October 21, 2015

Three Things To Watch For During Tomorrow’s Benghazi Hearing

Hillary Clinton is appearing before the House Select Committee on Benghazi tomorrow. It’s a highly anticipated appearance, and the first time Clinton will face Congress since the release of her work-related emails, which were stored on her private server.

What can Americans expect to hear tomorrow?

1. Examples of Clinton’s bad decision-making and poor judgment.

In the lead up to the attack on the American facility in Benghazi, security conditions were rapidly deteriorating. The U.S. diplomatic facility there was the target of an April 6, 2012 attack in which a bomb was thrown over the wall. Again in June, an attack blew a 40-foot hole in the facility’s outer wall. Despite these concerns, Secretary Clinton testified that Ambassador Chris Stevens was in Benghazi on her orders.

Clinton’s State Department ignored or rejected requests for more security from the Ambassador in Benghazi.

Independent and bipartisan reviews of the Benghazi attack fault the Clinton State Department for not giving the diplomatic facility adequate security. The Accountability Review Board, which Clinton appointed, called the State Department’s response to the deteriorating security situation “inadequate.

In the face of all of this, Clinton’s inaction and poor judgment put the lives of four Americans at risk.

2. Changes in Clinton’s story.

Secretary Clinton has proven not just willing but at times eager to change her story when political expediency requires it. In the case of her private email server, Clinton has caused more damage to herself than any other individual or group by repeatedly changing her story or timeline of events as new information becomes publicly known.

Keep an eye out tomorrow for more inconsistencies from Clinton. Between her House Foreign Relations and Senate Foreign Affairs committee hearings and her own version of events in Hard Choices, there are a series of past statements, written and verbal, that Clinton’s remarks should be held up to for comparison.

3.  Failed leadership & advocating for a war in Libya.

To be clear: the war in Libya is Clinton’s war. Secretary Clinton was the driving proponent for military intervention in Libya despite three of Obama’s top defense officials telling the President to stay out of Libya. When a dispute among NATO allies between Italy and France threatened the coalition, Clinton personally intervened to make sure the military intervention went forward. When countries that originally committed to the multilateral intervention were having second thoughts, Clinton told them that their help was “important to me personally.

Clinton still touts her record on Libya as a success and her political allies claimed it would burnish her legacy. Since the attacks, the security situation has continued to deteriorate, and forces linked to al-Qaeda have increased their presence, further destabilizing the country.