There are only a few people in America who really truly care about the Benghazi testimony of Hillary Clinton in front of the House and Senate yesterday. Once you get past the reporters and the political class, and of course the families of men and women who are and were directly affected by the attack, the vast majority of weak partisan America doesn’t necessarily care to see Hillary Clinton get grilled over an open fire for a tragedy that she may or may not have been totally responsible for. I believe that is why she took such relish and time in going head to head with the Senate in particular in her testimony and responses. This was Clinton’s great big “You can’t do anything to me anymore so ‘Eff You” moment in Washington and she did it with Clinton style relish.
The Benghazi attacks on the U.S. embassy in Libya on 9/11 were unexpected and tragic and very likely lives were lost due to incompetence or slow reaction time on the part of the state department. The problem however was that since these attacks occurred during presidential election season, Republicans, as is their wont, took a legitimate issue and tried to stretch it into a condemnation of the entire Obama administration. Romney unsuccessfully tried to say that the Benghazi attacks were indicative of larger problems with all of Barack Obama’s foreign policy, which rang hollow to a public that had seen the president take out Qaddafi, Osama bin Laden and a whole HMS Pinafore of Pirates in Somalia. Obama took the heat for Benghazi because it was an election season and it would have been unseemly for him to let Hillary Clinton take the heat (mind you, she didn’t go out of her way to cover for him) but legitimate questions remained that were addressed yesterday.
That’s essentially all the secretary of state said, and in the grand scheme of things, I don’t entirely disagree. Clinton’s entire mantra throughout the hearings, especially with Senator Ron Johnson (R – WI) and John McCain (R – AZ) was: People died, and our concern was looking after them and getting who did it, who cares if we screwed up or lied about how or why the attacks happened. In a big way she’s right. To Clinton and the State Department’s credit, they have been open to criticism and a government accountability review board slammed their response to the crisis and gave them recommendations which Clinton did not dispute. When you make a mistake and say you’re sorry, and then go about the process of trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again, what else can be said? To be fair, no matter how exasperated Clinton sounded she was clearly lying about not asking and wounded embassy workers about the true nature of the attacks, and she was definitely lying about having no involvement with Ambassador Rice doing the PR circuit on the Sunday morning talk shows. So Clinton and the administration lied for a few days before coming clean and taking their medicine. A lie that lasts a couple of weeks, that you eventually recant and take your medicine for is a lot better than a lie you maintain for months and only admit to when all of the evidence is brought against you (paging Manti Te’o and Weapons of Mass Destruction).
In the end, Hillary Clinton knew she was only 24 hours from leaving the administration, so she had no problem going head to head with her old Senate colleagues. They can’t touch her now, and she will not face these men and women again unless or until she is running for president in 2016, something that Joe Biden, Martin O’Malley and a surprisingly subdued during the hearings Marco Rubio might have something to say about. Until then, she won this round, and we can get back to the business of keeping Americans safe abroad.
This article originally appeared online at Politic365.com.