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Clinton’s Benghazi Hearing Creates Fireworks On Partisan Claims

Thursday, October 22, 2015 16:05
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(Before It's News)

A Republican-led House committee investigating the 2012 deaths of four Americans in Libya focused heavily Oct. 22 on a prosecution-style attack on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for misleading comments and poor judgment, but failed to address the major remaining secrets from the Obama administration’s Libyan policies or to score significant damage to the witness aside from, presumably, those who already dislike her. 

Trey GowdyLed by Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina (shown in a file photo), the seven Republicans on a special House committee used much of the all-day hearing to grill Clinton in detail on her email correspondence as key to her priorities in failing to protect a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans from being killed from attackers in Benghazi. 

Hillary Clinton Benghazi Committee CNN Pompeo 10-22-15Yet Clinton effectively parried most of their arguments by noting that the vast bulk of her information and decision-making from 2009 to 2013 involved non-email communications and that she and her top staff relied entirely on security professionals at the State Department.

Democrats on the committee also noted that the CIA and Department of Defense held heavy response and other security duties for the ambassador but that the committee has not investigated CIA and defense personnel but instead focused almost entirely on the Democratic presidential front-runner, her personal staff, and friends. 

Gowdy had denied that the committee has a prosecution mentality, a claim undercut by his aggressive tone mirrored by his colleagues, especially Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Peter Roskam of Illinois and Rep. Mike Pompeo. The CNN screenshot at left comes while Pompeo was demanding a “yes or no” answer from Clinton.

Sometimes raising his voice and otherwise clearly hostile to the witness, Jordan did score points, however, by revealing that Clinton had written her daughter and an Egyptian leader in separate messages that the attack had appeared to be from an Al Qaeda-type group.

More generally, however, Rep. Chris Smith of the State of Washington told Clinton: “The purpose of this committee is to prosecute you.”

“The effort today seems to be,” Smith continued, “to prove that you personally decided not to your job.”

Neither members of the committee nor the witness made any specific reference by 6:30 p.m. (with a hearing beginning at 10 a.m. continuing into the night) to the underlying reasons for the Obama administration’s focus on Benghazi endangering the ambassador or reasons why Republicans and Democrats alike avoid a focus on the CIA’s role under then director David Petraeus.

Clinton vaguely mentioned that the administration wanted to secure loose arms in Libya. The real story is that Benghazi was part of a covert, unauthorized by law smuggling operation by the Obama administration supported by key Republicans where the CIA and State Department were funneling arms and jihadist fighters from Libya to Syria to help overthrow its government of President Bashar al-Assad.

We documented that in our 2013 book Presidential Puppetry along with another mostly hidden political development: Petraeus and certain members of his inner-circle such as his lover-biographer Paula Broadwell became complicit in actions undermining Obama in subtle ways regarding his track record on foreign affairs success, part of the president’s re-election campaign in the fall of 2012. Discussion of that part of the story is almost unmentionable in public venues, although Fox News national security commentator KT McPharland did reference it briefly.


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