Last Updated:July 30 @ 06:50 pm

Beyond Benghazi: Questions for Clinton

By John Bolton

NY Post - The State Department's Accountability Review Board last week issued a devastating report on the events leading up to the Sept. 11 assassination of four Americans at our Benghazi consulate. Unfortunately, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has still not faced questioning by Congress or the media more than three months after the tragedy.

A series of excuses has conveniently allowed her to escape cross examination until after the ARB report was released. Clinton sails right along, now preparing the first steps for what is widely expected to be her 2016 presidential campaign.

Last week, however, Sen. Bob Corker asserted that no new secretary of state be confirmed until Clinton testifies. Corker, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee starting in January, was joined by Sen. Lindsey Graham. Their idea provides a strong incentive to committee Chairman John Kerry, now tapped as Clinton's successor, to schedule her testimony.

The starting point for questioning Clinton is realizing that the Benghazi debacle embodies both policy and management failures. The administration's utterly wrong-headed view of the Middle East created an atmosphere that fostered tragically erroneous management decisions. Clinton's blithe disregard of the actual political reality in Libya and four years of not attending to seemingly mundane management issues represented a palpable failure of leadership directly contributing to the Benghazi tragedy.

The ARB did not blame specific individuals, citing instead "systemic" failures. Clinton's deputies, testifying in her absence on Dec. 20, conceded that State had not "connected the dots" as security deteriorated in Libya and the Middle East generally.

But in any organization, there is only one "first chair," and Clinton must answer why she (and President Obama) was so convinced that the war on terror was over and al Qaeda defeated; that "leading from behind" in overthrowing Khadafy had succeeded, and that the Arab Spring was bringing stability and democracy to Libya and the region more broadly.

The Benghazi tragedy disproved all these assertions, and Clinton is accountable for the broad policy failures, not just the deadly specifics. Congressional hearings should go well beyond the ARB report. The basic questions Clinton now must answer are straightforward: What did she know; when did she know it - and what did she do about it, before, during and after the Sept. 11 attacks? Here are some elaborations:

l Before the attack, was Clinton aware of the security threats to our consulate and other international presences in Benghazi? Did she know about repeated Tripoli embassy requests for enhanced security? If not, why not?

Libya was a centerpiece of supposed success in Obama's foreign policy, not some country of small significance and low threat levels. It is important to establish not only the actual paper trail in this case, but even more importantly why, on such a critical foreign-policy issue, it did not automatically come to Clinton's seventh-floor office.

l On Sept. 11, what were Clinton and Obama doing? We need a minute-by-minute chronology. When was she first told of the attack, and what was said? When and how many times did she speak with the president? What help did she ask for? Was it denied, and by whom? When did she retire for the evening?

l And in the tragedy's aftermath, Clinton must explain how the administration came up with its story that the Benghazi attack grew out of a demonstration against the now-famous Mohammed video trailer. Clinton herself referred to the video at the Sept. 14 ceremony when the remains of the four murdered Americans returned home. On this point, the ARB was crystal clear that "no protest took place" before the attacks.

Obama will hold office for four more years, and Clinton apparently aspires to succeed him. Their worldview and its policy consequences must not be allowed to escape scrutiny as they did in the just-concluded presidential campaign. Most of the media have certainly shown little interest in exposing administration failures. Clinton's testimony may be the last chance to do so for a long time.

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Originally published by JOHN BOLTON.

(c) 2012 The New York Post. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.

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16 Comments

  1. powertothepeopleComment by powertothepeople
    December 28, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

    Agree with the points that we have a right to know what she knew and actions taken, or not taken in the lead up to this mess.

    I doubt we will ever see her testify unless the GOP agrees she can’t be held accountable for her failures. She is hiding behind her lies and the administrations lies. She learned a lot from her hubbies lies in his two terms so she is a seasoned veteran at stretching out the process until the public interest dies.

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    • kestutisComment by kestutis
      December 28, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

      The most important question to answer is “What did the President and Ms Clinton do during the 7 hours that the embassy was being attacked?” Everything else is less important

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    • gopluvaComment by gopluva
      December 28, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

      If and when she finally comes forward you can bet your last dime that she will not tell the whole truth. She wants to be president so bad she will lie til the cows come home.It makes her Huma that much more worrisome. If a liar has a muslim for her closest personal aide you can be sure its no good for us.She lied to start with then she took the heat off el jefe now she will have to set up a really good line and America will fall for it just like el jefes lies ever since he took office.Thats why they wait so long to come forward because then the witnesses are hazy, the timeline is lost and on and on.

