May 30, 2014

Hillary’s Cherry-Picked, Finger-Pointing Benghazi Defense

Hillary Clinton dumped the chapter on Benghazi from her upcoming book Hard Choices, to Politico, conveniently timed on a Friday in the hopes of getting it out of the way over the weekend before the book launch the week after next.

Among the problems with Hillary’s finger-pointing heavy defense that cherry-picks facts in her favor:

1. Clinton’s defiant recasting of events is the claim that not only did she not know about security requests from those on the ground that were being denied by her State Department, but that  she shouldn’t have known about them.

Clinton reiterates a point she made during congressional testimony last year:  that she never saw cables requesting additional security. The cables were addressed to her as a “procedural quirk” given her position, but didn’t actually land on her desk, she writes: “That’s not how it works. It shouldn’t. And it didn’t.”

Leaving aside that according to a poll from March, a majority of Americans believe she is not telling the truth; Clinton’s claim that she “shouldn’t” have known speaks to a glaring failure in leadership. Not only was Benghazi among the most dangerous outposts in the world, where attacks on Western targets were accelerating, but Clinton’s hand-picked Ambassador was also making security requests after a June 2012 attack – in which an explosive device blew a massive hole through the compound’s outer wall.

After escalating attacks, the rise of Al Qaeda-linked militia, and an attack on the facility itself, Clinton’s claim not only that she wasn’t aware of security requests, but actually shouldn’t have been bothered with them, is nothing short of appalling.

2. Clinton also seems to be one of the last people who still believe that the attack was fueled by an anti-Islam video.

Clinton defends the intelligence at the time preceding the attack on the American compound in Libya. She writes that an anti-Islamic video that had sparked a protest at an embassy in Cairo was proven in “later investigation and reporting,” to have been “indeed a factor” in what happened in Benghazi, Clinton writes.

Even Clinton’s own Democratic leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-WA) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) respectively, disputed those claims. And former acting CIA Director Mike Morell, the editor of the now infamous talking points, says they should have never made the point that the attacks evolved from a protest to an anti-Islamic video, saying that passage in the talking points was “not written well.”

3. Though she pays lip service to “responsibility” the chapter recap doesn’t lay out any specific things Hillary wishes she would’ve done better.

According to Politico’s reporting, Clinton appears to double down on her actions and handling of the situation, and point fingers at others – including those who report to her! In a 34-page recounting of her actions before and after a deadly terrorist attack, it appears Clinton offers few if any real regrets about how she handled the attack.