Clinton: "What's the Difference" how they died in Benghazi?

When is it OK to deliberately lie to America, and whose job is it to make that call? Photo: Hillary Clinton, Benghazi hearing / Associated Press

WASHINGTON, January 23, 2013 ― Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton why we were misled after the Benghazi attack on September 11, an attack that left Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans dead.

It was a direct question, a tough question, a question that needed to be asked and answered.

Secretary Clinton shot back, “But, but, you know, with all due respect, the fact is, we have 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?”

First, if your purpose, Secretary Clinton, is to find the causes and prevent future attacks, working from a framework of lies won’t give you, or us, a satisfactory result. But there are plenty of other reasons that it makes a difference.

The difference it makes, Madam Secretary, is that your UN Ambassador, Susan Rice, deliberately and knowingly lied to all of America on the Sunday following, appearing with her false talking points on five important television shows. 

If it “makes no difference,” why did she lie? Why was she not instructed to tell the truth – or at least duck the appearances, citing the flu, or perhaps a concussion, or maybe a blood clot?

Madam Secretary, if it is the job of the “intelligence community” to mislead the American public, why can you not let them do it on their own? You must approve of this misuse of your Department, or you would not have let your UN Ambassador tell the lies and take so much heat.

If you don’t have the power to make that call, who does?

If Susan Rice were, as you claim, instructed by the “intelligence community” about what to say, why was she allowed by you, to pass these lies to America? Or are you not her boss?

Why didn’t the “intelligence community” make the appearances? They have capable spokespeople.

Or are you not in charge of the State Department? And if you are, is it OK for your Ambassador to the United Nations to deliberately lie to America?

Does the wish of the “intelligence community” to have you lie trump your responsibility to tell the truth? Whom are we to believe in our government – or are we to believe that our government has no obligation to tell the truth at all? That “they” know so much better what’s good for us, even when it is best to lie to us?

Let’s go to your own flippant non-answer: Even here, you are denying what we now all know, and what you testified to at other points in your presentation. This was neither a protest nor was it “guys out for a walk one night, who decided they’d go kill some Americans.”

It was a terrorist attack. It was in no way spontaneous, nor was it amateur. You had been warned repeatedly and directly by our Libyan personnel, and you were, and are, historically aware of escalating danger there; yet you did nothing to beef up security.

As you were asked in the hearing, if you are, as you say, “responsible,” what does that responsibility entail? You’re still in your job, and you’ll live the rest of your life on taxpayer-funded pensions and medical care.

What does “responsibility” mean to you?

And why did you never answer Senator Johnson’s question?


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Tim Kern

Tim Kern taught economics for fifteen years, and discovered that understanding life is easy; it’s recognizing reality that takes practice. He holds a music degree, and later earned an MBA in finance from Northwestern University. He has lived across the US, and now makes his home in Anderson, Indiana.

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