Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's testimony before Congress regarding Benghazi suggests a revised version of Harry Truman's great slogan: "The Buck Stops Here," (Kind of.) It appears that this administration and their supporters have turned the Benghazi issue into a footnote that has no solutions or answers.
Fred Rustmann Jr., a former CIA official, a writer for the online intelligence briefings magazine, Lignet.com, and author of The Case Officer, wishes "people would get stirred up about this. We must keep reporting on it. Watergate was a cover-up and nobody died. This was a cover-up and people died. That is why this is a big deal and the American people have to realize this by becoming informed."
Yet, in listening to Clinton's opening statement, Americans would get the impression that she is the carrier of the torch in the fight against terrorism. She duped people by claiming that she moved "quickly in those first uncertain hours and days to respond to the immediate crisis and further protect our people and posts in high-threat areas across the region and the world." Really?
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla), former Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and current chair of the subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, felt that Clinton's testimony was "not credible in the true sense of the word. It was unbelievable."
The American people should be outraged and demand answers after the secretary of state's testimony. Instead, it appears that but for a few, no one cares anymore and have shrugged away the issue. As she brilliantly fudged, dodged, and avoided taking responsibility, the Democrats on the panel uniformly treated her as a celebrity superhero who could compete with Lynda Carter for the role of "Wonder Woman." The congresswoman's reaction as she sat there listening to the Democrats: "Wow, they fawned over her. They appear to be drinking too much of the Kool-Aid. Maybe a little bit of probing on their part would have resulted in more answers so this would never happen again. Their attitude of move along, move along was pretty pathetic."
In dissecting some of Clinton's statements and answers it appears that this administration has been able to turn the page and get away with incompetence through a complete obfuscation of the facts. Hillary asked, "What difference, at this point, does it make?" going on to say that there is, in fact, no difference between a terrorist attack, or "some guys out for a walk last night who decided to kill some Americans." How could someone who is America's face to the world be so callous, ridiculous, and thoughtless?
Then there were the statements she made about Charlene Lamb, the former State Department security official, basically throwing her under the bus. Clinton admitted fault, but did not take responsibility. She claimed that she was not aware of any real time video, which directly contradicts what Lamb testified. Furthermore, Clinton continued to blame the Congressional Republicans for not providing adequate funding even though Lamb testified that there were no budgetary restraints. The congresswoman is angry: "Ambassador Stevens made requests for high level security and that should have been granted immediately. But Secretary Clinton tried to deflect by placing the blame on Congress' refusal to provide funding. It was never a question of funding. Let them release all those cables. Then we will be able to find out who was really to blame. If the Secretary of Stare was not reading them, then who was? But they hide behind the 'classified documents' argument. Yet, when its convenient for them they leak like a sieve."
Clinton appears to have a case of amnesia from her concussion. She claimed in her testimony, "And I stood with President Obama as he spoke of "an act of terror." She conveniently forgot that from September 12 -18th this administration maintained that the attacks were likely a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim film. Or when she stood by the caskets of the four Americans killed in Libya she directly blamed an ""awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with." Afterward, she reportedly told the father of Tyrone Woods, the former Navy SEAL who was killed in the attack, "We will make sure the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted."
Rustmann Jr. believes the administration narrative, the latest being Clinton's testimony, is due to their eagerness to pat themselves on the back after getting Bin Laden, and wanting the American people to believe that Al Qaeda was decimated. He is angry that they chose to ignore the multiple requests for more security and that no one has been captured for this horrific event. Clinton testified that there was one person being held in Tunisia. Yet, this administration has not requested an extradition. Once again it falls back to the fact that no actionable intelligence is gained without interrogations; thus, no leads and no names of the terrorists responsible.
Furthermore, the congresswoman told American Thinker, that the Accountability Review Board never interviewed Clinton even though she cited it numerous times in her testimony. "How can the head of an organization not be interviewed when there is an investigation of an operation where she was in charge. The ARB did not find her relevant. If she is not relevant then I do not know who could be. No one has been held accountable."
Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen is hopeful that the American people will demand accountability by this administration and force them to find those responsible. Unfortunately, as Clinton showed during her Congressional testimony, this administration appears to be getting away with murder. The bottom line is that Benghazi represented gross negligence, a lack of leadership within the State Department, and the denial of available resources. Why? Because they chose to tout their narrative that terrorism is under control, misleading the American people who have pivoted from this incident.
The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.