Friday, May 30, 2014

“It is inaccurate to state that every single one of them was influenced by this hateful video."

This statement is part of Hillary's 36 page "fog of war" chapter on Benghazi in her forthcoming memoir, a chapter obtained at least in part by Politico's Maggie Haberman, and it appears to be indicative of how she filled those 36 pages without answering any of the crucial questions about the events of that night and the following day.

This line refers to the killers.

And this line is of course a straw man, easily recognized after the president's straw man Woodstock at West Point earlier this week. It is also "inaccurate to state" that the whereabouts and actions of the president, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense that night are well known or even understood in general outline. That Hillary even bothers to spend time on the laughable "the video made them do it" argument tells us that the chapter is an exercise in space-filling, an effort to appear to be transparent and forthright about the most obvious, tragic failure of her trail of tears tenure at State. This chapter appears to be just another part of the ongoing refusal to come clean about what happened that night both in Benghazi and much more importantly for Hillary's future political ambitions in D.C.

“I will not be a part of a political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans," Haberman quotes Clinton as writing. "It’s just plain wrong, and it’s unworthy of our great country. Those who insist on politicizing the tragedy will have to do so without me.”

This is a three-part lie: It is not "just plain wrong" to demand answers from those in charge that night, it is not "politicizing" to hold those people to account for their failures, and the investigation into Benghazi will indeed involve Clinton whether or not she agrees to be questioned about her collapse that night. This risible attempt at a "pre-emptive strike" on the subject will not work, not when the event it seeks to exile from the national debate involves the death of an ambassador and three other Americans at the hands of terrorists and not when her failure to anticipate the attack and her collapse in the face of it goes to her central claim of competency to be president.

When Hillary sits down with various journalists, they should all bear down on what did she know and when did she know it; what did she do and when did she do it --in the weeks and months before the attack and the night of the attack. They should press again and again --patiently and respectfully-- for detailed answers on chronology and specifics.

"It is our job to figure out what happened."

That is what then Secretary of State Clinton told Senator Ron Johnson immediately after her infamous "What difference at this point does it make?" outburst that defines her failure at State.

That is in fact the job of every journalist who gets to ask a question of the would-be president. None have dared tried yet, but eventually someone will, and if no one does, Hillary will ask for the country's votes without ever having given an account of her actions or her non-actions. Perhaps she can bluff, bluster and bully her way to the Oval Office but the country does not seem to be in the mood for another era of dodges, half-truths, and false outrage over being asked not only legitimate but absolutely essential questions.

Hillary's 36 page leak won't put out the fire and it won't stop the questions or the commentary. Only the detailed truth would do so, and given Hillary's adamant refusal to provide that, we can assume the truth is even more damaging than her continued stonewalling.

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