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Republican Optics Played Right into the Hands of Hillary
The Republicans played right into the hands of Team Hillary in the recent Benghazi hearings. Her claims that this was a partisan witch hunt certainly looked that way. They were loud, crude and very unbecoming. I am surprised that Trey Gowdy went in that direction. I would have thought he was smarter than that. I would have thought almost anybody was smarter then that.
Hillary was calm and deliberate. She did not raise her voice. She did not let the questions and the sly remarks affect her. At least not that she demonstrated openly. Yes there was the occasional peak into what she really thought with a quick flash of her eyes. But she quickly recovered. She did a good job. Optically.
Only one thing came out of this eleven hour marathon. Was it new ? Yes. Was it important ? Yes. And even Elijah Cummings efforts to steal the headlines In order to keep the news coverage on him and not Hillary Clinton was not enough. He started yet another fiery exchange with Gowdy and Gowdy played right into it. Cummings knows the confrontation will lead the evening news. After all, the media is trying to sell commercials. And to a lesser extant Hillary.
But the star of the hearings was this. When it was revealed that Mrs. Clinton did know that the riots were not caused by a spontaneous unruly crowd. You see she had sent her daughter Chelsea an email shortly after the attack. "“Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Queda-like group.” She later said something similar to the Libyan President. Then the next day she had this to say to the Egyptian Prime Minister. We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack—not a protest.”
For those of you not fully caught up. Hillary Clinton and the President Obama went public blaming the attack on a spontaneous protest by the local citizens. Caused by an obscure YouTube video critical of the Muslim religion. Yet this proves at the time they knew this story was not true. They then sent Susan Rice on the Sunday News Show circuit to reiterate the story. They knowingly lied to the public, the world and families of those killed. The press for their part did question Rice with noted disbelief. But Rice stuck to her story. Later she was awarded for her loyalty. She was made the new National Security Adviser.
However in the end the press did let the nation down. Did a spontaneous crowd have an experienced mortar team that could zero in on a target from three miles away ? Of course the answer is no. Common sense tells us so. And the film maker who had made the controversial video. They threw him in jail. Welcome to America.
So the next question is. Why did they lie ? The leading theory is the Presidential election was less then two months away. The White house did not want to lose the narrative that Al Qaeda was on the run. This makes sense and is consistent with White House tactics. This also makes sense that the White House thought they could get away with it. History has shown that most of the press will take whatever the administration tells them. They seldom question it. At least not in the evening edition. The White House was used to this and fully expected it. After all, that is how it has always been. The press will seldom directly challenge the first black liberal President. Any person or news agency that does so will be strictly dealt with by the administration. And even worse. They will cease to be invited to the next New York or Washington DC cocktail party. In a sense you will be ostracized. So the press will not step out of line. Usually.
Proof that the administration will do what it thinks it has to do to win re-election. Taking the ground troops out of Iraq. It was a campaign promise that the President wanted to keep and be able to point to on his re-election. Another bullet on the Power Point presentation. However the facts and most experts agree was a mistake. The mess you see in Iraq now is proof of this. No amount of spin will change that. And the claim that President Bush signed the Status of Forces Agreement which tied his hands. We never heard that until things started to fall apart in Iraq. Before that it was a White House talking point and a pat on the back for all. But this administration felt that the Presidents re-election far out weighed the needs of Iraq. Or the country.
From the eleven hours of testimony this one little fact stood out. But it is a big little fact. Hillary Clinton and by extension President Obama knowingly lied. But it will get shuffled with the rest of the cards. Those mean Republicans badgering Hillary. Hillary Clinton calm, collected and very prepared suffered stoically. This will be the whispers at the cocktail parties.
But it is now out there for all to see who wish to. In her own words. That Hillary Clinton and President Obama lied to the nation, to the world and to the families of those slain in their service to our country. For something that, in the scheme of things they should have just told the truth. This did not rise up to the level that such a blatant lie was needed. Take your lumps. The nation would have understood. But this demonstrates how easy this administration believes it can dupe the American People and never suffer the consequences. After all. They have always gotten away with it before.