, “It’s wonderful to see you in good health and as combative as ever,” and then proceeded to complain that she had failed to answer lingering questions.

Mr. McCain asserted that the Obama administration’s aversion to nation-building had precluded it from providing the kind of training and assistance that would have helped the fledgling Libyan government in Tripoli confront growing security threats from militants.

“We did not give them the kind of assistance that would have been necessary to help dismantle these militias that still, to this day, remain a challenge to democracy in Libya,” he said.

Mrs. Clinton responded that Congress had delayed aid to Libya and said she would provide a list of steps that had been taken to train and equip Libyan forces.

A persistent line of questioning by Republican lawmakers concerned the initial comments from Ms. Rice that the attack might have resulted from a protest, over an anti-Islamic video, that spun out of control.

Mrs. Clinton defended Ms. Rice even as she appeared to distance herself from Ms. Rice’s comments. “I told the American people that heavily armed militants assaulted our compound, and I vowed to bring them to justice,” Mrs. Clinton said.

David Weigel contends that the GOP largely failed in its efforts “get” Clinton:

All congressional hearings are invitations for preening, showboating, and not-a-question-but-a-comment speeches. The grilling of Hillary Clinton was worse: a repetitive series of losing rematches, of Republicans asking questions that had been asked and answered and asked and answered. They coaxed one new piece of information from her, but they didn’t seem to notice, as their press offices once again tried to shame her for ever suggesting that the Benghazi attack grew out of protests against an anti-Islam video.

What was the one good question? Rep. Tom Cotton, one of the most-hyped members of the GOP’s freshman class, reminded Clinton that a Benghazi suspect had been let go by Tunisia. The United States provided intelligence that helped lead to Ali Harzi; the new regime in Tunisia let him go. Cotton asked Clinton whether that concerned her; she said it didn’t. He’d touched on something primal about the Obama administration’s approach to foreign policy in the post-Arab Spring Middle East.

Vanishingly few Republicans decided to pick up that thread. In the Senate and the House, most Republicans asked Clinton to explain—one more time, please—why the administration didn’t respond quickly to the attacks, why it hadn’t fired the State officials who screwed up, and why Susan Rice had gone on five Sunday shows and “blamed a video” for the attacks.

If you were a cynic, you wondered whether the inquisitors were basing this on the internal investigation or on the juiciest media reports from last year. Rice “went on TV talking about a demonstration that never happened,” according to Texas Rep. Michael McCaul. “Susan Rice said,” according to Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, “and I quote, ‘What happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video.’ ” But that wasn’t the full quote. Brooks excised Rice’s caveat that this was the “best information that we have available to us today,” and her conclusion that “what we think then transpired in Benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding.”

Every time Clinton got the question, she could repeat herself: There was an ongoing investigation, the attack occurred while protests were building outside other embassies, and she was not a fan of Sunday shows. Idaho Sen. Jim Risch complimented her, oddly, for saying that the attack was the work of “armed militants”—hadn’t Republicans been complaining that this wasn’t enough and that she needed to call them terrorists? Only Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson got anywhere with the but-seriously-what-about-Susan-Rice query, and this was because Clinton found him so irritating.

“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” she said. “Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?”

Johnson’s exchange, along with another one between Clinton and Senator Rand Paul where Paul said that, had he been President he would have fired her, got much attention yesterday. However, other than some nice partisan sound bites for the respective Senators, it seems unlikely that they’re going to go anywhere. Not only is Clinton leaving office in a matter of days at this point, but it seems fairly clear that the information that came out, while it does reveal serious problems with the issues of outpost security in dangerous nations like Libya, does not point to any serious wrongdoing by the State Department. Several Senators, for example, criticized Clinton for not having specific knowledge about certain cables sent to Foggy Bottom from Libya in the months prior to the attack. As Clinton pointed out, however, the State Department receives well over a million such cables every year and, while they are all addressed to the Secretary of State, they typically end up being sent to Deputy or Assistant Secretaries and other career Foreign Service employees for whom the subject matter of the cable is their area of expertise. It’s their responsibility to take that information to people higher up the chain of command. The fact that this apparently didn’t occur is s a serious problem, of course, and there are four State Department employees currently on leave and in danger of losing their jobs because of that. However, trying to pin responsibility for this on the Secretary of State was always a stretch to being with.

