“What difference at this point does it make?” Hillary Clinton, January 23, 2013
How hard is it to formulate simple, probing questions that would lead to informative answers? Hillary Clinton’s appearance on Capitol Hill last week presented an easy opportunity for Republicans to return attention to the massive failures that occurred before, during and after the terrorist attach on the US Consulate in Benghazi. Yet they failed – as a body – to do so. They can’t seem to stop themselves from preaching. They seem as interested in hearing themselves talk as they are in extracting real answers from Clinton and the Administration. Apparently no Republican member of Congress knows how to question a witness. So once again, a national tragedy, an epic failure of leadership, a complete abdication of duty, an event that would surely be the end of a Republican’s political life, fades away because Congressional Republicans are unable to formulate and ask simple questions that will highlight the
So for the intellectually challenged Republicans in Congress, here are some simple questions that should have been asked and that would have helped direct attention to the magnitude of this tragedy.
Q: Who was responsible for reading the communications from Benghazi prior to September 11, 2012?
Q: Did that person bring any of those communications to your attention?
Q: If not, has that person been fired?
Q: Where were you while the attack of September 11, 2012 was taking place?
Q: Who was with you?
Q: Where was the President?
Q: Susan Rice appeared on 5 “Sunday talk shows” to explain what happened. Were you asked to do that? Were you told not to?
Q: Don’t you think it would have been more appropriate for the Secretary of State, who’s responsible for our foreign Consulates and Embassies, to explain to Americans what happened?
Q: Did you tell a parent of one of the murdered Americans that you would get the person responsible for making the video?
Q: You say you take responsibility for what happened. Are you responsible for the State Department’s failure to read, understand and react to the communications from the Benghazi Consulate prior to September 11, 2012?
Q: Responsibility means consequences. What are the consequences for your and the State Department’s massive and fatal failures relating to this attack?
Q: Were you involved in any discussions relating to the YouTube video and its linkage to the attacks in Benghazi?
Q: There are State Department employees who survived the attack. Do you know who they are? Why haven’t you made them available to Congress?
I could go on but you get the point.
And in response to Clinton’s question, what difference does it make? I expected a member of Congress to have reminded the Secretary of State that the President and his spokespeople lied for weeks by pushing the YouTube video as the reason for the attack. That in the heat of a Presidential election campaign, a U.S. Consulate was attacked by terrorists, 4 Americans were murdered, and the State Department failed to respond to the concerns repeatedly raised by Ambassador Stevens and his staff. To remind Clinton that she said nothing to counter the story pushed from the White House for weeks after the attack. That she failed in her essential duties, should be held responsible and accountable, and should suffer the consequences. I hoped a member of Congress would have had the backbone to challenge Clinton.
Republicans fail once again. They allowed Clinton to redirect attention from what happened before, during and after the attack, to what she’s doing now to make sure it never happens again. And there’s another ridiculous canard that Republicans failed to challenge. As if anyone can ensure it never happens again (it’s part of the fatal conceit of Liberalism and Progressivism identified by Hayek, the ability to control the uncontrollable). But Congressional Republicans just weren’t u p for the task. And so once again, they fail.
I’ll repeat Governor Bobby Jindal’s admonition: Republicans must stop being the stupid party.