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  2. truckmanComment by truckman
    December 28, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

    I notice there’s been 3 so far who have taken “responsibility” for what happened,but so far 0 have stepped up to be “accountable” for it.

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    • OutspokenComment by Outspoken
      December 28, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

      also even tho they supposedly resigned….it was only from the current position and they simply went to a different ‘desk’

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    • smokeComment by smoke
      December 29, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

      I’m tired of this jockying around…Clinton should be brought in before Congress…AND ASKED BY THE PEOPLE just what the hell and why this MURDER took place..

      THIS WAS PREMEDITATED MURDER…by both she and OBAMA…so what the hell are we waiting for?

      This is still America?…we are still Americans aren’t we?…or are we WEAK KNEED SERVANTS to those two arses???

      I’m asking for their hydes…they are accountable!

      Get with it America…

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  3. Pingback: Beyond Benghazi: Questions for Clinton - ALIPAC

  4. jenerseaComment by jenersea
    December 28, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

    Just like Fast and Furious this latest caper of theirs will continue to be stonewalled. Kerry will not do anything about it. He is a traitor to all Nam Vets and does not deserve to be SOS. GOP will not have the guts to push it, so what do we do besides to continue to watch our country go down the tubes? Look for something else to surface soon to continue to keep the focus off of Obozo and his criminal gang.

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    • powertothepeopleComment by powertothepeople
      December 28, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

      Agree…this WH is a master of not letting any tragedy go unused. Chicago style miss-direction.

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  5. copakemanComment by copakeman
    December 28, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

    hil will eventually testify before congress, but all of memories of benghazi (wherever that is) were removed from her mind by the severe concussion she had suffered sometime in december 2012. hils brain was in a blender for a few minutes.
    the longer this admin stalls, the further away banghazi gets from American citizens memory of what happened there.

    fast and furious is still being investigated and stonewalled by this admin.

    it’s sop for this illegal admin.

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  6. CharlieComment by vietnamvet
    December 28, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

    Absolutely everything the government has said about Benghazi has been proven false. Therefore, I fully expect Clinton to continue to lie about it during any testimony she may present to Congress.

    If they CAN make her tell the truth, let’s hope they can find out WHY the Benghazi situation was allowed to develop to begin with.
    What kind of operation was it … really?

    Hillary masterminded Fast & Furious. I would not be surpeised to learn that she designed this one, too.

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  7. BusterComment by buster
    December 28, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

    “TRANSPARENCY…and the rule of LAW, will be the touchtones of this administration” ~ Obama, 2008

    What a crock. Nothing but lies, deciet and corruption from day one. Obama and Hil know that the American public has short attention spans and the longer they can stretch this thing out, the more likely they will not be held accountable. LIE, STALL and DISTRACT are the touchtones of the Obama administration.

    What is really sad is so many in this country either don’t know or could care less. But still they fall for the smiling, charming snake that is our president.
    The media is totally in the tank for Obama as well. I don’t know what’s happened to this country.

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    • Al SComment by Al S
      December 28, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

      This President has lied, refuses to follow the law(immigration),floats huge amounts of tax money to his political supporters, is incompetent, and has an illegal birth certificate, has covered up both Fast and Furious and Benghazi….When is The House of Representatives going to start impeachment procedures ???????

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  8. klardComment by klard
    December 28, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

    I would like to know why this Ambassador was abandoned and allowed to be murdered. Ambassadors have the rank and privilege of 4-star Generals. There were pre-planned protocols for his rescue and security that were interfered with to prevent his rescue.

    He was intentionally allowed to die.

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  9. keith0548Comment by keith0548
    December 28, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

    There is no mystery here on Obama’s transparency or Clinton’s stalling until, as one poster put it, the public interest has moved on.
    Obama has promised too many too much. And as his favorite pastor says “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

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  10. sumitchComment by sumitch
    December 28, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

    If she is somehow forced to talk, all she has to do is spew out a few of her lies and then, if it gets too close to home, Obama will just issue another “Get Out Of Jail” executive order. And Congress piddles while the country burns,

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  11. gnafuComment by gnafu
    December 30, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

    No free tickets this time! The Benghazi Attack is very important to how this government conducts their business with Mideastern countries. Gifting/Selling American Weapons have been involved according to news outlets. That is totally against the law and the Constitution of The United States. Supplying arms to enemy is a treason offense. So, where is Clinton hiding and why? She should be sick just from the stress of having destroyed her good friend, Ambassador Stevens. I often wonder what it was like sitting in the Situation Room and watching the entire attack! How many jaws dropped when the order was given to “Stand Down” and not help the four Americans who were allowed to be murdered?!

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