There are still plenty of serious issues surrounding the Benghazi attack that need to be deal with. Primarily ,of course, that includes finding the people responsible for this attack and bringing them to justice. It’s been more than four months since the attack and the only known suspect has been released by a Tunisan Court due to lack of evidence. Additionally, there’s the question of diplomatic security and protecting Americans from attacks like this in the future. Finally, there’s the entire issue about the post-Gaddafi condition of Libya and the political instability that appears to be pouring over its borders and into nations such as Algeria and Mali. Vast swaths of this nation appear to be turning into a roaming ground for terrorists and others. If that’s allowed to continue, then we’re likely to be spending a lot more time paying attention to North Africa than we used to. What Benghazi isn’t, though, is the type of political scandal that the GOP still apparently thinks that it is. It’s time for them to move on.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. mantis says:

    Most of their focus has been upon the rather odd messaging that came from the Administration in the first days after the attack, when spokespersons such as U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice blamed the attacks on protests that had erupted over an anti-Muslim YouTube video.

    You can continue to distort what happened, but we know the truth. It was believed early on that extremists took advantage of the protest situation, and that’s exactly what Rice said. That’s not the same as “blam[ing] the attacks on protests.” The protests may have provided the opportunity the attackers were waiting for.

    Since then, an independent review conducted for the State Department has confirmed that there were serious lapses by the people responsible for embassy security, and that warnings about the dangerous situation in Benghazi by Ambassador Chris Stevens were largely ignored.

    Yes, and this should be the topic of conversation, not all the nonsense about Rice or the grandstanding of senators hoping to appeal to their rabid, outrage-addicted, conspiracy-minded base.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 1

  2. al-Ameda says:

    Johnson’s exchange, along with another one between Clinton and Senator Rand Paul where Paul said that, had he been President he would have fired her, got much attention yesterday. However, other than some nice partisan sound bites for the respective Senators, it seems unlikely that they’re going to go anywhere.

    That, in a nutshell, is it – the reason why these hearings are taking place, and why they will yield nothing but future GOP campaign soundbites.

    If responsible adult legislators want to really find out why and how Benghazi happened, where intelligence might have failed and so forth, then it’s probably going to have to be in a closed session intelligence hearing with a few senators from each party.

    The current crew, with guys like Rand Paul, is incapable of conducting responsible hearings into Meow Mix labeling, let alone Benghazi.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 0

  3. andrew says:

    “There are still plenty of serious issues surrounding the Benghazi attack that need to be dealt with.”

    LOL. I’m sure the media will get right on that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  4. legion says:

    They didn’t just “miss”, they totally shat themselves. McCain and Paul both going on about how “if _I_ were President…” was embarrassingly childish. It’s painfully clear that every Republican at that table sat down thinking they were smarter than Clinton. They were universally proven wrong. Johnson, in particular, is still trying dig himself out of the hole he climbed into at the hearings.

    These people truly are just a bunch of children.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 1

  5. Me Me Me says:

    Rand Paul publicly fantasizing about being President – LOL. 2016 cannot come soon enough for me!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  6. legion says:

    @mantis:

    Yes, and this should be the topic of conversation

    While correct, that conversation will never occur in Congress. Because then it would have to be noted that it was the GOP that cut State Dept requests for security funding…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  7. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    I hope Hillary is the Dems’ nominee in ’16, just to see the look on Repubs’ faces when they realize Obama was the good cop.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

  8. C. Clavin says:

    It wasn’t that they swung and missed on Clinton…although she did kick some Ron Johnson/Tea Party Darling a$$.
    Republicans swung and missed on the entire Benghazi mess. There is just no there, there.
    It’s worth revisiting Colin Powell:

    “Somebody gets killed, something gets blown up. And then the after-action reports start and everybody wants to know who was at fault. Who was responsible? ‘Why didn’t you keep this from happening?’ Well, you can’t keep everything from happening. Benghazi was a very, very difficult one and a difficult situation, and maybe they shouldn’t have been there in the first place.”

