“Oh what a tangled web we weave…!” Sir Walter Scott
Hillary Clinton delivered her testimony on the Benghazi tragedy with high emotions at time, using her vivacious nature and speaking clearly, but she responded with evasive deflecting remarks at times “to just move forward” before the House and Senate committee today. She redirected the issue of challenging Al Queda and firming up security and support in other countries to obscure the failures in Benghazi.
What was going on at the State Department Operations Center during the Benghazi, Libya attack over 7 hours? Clinton stated that her department received and viewed no videos shortly after the attack in the State Department. She articulated to the committee that “we did not have a clear picture” of the activities in Benghazi. Retired General David Petraeus, the previous Director of the Central Intelligent Agency (CIA), indicated in his testimony though that videos of the attack became available immediately and people viewed the visual material. Clinton indicated that she could not comment on the CIA or Department of Defense action due to lack of knowledge of their activities. She did report her department received written material by the morning after the event.
“Who selected Susan Rice?” remains unknown as Clinton denied any knowledge about the selection of U. N. Ambassador Rice for the Sunday talk shows. Clinton explained that going on talk shows remained at the bottom of her lists of things to do on Sunday morning. She stated “I wasn’t involved in the talking points process.” She indicated Rice received information from the intelligent community and not the State Department for her talking points.
Clinton denied seeing or reading the cables about the previous security issues that occurred prior to the Benghazi attack such as the attacks on the British embassy. Along with a lack of knowledge about previous critical cables, it appears a poor flow of communication existed within the State Department in a retrospective analysis of events. The State Department receives 1000 cables per day and that the information about Libya security failed to rise to the decision making level. A review by the Accountability Review Board pointed to State Department officials being responsible for the “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies” that led to the lack of adequate protection of Benghazi. Consequently, Clinton responded that the State Department is working on implementation of the 29 security measures to prevent similar events occurring in other embassies and countries to protect U.S. citizens in the future.
Clinton stated she takes full responsibility and her testimony presented a very transparent presentation, but Congress members pointed to the delay responses in sending information to them and the questions left unanswered. The Congressional Committee described American’s feeling being misled about the events that occurred in Benghazi especially with regards to information from government sources. With Clinton evasive on key elements, Senator McCain summed up her responses by stating “There are many questions that are unanswered and the answers you’ve given this morning are frankly not satisfactory to me.” He indicated “the American people and the families of these four brave Americans still haven’t gotten the answers they deserve.”