More than 4 months after the disaster in Libya which left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was finally questioned on Capitol Hill.
Despite clear evidence to the contrary, the Obama administration made repeated efforts to tie the attacks to YouTube videos denigrating the Islamic prophet. The administration eventually acknowledged the videos were not a significant factor but did not do so for nearly three months, finally making the admission after the November elections.
Critics have alleged that the administration intentionally lied to the public as to the true nature of the attacks. Clinton acknowledged that the attacks were due to critical failures in the management of the consulate’s security but denied an intentional effort to mislead the public.
GOP critics argue the effort to blame the attack on the obscure videos constituted a concerted effort avoid a public relations fiasco highlighting the Obama administration policy failures and negligence in the critical days leading up to the election.
Despite initially blaming the videos, the administration has since acknowledged that the attack was a major Al-Quaida effort coordinated to occur on the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The admission did not come until weeks after the Presidential elections, however.
Beleaguered by allegations that the administration had intentionally mislead the public, Secretary Clinton responded questions from Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc) by exclaiming, “At this point, what difference does it make?”
(Obviously the ethics of the administration lying to the public to conceal a catastrophic policy failure so as to win the election doesn’t weigh heavily on Secretary Clinton’s conscience.)
Clinton also faced scathing criticism from GOP Senators on the State Department’s failure to respond to the urgent requests for additional security in Libya.
Clinton paradoxically stated that she “accepted full responsibility” as Secretary of State but insisted that she had been unaware of any cables pleading for additional security and attempted to shift the blame to Congress alleging that funding had been insufficient to provide the level of security requested.
In a heated response, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) expressed dismay at her claim that she had not read cables from Ambassador Christopher Stevens and opined, “If I Were President, I Would Have Relieved You of Your Post”.