    Not a year goes by that our officials overseas are not attacked. Sometimes they escape harm, sometimes they don’t. Bottom-line…It’s a dangerous job. I’m not saying everything was done perfectly by all parties. But to try and make political hay of this is ridiculoous. Especially from the party that had 9.11 happen on it’;s watch, then attacked and occupied Iraq based on the mis-information provided by “Curveball” and manipulated by Cheney.
    I know Tsar and JKB and Indiana Jones are terribly dissappointed by this. But that’s the facts, Jack.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 0

  9. michael reynolds says:

    I told you Rand Paul was nuts. The guy made an ass of himself and came off as a silly, wet-behind-the-ears little egomaniac.There is something just wrong with that boy. Wrong wrong, not just wrong.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 0

  10. C. Clavin says:

    @ Michael Reynolds…
    As someone else typed this morning…
    Just try saying “President Rand Paul” without pi$$ing yourself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    GOP Swings And Misses At Clinton Benghazi Hearings

    Isn’t that strike 3 and they’re out? I say we send them back to the Minors for some remedial batting practice, ’cause these Bush Leaguers are way over their heads.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  12. Rob in CT says:

    What mantis said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  13. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    There is something just wrong with that boy. Wrong wrong, not just wrong.

    I think it starts with his first name.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  14. C. Clavin says:

    Chris Christie would raise a stink…but we probably just ought to name the woman President now and save all the hassle of 2016.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  15. mantis says:

    Kerry called Johnson out today (in his polite way) for demanding answers about Benghazi despite the fact that he skipped the classified briefing at which everything was explained.

    “Well, there was a briefing with tapes, which we all saw, those of us who went to it, which made it crystal clear,” Kerry said. “We sat for several hours with our intel folks, who described to us precisely what we were seeing. We saw the events unfold. We had a very complete and detailed description.”

    It’s a goddamned tragedy that Russ Feingold’s seat has gone to this Tea Party clown. My neighbors to the north can do what they like to their own state, but please stop inflicting these destructive idiots on the rest of the country. If you don’t, Chicago will stop drinking PBR.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  16. Governor Dewey says:

    “Don’t count your chickens…”

    http://allthingsd.com/files/2012/11/dewey-defeats-truman.jpg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. Neil Hudelson says:

    Guys, we haven’t heard the whole story yet.

    Jay Tea Jenos Idanian, can you explain how this all proves something something weakness behind Obama something something Rand Paul showed true courage?

    Thanks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  18. Mike says:

    a hearing that demonstrates why the GOP won’t win the presidency anytime soon. McCain needs to just be put out to pasture. he is just a grumpy, bitter old man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  19. C. Clavin says:

    @ Mantis…
    Generally I agree with you…but sometimes you just go too far.
    Chicago is never going to stop drinking PBR.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. Neil Hudelson says:

    @mantis:

    Isn’t Chicago more of an Old Style town?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  21. Neil Hudelson says:

    And a quick internet search shows me Old Style is made by Pabst. So never mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. rudderpedals says:

    With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?

    Ms. Clinton could have posted this in the comments to half a dozen OTB articles taking on the administration by way of Susan Rice and it would have been fully responsive to the weak complaints about “want(ing) important information” immediately after the event.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. grumpy realist says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Rasputin Imperial Stout or Bust!

    (I admire a stout that makes Guinness look wimpy.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  24. @mantis:

    What part of there were no protests in Benghazi on September 11th don’t you get?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  25. Dave says:

    @mantis:As much as I love my home state it broke my heart that Russ lost his seat to Johnson. Johnson’s entire campaign was run on the slogan “I am not a Washington insider, I have no thoughts on anything, I’ve never heard of Washington.” That said I have seen so called “Chicago Style” politics bring corruption through the democratic ranks in this fair state. In the same vein now that Walker’s campaign staff is brought down one after another on corruption charges, it seems this political style is not based on party affiliation.
    Can’t we focus on the fact that we now have Tammy Baldwin also representing us?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  26. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    New York Times, October 15, 2012:

    To Libyans who witnessed the assault and know the attackers, there is little doubt what occurred: a well-known group of local Islamist militants struck without any warning or protest, and they did it in retaliation for the video. That is what the fighters said at the time, speaking emotionally of their anger at the video without mentioning Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or the terrorist strikes of 11 years earlier. And it is an explanation that tracks with their history as a local militant group determined to protect Libya from Western influence.

