What We Learned About Hillary's War
|Hillary Clinton / Benghazi Hearing|
Screenshot Oct. 22, 2015
Here's what I think deserves further attention. During a previous Senate hearing, Hillary was pressed about the administration's claim that a video was responsible for the attack. That's when we got her famous outburst, "What difference, at this point, does it make?"
Well, that is precisely the question she should be required to answer. It became even more apparent during her testimony yesterday that the Obama Administration thought it DID make a difference whether the attack was due to Islamophobia in a film or to terrorists "celebrating" 9/11. And that speaks volumes about character and judgment.
Obama's reelection campaign was running on several themes, including a foreign policy built on reaching out to the Islamic world, that the president had kept us safe and that terrorism isn't an Islamic problem but a criminal problem. The video theory fit the left-wing narrative that jihadists aren't the problem, but rather our Islamophobia.
Administration officials knew exactly what happened. And yet they lied, not only to the American people, but to the family members of those killed in Benghazi.
When the Libyan civil war began as part of the Arab Spring in March 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led the charge to intervene. In fact, the Washington Post dubbed the Libyan campaign, "Hillary's War."
When Muammar Qaddafi was killed in October, Hillary jokingly paraphrased Julius Caesar, saying, "We came, we saw, he died." It would be her "Mission Accomplished" moment.
Hillary Clinton wanted to make sure that everyone knew she drove our Libyan policy. She got this dictator, and it was all part of her "smart power" fundamental transformation of the Middle East.
But when Qaddafi's removal led to a failed state, resulting in the chaos that led to the loss of four Americans a year later, suddenly Hillary had nothing to do with it. No longer was it her Libyan policy.
Here's something else to consider. There were literally hundreds of requests for more security from Ambassador Stevens and other personnel stationed in Libya. Hillary Clinton claimed she never saw any of those requests. Clinton said she never even received a personal email from her friend, Ambassador Stevens.
But she was getting scores of emails, week after week, from Israel-hating Sid Blumenthal, who had financial interests in the overthrow of Qaddafi. What kind of State Department was she running when the pleas of our people on the ground never made it to her desk, but the self-interested messages of her crony capitalist friend demanded answers?
Former Reagan defense official K. T. McFarland writes of yesterday's hearings that there were no "gotcha" moments, but she added that we did see a glimpse of Hillary's soul, "and it was chilling."
It is hard to argue with reality. With Joe Biden out, a debate that looked like a coronation and with few moments in the hearing yesterday that really stood out, Hillary Clinton has had a couple of very good weeks.
The 2016 presidential election, just 13 months away, is going to be a donnybrook. The only way we are going to prevail is if party strategists figure out how to reassemble the Reagan coalition -- values conservatives, economic conservatives and defense conservatives -- which no one has improved upon as a governing majority.
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families
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