Republicans Blow It Big Time At Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Hearing

clintonWhat’s more frustrating: A national media that purposely relinquishes its journalistic integrity to protect the Obama administration from a political scandal, or a Republican party that gets a prime shot to demand the answers the media failed to, but completely blows the opportunity?

For me, it’s the latter.

You see, I lost faith a long time ago in the media’s capacity to provide Americans with single-standard, fair political coverage. I lost faith a long time ago in their appetite to investigate stories that could potentially harm the people who represent an ideology they adamantly subscribe to. The Benghazi coverup is merely another example – albeit a particularly bold one – of why that faith is gone.

Let’s face it… Had this happened under the Bush administration, the controversy would have spawned a jihad of media coverage that would have rivaled that of Watergate. If, two months before a presidential election, high-ranking Bush administration officials (including the President himself) repeatedly spread a lie to the American public about a terrorist attack that resulted in the deaths of four American patriots, there would have been hell to pay. And rightfully so!

One has to only contrast the media’s handling of Benghazi with the months-long circus that surrounded Plamegate to find the proof of what I’m saying.

I don’t expect a lot from the media these days. However, I did expect our elected officials in the Republican party to address the injustice of the Benghazi coverup with the seriousness that it deserves.

They got their chance on Wednesday, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat down to deliver congressional testimony on Benghazi. After several months, Congress finally had the opportunity to ask direct questions of arguably the most important, relevant official in regard to what happened on September 11th, 2012, and in the following weeks. What did they do? They absolutely wasted it.

I, of course, wasn’t expecting any of the Democrats to challenge Clinton, and they didn’t. They each chose to use their five minutes of allocated time to fawn over Clinton and praise her with compliments on her service to our country.

What I wasn’t expecting, however, was for the Republicans to be completely ill-prepared in their questioning.

Half of them spent nearly their entire five minutes grandstanding about the failures of our government to protect the four Americans whose lives were lost, which in many cases, left no time for actual questioning. Others spent their time asking Clinton questions she had already answered numerous times throughout the day, regarding the findings of an investigative board.

Where were the questions regarding the coverup?

By my count, only two Republicans (both U.S. congressmen) bothered to bring up the infamous anti-Islam YouTube video that the Obama administration falsely claimed was the catalyst for the attack in Benghazi. I found that absolutely extraordinary. Previous congressional hearings had already uncovered the fact that our government believed almost immediately that what happened in Benghazi was a coordinated terrorist attack. Yet, for weeks, the administration continued attributing the attack to the video’s proclaimed influence on a spontaneous mob (that didn’t exist). This was perhaps the most controversial revelation of the entire Benghazi aftermath, and only two people thought to ask about it? Inexplicable!

Additionally, the two congressmen thoughtful enough to bring up the video lumped their query in with several other questions, which gave Clinton the luxury of picking and choosing which ones she answered.

The result? After several hours of testimony, Clinton’s only forced comment on the video was that she never personally associated it with Benghazi, but rather with protests that were occurring in other parts of the Arab world. The reality, however, is that Clinton spoke of the video in a speech she made while standing in front of Ambassador Christopher Steven’s casket on September 14th when his body was brought home to the United States. She also told Charles Woods (father of Tyrone Woods, an American hero who was killed during the Benghazi attack), as a way of assuring him of some justice for his son, that the man who made the video was going to be arrested. Again, this was all at a time when the government knew that the video didn’t spawn the Benghazi attack.

And regardless of what Clinton said personally, other high-ranking government officials (including Susan Rice and President Obama himself) were still pushing the video narrative weeks later, without any of them being corrected by Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

Contrary to Clinton’s assertion to Senator Ron Johnson that it doesn’t matter what the motivation of the attackers were, it absolutely DOES matter. It matters because what the administration confidently told the American public, regarding those motivations, was a lie. That lie was spread just weeks prior to a presidential election, in which the incumbent president was proudly telling the public that Al Qaeda had been decimated. So when four Americans were killed by Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists in Benghazi, and a lie was told to explain why, it was extremely important to find out where that lie originated and why it was repeated for weeks.

Unfortunately, our Republican leaders in Washington proved that they just weren’t up for the task, which is remarkable considering how many months they had to prepare. And because of their failure, there will be no accountability for the administration’s willful dishonesty on Benghazi. That ship has sailed.

It’s a slap in the face to anyone who finds it reprehensible for the deaths of brave Americans to be played as a political pawn to spare a president’s campaign strategy.

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration (Computer Information Systems), and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. He is the author of the Sean Coleman Thriller series, which is available through all major retailers. John lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
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  • bonaparte3

    American national security is in disarray and we are vulnerable to the enemy. The jihadis believe they can attack westerners with impunity (at least the French, of all people, are doing something in Mali).

  • Matthew Jacobs

    Mr Goldberg my thinking goes to which results is the greatist harm for the Country.

    If that is the rubric to make a judgement , then a failed Main Stream Media presents the greatest harm now and as far as the eyes can see.

    The question is “Can the Media redeem themselves” or will they forever be seen as toadies of the Political Left.

  • artlouis

    The Republicans are scared to death to stand for anything anymore. They fear that all their causes are lost, and they don’t dare aggravate the electorate. This could be a very hollow decade.

  • Larry Linn

    Embassies and Consulates have always been targets.

    June 14, 2002, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan Suicide bomber kills 12 and
    injures 51.

    February 20, 2003, international diplomatic compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    Truck bomb kills 17.