    ….The fighters said at the time that they were moved to act because of the video, which had first gained attention across the region after a protest in Egypt that day. The assailants approvingly recalled a 2006 assault by local Islamists that had destroyed an Italian diplomatic mission in Benghazi over a perceived insult to the prophet. In June the group staged a similar attack against the Tunisian Consulate over a different film, according to the Congressional testimony of the American security chief at the time, Eric A. Nordstrom.

    At a news conference the day after the ambassador and three other Americans were killed, a spokesman for Ansar al-Shariah praised the attack as the proper response to such an insult to Islam. “We are saluting our people for this zeal in protecting their religion, to grant victory to the Prophet,” the spokesman said. “The response has to be firm.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/16/world/africa/election-year-stakes-overshadow-nuances-of-benghazi-investigation.html?_r=1&ref=world&pagewanted=all

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  27. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    What part of there were no protests in Benghazi on September 11th don’t you get?

    Well, there was certainly one protest. A violent one.

    What is your point, exactly?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  28. legion says:

    @grumpy realist: That is an awesome brew!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    And we STILL don’t know who decided that Susan Rice should hit all five Sunday talk shows (“A full Ginsburg”) immediately after the Benghazi attack, who provided her with the lying talking points that it was a protest that got out of hand, and who wanted to suppress the fact that it was an Al Qaeda affiliate who killed a US ambassador on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

    But we do know that buying a charging station for Chevy Volts in the US Embassy in Vienna was a bigger priority than security in Benghazi. Also, in 9/11/12, the State Department sent US Marines to defend the US Embassy in that war-torn hell-hole of Barbados…

    Did anyone ask Madame Secretary just who decided that Barbados was a higher priority than somewhere in the Middle East?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  30. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Let me elaborate: the Volt thingie is just stupid. The Barbados thing is grossly stupid.

    But the Rice attempt at a coverup is where heads should roll. As we learned in Watergate, it’s not the crime, it’s the coverup. And we know that no one in the Obama administration wanted to interrupt the “I got Bin Laden” victory laps with news that Al Qaeda was not only still around, but still functional enough to pull off the assassination of a US Ambassador. Especially in Libya, where Obama had illegally sent US forces in to help the rebels overthrow Qadaffi. Say what you want about the Mad Colonel, he would NOT have let the US Ambassador get assassinated in his country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  31. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    AAlso, in 9/11/12, the State Department sent US Marines to defend the US Embassy in that war-torn hell-hole of Barbados…

    Well, was there later an attack in Barbados on that day? There was not. So sending the Marines must have worked.

    Q.E.D.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  32. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “But the Rice attempt at a coverup is where heads should roll.”

    Coverup? I do not think that word means what you think it means….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  33. anjin-san says:

    Interesting that conservatives, so obsessed with finding “the truth” about Benghazi, care not a whit a about the lies we were told in the run up to the Iraq war. Lies that had a somewhat greater cost.

    It could lead one to conclude that they give not a rat’s ass about dead Americans, but that the do care very much about an opportunity to damage Obama. After getting their asses kicked by Obama in two elections, fever dreams of impeachment is all they have left to cling to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  34. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And we STILL don’t know who decided that Susan Rice should hit all five Sunday talk shows (“A full Ginsburg”) immediately after the Benghazi attack, who provided her with the lying talking points that it was a protest that got out of hand, and who wanted to suppress the fact that it was an Al Qaeda affiliate who killed a US ambassador on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

    I’m pretty sure you need to change “we” to “I”, and I am not really sure why you keep bragging about your ignorance and inability to read the widely available news reports.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  35. Rafer Janders says:

    @anjin-san:

    Interesting that conservatives, so obsessed with finding “the truth” about Benghazi, care not a whit a about the lies we were told in the run up to the Iraq war.

    Look, in the case of both 9/11 and the Iraq War it was important that we look forward, not back, not play the blame game, and not waste our time in petty internal disputes that would embolden the enemy, but instead come together as one to face the foe. This is also true of the multiple deadly attacks on US embassies, consulates and other US government installations during the Bush years.

