Hillary claims 'fog of war' on Benghazi
Faced with a disastrous first week of her
presidential campaign book tour, Hillary Clinton is attempting to rescue her standing by distancing herself from her own performance as secretary of state. On Benghazi, she backed away from the hard line she took in her book on the deaths of 4 Americans due to admittedly inadequate security.
Ann Gearan and Philip Rucker of the Washington Post write:
There are still too many unanswered questions about the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday, even as she welcomed the capture of a suspected mastermind of the assaults.
“There are answers, not all of them, not enough, frankly,” she said of the September 2012 attacks on a diplomatic and CIA compound that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others.
“I’m still looking for answers, because it was a confusing and difficult time,” Clinton said.
Her remarks, delivered during a CNN interview in Washington to promote her new book, appeared to lend credence to a central claim by Republicans that there is more to learn about the Benghazi tragedy. The Obama administration has said that after multiple investigations, there is little new to say about the attacks. (snip)
Clinton’s tone when discussing Benghazi was much milder than in her new book, “Hard Choices,” in which she denounces the politicization of the deaths.
Later in the day, on her much-anticipated (and rather disappointing) Fox News interview, she used the words “fog of war” to excuse her blaming of the attack on an obscure video. Rebecca Shabad in The Hill:
In a live interview on Fox News’s “Special Report” and “On the Record,” Clinton said she stood by testimony she gave Congress in January, 2013, when she said she knew of no other intelligence except the video narrative. Then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice presented that theory on Sunday talk shows after the attacks.
“This was the fog of war,” Clinton said. “You know, my own assessment careened from, you know, the video had something to do with it; the video had nothing to do with it.”
Clinton pointed out that the anti-Islam video inspired an attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, that same day.
“It may have affected some people; it didn't affect other people. And I think the conclusion to draw -- because we were not just monitoring what was happening at Benghazi, once it began to unfold, but remember we had a very dangerous assault on our embassy in Cairo that same day, which was clearly linked to that video.”
Ahem, nobody in Benghazi saw the video. It was a planned attack. This is just a dodge, and not a very artful one at that.
Lucianne Goldberg nailed it when she quipped on her site:
Hillary goes "blonde" on Benghazi and changes her look to eye batting.
It’s the “I didn’t know what I was doing at the time” defense. Not exactly inspiring of confidence, especially in the wake of the disastrous Obama presidency.