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Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013 7:00 pm

We need to know what
happened in Benghazi

I was glad to hear that Secretary Clinton was being questioned on Capitol Hill last Wednesday.  Glad until I heard it for myself.  Where else but in Congress would you have the opportunity to question the one person that should have the answers to what happened in Benghazi  where the Ambassador and 3 other heroic Americans were killed and get no answers after five hours of questioning.
Questioning?  I use the term lightly.  I thought many of the members of Congress were lawyers who should know how to question someone.  How do you expect to get answers with this scenario:
1. Two separate committee meetings held on the same day, making unreal time restraints
2. With 16 members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and 46 on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, each committee member only had five minutes to address Secretary Clinton
3. Most of the members’ five minutes were taken up by praising her for the miles she had logged (her health, her stamina, etc…), wishing her “the best in your future endeavors” and “looking forward to 2016” in unspoken reference to her hopeful presidential run (as she laughed, when families of four dead American heroes deserved answers).  Some used their five minutes to hear themselves talk and expound on their thoughts or give a long list of questions which gave her the ability to answer what she wanted.
4. Opting to have questions answered later on paper.
Thankfully there were some members that would ask her one question at a time and then even ask for further explanation and even interrupt her to get more accurate answers.  When I heard John McCain, I thought good questions, but he should have asked them one at a time.  Instead, he opted to hear himself make some good points, but left her to go off on blaming Congress for lack of funding.
As usual, Congress gets to do things differently than anywhere else.  If I were brought in for questioning under the penalty of perjury, there would not be a time frame or limited time given to the interrogator.  I cannot imagine how the family members of these four dead Americans felt during this charade.  I was beside myself with feelings ranging from disbelief, anger, disappointment, to not being surprised at what goes on in Washington.
When Secretary Clinton was asked why she was not the one who went out on the Sunday talk shows to explain to the American public what happened, she said, “I don’t really like to do the Sunday shows.”   Well I know some dead Americans that could say they didn’t like “doing the Benghazi attack” and their families say that they don’t like “doing life without their loved one,” but they don’t have that luxury.   But she takes full responsibility?  Maybe she needs to look up the word responsibility.  But then again she, like her husband, has her own definition of words.
Then when she responded to the question of why Susan Rice, the president and everyone speaking for him kept blaming the attack on the consulate on the video with, “What difference does it make,” I could not believe it.  Why didn’t someone stop her right there and set her straight?  It makes a lot of difference from the families, to the American people, to the guy who made the video and is still sitting in jail.  I assume this makes them feel better having arrested him instead of finding the people who carried out the murders.  Yes, it would make a difference to know THE TRUTH.
She was allowed to get away with disputing the testimony of her own Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (Charlene Lamb) by saying, “There was no real time” in reference to watching and knowing what was going during the attack.  If you will go to the transcript of her opening statement, Ms. Lamb to the House Oversight Committee says, “The account I am about to present is based on the first-hand reports from several security personnel that night.  Additionally, I was in our Diplomatic Security Command Center monitoring multiple open lines with our agents for much of the attack… When the attack began, a Diplomatic Security agent … he also alerted the … the Libyan 17th February Brigade, Embassy Tripoli, and the Diplomatic Security Command Center in Washington.  From that point on, I could follow what was happening in almost real-time.”
How long do we let this go on?  Do we care?
Nathan Castleman
Published in The WCP 1.31.13

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