Learning from Benghazi
After overcoming a concussion, blood clot, and hospitalization, Hillary Clinton returned to Washington last Wednesday to testify before the House and Senate on the events of September 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya -- and deftly fielded questions with her customary grace and poise. "Were you fully aware of these twenty incidents reported in the ARB [Accountability Review Board] in real time?" queried Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson. "I was aware of the ones that were brought to my attention," Secretary Clinton replied -- truthfully, if only by definition.
A great part of the Congressional hearings was sycophantic congratulations for bringing out "deep aspirations" in women, according to Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA); for advancing their rights, according to Senator Barbara Boxer; and for making all us Americans very, very proud. Nonetheless, we did learn a thing or two as Ms. Clinton set the record straight.
Firstly, she is a globe-trotter, having traversed 112 countries, and is also genuinely saddened by the deaths of four Americans at their own embassy in Benghazi. Tears and travel cover over a multitude of sins.
Secondly, whether the attack on the American embassy was performed by terrorists or some excitable democratic revolutionaries going out one night for a protest is now irrelevant. Given the many pagan and Islam-insensitive multimedia displays readily available online, it seemed rather implausible that an obscure YouTube video satirizing Mohammed should stir the Libyans into action, as was once the White House's claim. But as Ms. Clinton sagely observed, "What difference, at this point, does it make?" Back in September, yes, it may have mattered. But now that President Obama's electoral prospects are safely secure, it is a moot point.
Besides, the lack of money is the root of all evil. The tragic events are apparently John Boehner's fault, since the House of Representatives refused to provide the scrimped-and-pinched State Department enough money for security. But according to Charlene Lamb, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security, money was no object. And if there was one person I'd personally choose to weigh in on whether the State Department had enough money for diplomatic security, it would have to be the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security.
In the end, we discovered what we knew all along. What happened in Benghazi, or what happened in Chicago, or what is happening in Washington doesn't really matter, because Barack Obama is a wonderful president per se, and Hillary Clinton was a wonderful Secretary of State per se, and would be a wonderful president four years from now. And until then, we'll merrily roll along.