Yesterday’s battlefield was on Capitol Hill, where Hillary Clinton appeared for some 11 hours in front of the Benghazi Special Committee about her role in crafting a Libya policy that ultimately resulted in the massacre of four Americans by the local Al Qaeda affiliate in that Libyan city.
She survived the hearing and there was no particular immediate political damage done to the Democrat frontunner for 2016. But there emerged lots and lots of questions about her truthfulness, not to mention her competence.
Joel Pollak at Breitbart made a list of nine revelations emerging from the hearings that was fairly comprehensive. First on the list was a rather poignant moment when Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) revealed that Hillary Clinton flat-out lied to the American people when she pushed that stupid YouTube video as the cause of a riot in Benghazi rather than the massacre being a planned attack. We know this because she was privately describing the attack accurately in communications to her family and two different foreign leaders…
Jordan was a little preachy, and he didn’t particularly make Clinton answer anything, but that was a damaging exchange nonetheless because the e-mails spoke much louder than Hillary ever could.
And at this point we now know that the State Department and the Obama administration lied to the American people about Benghazi in an effort to keep it from damaging the president’s re-election. There really can’t be any argument about that fact after yesterday, though Clinton did offer the weak and unconvincing statement during the hearing that “the video played a role” in the Benghazi attacks in her opinion.
A couple of other items on Pollak’s list had to do with the failure to provide security for that facility in Benghazi. Susan Brooks (R-Indiana) had a very interesting exchange with Clinton in which Brooks trotted out stacks of e-mail correspondence about Benghazi giving the clear implication that the Secretary had essentially lost interest in Libya after taking down the Qaddafi government there, and neglect was the order of the day even as our facility came under attack multiple times.
In later questioning by Brooks, Clinton actually suggested that Stevens’ repeated requests for security in Benghazi were jokes, which as one might imagine didn’t come off well.
But one of the really significance themes of the hearing was the fact that Sidney Blumenthal seemed to have Hillary Clinton’s ear on Libya though he wasn’t affiliated with the State Department and couldn’t have been, on orders from the president, but Chris Stevens, her hand-picked point man on Libya and our ambassador there, couldn’t get any of his 600 requests for additional security in Benghazi through to her.
This was brought out during an absolutely brilliant examination of Clinton by the committee’s chairman Trey Gowdy, the video of which you can’t understand yesterday’s hearing without seeing (and in the last several minutes, after Gowdy tore her narrative of Blumenthal as “just some guy” to ribbons, the howling of the Democrats led by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), is well worth watching for the nervousness it puts on display)…
Gowdy also demolished Clinton’s contention that Blumenthal’s advice to her was “unsolicited;” that was clearly a lie. And in other questioning he also demolished the contention that Benghazi has already been picked over and the committee isn’t uncovering anything new; he also did some major damage to Clinton’s contentions about how transparent she was in turning over her e-mails to the committee.
The idea that Hillary “won” the hearing because she didn’t get flustered or melt down is indicative of the mind-numbing stupidity that has infected American mainstream media; nobody who expects to be president should be gifted with so low a standard to meet. On the substance of the material discussed at the hearing, she did exceedingly poorly.
That’s Charles Koch, who NPR called “pretty much Darth Vader” earlier this week. He figured he’d look the part.
– Ahmed the Clock Boy will turn out to be one of the most bizarre and perhaps even suspicious stories of the Obama presidency, particularly now that the Clock Boy is apparently emigrating to Qatar after meeting with Sudan’s jihadist dictator.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for the boy. The family’s announcement of their decision to move to Qatar, a day after meeting with Obama, suggests that the episode was part of some bizarre scam engineered by Ahmed’s father, Mohamed al-Hassan Mohamed. As our friends at Powerline have shown in their excellent coverage of the story, it’s pretty clear that Ahmed’s clock was designed to look and sound just like what the boy’s teacher and the Irving, Texas police department believed it was—a bomb. Given that many Americans are apparently willing to tear up the second amendment for fear of teenage psychopaths opening fire on their classmates, it’s hard to see how the police overreacted by bringing the boy downtown for questioning.
The interesting part was how another storyline trumped the school shooter narrative—Islamophobia. To wit: Ahmed’s teacher and the police weren’t concerned he was some adolescent loser looking to murder as many people as possible with an explosive device, they’re just racists who think that every Muslim is basically a Bin Laden biding his time. By playing the two narratives against each other, Ahmed’s father, perhaps unintentionally, highlighted something disturbing about the country he is leaving for Qatar—the Americans say how much they love their children, but threaten to expose them as racists and you can put them in a hard place.
Anyway, it wasn’t a real bomb. No one got hurt. We just got played for suckers, especially Obama. It’s instructive that the president of the United States got played worse than anyone since it’s a typically American story, in spite of the Middle Eastern flavor.
Some have conjectured, perhaps wildly, that Ahmed’s father is working on behalf of Islamist parties. Who knows? The reality is that the episode won him a meeting with major Islamist figures, like the prime minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu and the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir. In fact, Mohamed al-Hassan Mohamed wanted to challenge Bashir for the presidency in the 2010 elections, but the Butcher of Darfur, as the accused war criminal who has ruled Sudan since 1989 is popularly known, wouldn’t have it. Did Mohamed’s political aspirations set the clock-scam in motion? Well, now he’s got personal contacts—and photographs!—with an impressive roster of world leaders. And his son is a role model—persecuted by racist Americans and welcomed back to the region by adoring fans. How is Bashir going to prevent a hero’s father from running for office next time out? Surely, he’s in line for a ministerial position—and the money that will follow as a consequence.
– You fools! You chased Lincoln Chaffee out of the race! What will you do now?
– In case you missed my American Spectator column this week, see it here. It’s a summation of the Louisiana governor’s race for the unwashed in the other 49 states.
– And on the governor’s race: To those of you who say “I’m as Republican as you can get, but I’ll never vote for Vitter and I’ll vote for John Bel Edwards instead” (most of you are liars, because you voted for Vitter instead of Charlie Melancon in 2010), I have something to ask you.
You might consider that there is a not-miniscule chance that Hillary Clinton or somebody just as bad will succeed Barack Obama as president. Which means they’ll come after your gun, they’ll promote voter fraud, they’ll throw the border open to illegals from all over the world to fill up our schools, hospitals and job markets and they’ll send the EPA to stop business growth and jack up your light bill.
Do you trust Democrat John Bel Edwards to fight them? Do you?
I mention this, because on Sunday, when the smoke clears and it’s a Vitter-Edwards runoff, this question is going to dominate the four weeks to come.
I’ll address this often as the runoff campaign goes forward, but John Bel Edwards is NOT a conservative. He is, in fact, more of a “national” Democrat than perhaps anyone the Louisiana Democrat Party has run over the past several decades. Sure, he says he’s pro-life and pro-gun and so on – but Edwards is a fairly hard-core liberal. If he wasn’t, he’d have a hell of a lot better score than the pitiful 25 lifetime mark he has from LABI.
And you’ll see lots of specifics on his record, including lots of video, because Edwards is one of the most garrulous, outspoken and verbose members of the House and has been for the past eight years, with all of those stem-winding floor speeches available for perusal on the House’s web site.