    • February 28, 2003, U.S. consulate in Karachi, PakistanGunmen on motorcycles
    killed two consulate guards.

    • July 30, 2004, U.S. embassy in Taskkent, Uzbekistan

    Suicide bomber kills two.

    • December 6, 2004, U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

    Militants stormed and occupied perimeter wall. Five killed, 10 wounded.

    • March 2, 2006, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan

    Suicide car bomber killed four, including a U.S. diplomat directly targeted by
    the assailants.

    • September 12, 2006, U.S. embassy in Damascus, Syria

    Gunmen attacked embassy with grenades, automatic weapons, and a car bomb

    (though second truck bomb failed to detonate). One killed and 13


    • January 12, 2007, U.S. embassy in Athens, Greece A rocket-propelled grenade
    was fired at the embassy building. No one was injured.

    • July 9, 2008, U.S. consulate in Istanbul, Turkey

    Armed men attacked consulate with pistols and shotguns. Three policemen killed.

    •March 18, 2008, U.S. embassy in Sana’a, Yemen

    Mortar attack misses embassy, hits nearby girls’ school instead.

    • September 17, 2008, U.S. embassy in Sana’a, Yemen

    Militants dressed as policemen attacked the embassy with RPGs, rifles,

    grenades and car bombs. Six Yemeni soldiers and seven civilians were

    killed. Sixteen more were injured.

    These attacks occurred before Obama became
    President, and Clinton became Secretary of State

    • John Daly

      What point are you making exactly?

      Did the Bush administration try to cover up those attacks?

      • Kathie Ampela

        Yes, there was a “spontaneous mob uprising” caused by “an anti-Islam video” was the official line for not only was the embassy left unprotected on the anniversary of 9/11, Team Obama blamed American values for the attack. Musn’t have the truth hurt the POTUS’ re-election prospects.

        No worries, though. Steve Kroft and 60 Minutes will get to the bottom of it all on Sunday, right? (Do you think we’ll get to see the full, unedited interview this time?)

      • Larry Linn

        Why didn’t the GOP have hearings on those attacks?

        • John Daly

          Are you saying that what happened in Benghazi didn’t even warrant a congressional hearing? A murdered U.S. diplomat alone demands that. Not to mention his months of repeated requests for additional security that went unanswered, forbidden access to witnesses that were there, the question of why more wasn’t done to help our people after the attack had begun, and why top administration officials kept publicly lying about who the attackers were and their motivations.

          How can you honestly say that congressional hearing weren’t warranted?

  • Patrick H.

    If lawyers questioned witnesses the way that Republican congressmen did with Clinton, they would never win a case. If this Benghazi thing goes away, a good chunk of the blame has to go to these Republican congressmen who didn’t ask the questions necessary and just grandstanded like they were acting in a soap opera. In any case, I wish more people actually cared about this scandal.

    • Barbara Hawley Berka

      They certainly did ask the questions..and Hillary Clinton answered them..The only problem the ‘let’s make Obama a one term President” party has, is that there was no scandal.

      • John Daly

        Interesting… So, then why was the administration telling the public, for weeks, that the attack was over a YouTube when they knew that wasn’t true?

    • Matthew Jacobs

      Failure was built in with a 5 minute time limit. The Republicans should have chosen two of their most knowledgable and skilled questioners to ask the questions. Every time a Republican was called on they should have deferred their time to them, so they could have asked followup questions along a particular line of questioning.

      Of course that would have denied TV Face Time for the Members of the house, after all they needed to give their Speech and give the appearance to their constituency that they where doing something in Washington.

      • Patrick H.

        Correct Matt, it’s the way of the politician of either party. Rather than being like lawyers examining and/or cross examining witnesses on the stand, the Republican politicians came off like wannabe actors grandstanding their “soliloquies”. Why is it that politicians care more about looking and sounding good than serving the people?

  • DOOM161

    I long ago lost faith in the republican party to oppose democrats in any capacity.

  • Kathie Ampela

    Hillary has long been able to weather political scandal, Benghazi was a cakewalk for her. The Clinton years were full of scandal and coverups. I personally was never satisfied with the official conclusion of TWA Flight 800. The GOP acted as if they knew a “congressional hearing” was an exercise in futility, a joke. Ultimately, it’s the fault of the people for not caring about Benghazi. In a few years, when the next 9/11 happens (and I think it’s almost inevitable at this point) the clueless masses will demand answers on how and why this could happen. But it’s all right there for the world to see, if anyone cares enough to look at it.

  • cmacrider

    John: Your posting is another example of your customary insightfulness. I always look forward to reading what you have to say.
    Without attempting to denigrate the American system, may I say that the lack of a “Question Period” as we have in the Canadian House of Commons is a weakness in a system with a division of powers. I would love to have seen how Hilary would have survived a barrage of questions from every quarter of the Opposition benches while the backbenchers hurled insults and created pandemonium over the obvious deceit carried out by the Administration.

    Secondly, as a retired Barrister, I’ve concluded that these much vaunted Congressional inquiries are simply a politicians idea of an afternoon soap opera. No one can develop an effective line of cross-examination in 5 minutes and they all know it. However, since they are all members of the same fraternity, they forego any format which would resemble a judicial inquiry. Any student-at-law, with one traffic ticket trial under his belt, could have conducted a more effective investigation.
    One has to remember that pursuit of truth is the last thing any of these guys want for fear the spotlight may shine on them. Its pretty discouraging actually

    • John Daly

      Thanks for the compliments. I agree with your observations as well.