    In the case of Benghazi, the rules are totally reversed! We should look backwards, not forwards, we should play the blame game, and we should not pull together with the President.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  36. Rafer Janders says:

    Still, all joking aside, we should approach the Benghazi attack with the same level of seriousness, attempt to establish responsibility, and concern for loss of American life as the Bush regime would have had. Remember how when a US embassy or consulate was attacked under Bush, there were frequent Congressional hearings, dozens of resignations of high-level officials, and Colin Powell and Condi Rice were always dragged up to Capitol Hill to testify?

    Like in 2002 when the US Consulate in the Karachi, Pakistan, was attacked and ten were killed?

    Or in 2004 when the US Embassy in Uzbekistan was attacked and two were killed and another nine injured?

    Or in 2004, when the US Consulate in Saudi Arabia was stormed and eight lost their lives?

    Or in 2006, when the US Embassy in Syria was attacked and one American was murdered?

    Or in 2007, when the US Embassy in Athens was hit with a grenade attack?

    Or in 2008, when the US Embassy in Serbia was set on fire?

    Or in 2008, when the US Embassy in Yemen was bombed, killing ten?

    Yeah, I don’t remember the hearings, Op-Eds, Sunday shows, Congressional testimony, or demands for resignations, investigations and accountability for any of those attacks either….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  37. jukeboxgrad says:

    Interesting that conservatives, so obsessed with finding “the truth” about Benghazi, care not a whit a about the lies we were told in the run up to the Iraq war. Lies that had a somewhat greater cost.

    Number of lies told: approximately 935. Link:

    President George W. Bush and seven of his administration’s top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

    Cost: approximately $4-6T. Link:

    Iraq war will cost more than World War II … the eventual tab for the United States could reach $4 trillion to $6 trillion.

    That works out to about $5B on a per-lie basis.

    Another fun factoid: given the true ultimate cost of the war, it would have been cheaper to simply hand every Iraqi man, woman and child a check for $120,000. I’m pretty sure that would have been enough to win their hearts and minds, but Halliburton et al would have gotten the short end of the stick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  38. Brummagem Joe says:

    Not only did Republicans fail to lay a glove on her they made themselves look foolish in the process. The two exchanges that got all the coverage made Johnson and Paul look ridiculous and damaged still further the Republican cred on foreign policy. It then became total farce yesterday when the same people were lauding to the skies their own chairman as nominee for SoS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  39. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Let me elaborate: the Volt thingie is just stupid. The Barbados thing is grossly stupid. ”

    In other words, “Let me change the subject… Let’s talk about me! Me me me! Look, I’m changing the subject! Look, I’m making fun of electric cars! See what a bold conservative I am? See how I’m annoying the libs? Pay attention to meeeeeeeeeeee!”

    Really, Hoot, this is among your weakest efforts ever. It’s like you’re not even trying anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  40. legion says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And we STILL don’t know who decided that Susan Rice should hit all five Sunday talk shows (“A full Ginsburg”) immediately after the Benghazi attack, who provided her with the lying talking points that it was a protest that got out of hand, and who wanted to suppress the fact that it was an Al Qaeda affiliate who killed a US ambassador on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

    Well, getting the information available out to as many outlets as possible, for such a shocking event as the Ambassador’s death seems like a call pretty much anyone with sense might make.

    As for the rest of your confusion, you’re the only one who’s confused. The CIA put together those talking points. That’s what we knew in October. We still knew that in November, and it remained unchanged in December.
    If you – or the other Republicans that have apparently been asleep since September – have any questions about them, you might consider asking the CIA rather than the Secretary of State.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  41. al-Ameda says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    Not only did Republicans fail to lay a glove on her they made themselves look foolish in the process. The two exchanges that got all the coverage made Johnson and Paul look ridiculous and damaged still further the Republican cred on foreign policy.

    Rand Paul was at his Twerpiest. He almost made me wish that Sarah Palin was doing asking the questions and making higher quality asinine observations.

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  42. GG says:

    @Me Me Me: .. lol indeed

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