The Teflon Factor – When Nothing Sticks
Editor’s Note: “Established” means that this point was essentially proved during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on Wednesday, January 23.
Great stuff coming out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings in which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged her responsibility for the fallout…to a point.
Did you know that four Americans died in that attack in Benghazi, Libya that occurred on the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks?
By the way, where is the filmmaker of an anti-Islam video, that was originally blamed as the impetus for the so-called “mob attack” on the Benghazi compound? Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), reminded Clinton,
“We all remember what the emphasis was,” he said. “Over and over it was repeated that we had enraged the Islamic terrorists […] which by the way, what does that do? […] That means we’re at fault…”
Rohrabacher continued, saying, “The only people I know who are in jail right now is the filmmaker. Isn’t that disconcerting?”
Disconcerting? Yes. Established.
Did you know that the consulate in Benghazi was not a consulate at all, but rather a villa where Ambassador Chris Stevens was alleged to be engaged in a gun running operation on behalf of the Obama administration in supplying weapons to the Syrian rebels by way of Turkey?
A few unusual things happened near the compound during the day in the lead up to the attack. Did that raise anyone’s suspicion? Let’s do a recap.
The compound was under intermittent surveillance starting at around 6:00 a.m. local time by Libyan security who took pictures the entire time.
At about 6:30 p.m., three hours before the first shot was fired, military type vehicles began closing off the streets with trucks that had 50 caliber guns mounted on them. Checkpoints near the compound were being quietly closed off. Residents began retreating inside their homes. The streets were empty.
Suspicion raised? Yes. Not established.
Earlier that same evening, the Turkish consul general, Ambassador Stevens’ counterpart, had arrived for dinner and a meeting with Stevens and others. Dinner eaten and the meetings finished, the Turkish consul general left approximately one hour before the shooting commenced.
Lucky? Yes. Not established nor was the consul general ever interviewed to find out what he knew.
The attack commenced at 9:40 p.m. local time. It raged on for approximately nine hours. At least one drone was in the area monitoring activities. Did anyone in the US with any agency witness the attacks as they unfolded?
Some say yes. Some say no. Not established.
The most unforgettable statement given during the testimony: that of Secretary Clinton in response to a question raised by freshman Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) who asked whether the terror attack was the result of a protest to which Clinton responded
“What difference, at this point, does it make?” Clinton shouted, seemingly losing her cool.
“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?””
Disdain for tough questions? Established.
Senator Rand Paul, (R-KY) had a memorable one of his own.
“One of the things that disappointed me most about the original 9/11 is that no one was fired,” Paul said during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly assault. “The people who make judgment errors need to be replaced, fired and no longer in a position to make judgment calls.”
“Had I been president at the time” and known that Clinton had not read cables from Libya asking for more security, “I would have relieved you of your post,” Paul said. “I think it’s inexcusable.”
In a report filed by United Press International, Clinton, in her response, hinted that Paul’s line of questioning was politically-tinged.
“The reason that we put into effect an accountability review board is to take it out of the heat of politics and partisanship and accusations, and to put it in the hands of people who have no stake in the outcome,” Clinton said. “I believe in transparency, I believe in taking responsibility, and I have done so.”
Disdain for Rand Paul? Established.
The Jury Is In
On January 23, the Washington Post reported that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s popularity hit an all-time high, 67 percent, in an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Wednesday.
The poll, conducted Jan. 16-20 among a random sampling of 1,033 U.S. adults, found Clinton with a substantially stronger favorability rating than that of Vice President Joe Biden, who was viewed favorably by 48 percent of those surveyed, ABC reported Wednesday.
Does this mean that some can walk away from hearings regarding their connection to the deaths of four Americans and keep their hemlines clean?
Brett Braaten is the author of Homeland Insecurity: Failed Politics, Policies, and a Nation at Risk. His book brings his no nonsense, insider’s account of the current state of national security to help you decide whether you, your family, and your country are truly safe. Brett’s career as a writer and speaker is informed by 30 years of experience as a federal agent with U.S. Customs and the Department of Homeland Security. Brett Braaten draws back the curtain on the vast federal law enforcement bureaucracy to give a rare glimpse of behind the scenes agency responses to politics and policies that impact national security, sovereignty and the economy. “As a former special agent with both the U.S. Customs Service and later Immigration and Customs Enforcement, I enjoyed a great career. In retrospect, it was job satisfaction that most of us spent time looking for as we did our jobs in a system that fostered more obstacles than solutions.” Contact Brett at email@example.com .Visit his website, at www.homeland-insecurity.com for his thoughts and analysis of current issues affecting national security and the well-being of American families.