Clinton on Benghazi: Tears and Anger

In likely her last Senate hearing on Capitol Hill as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton says of the Benghazi consulate attack: "For me, this is not just a matter of policy. It's personal."

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington on Jan. 23, 2013

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton teared up Wednesday talking about the deaths of Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. “For me, this is not just a matter of policy. It’s personal. I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews,” Clinton said. “I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, the sons and daughters, and the wives left alone to raise their children.”

Clinton was testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, her first, and likely only, testimony before Congress on the attack. Later on Wednesday, she is scheduled to appear before the House Foreign Relations Committee. Senator John Kerry is expected to be confirmed as Clinton’s successor at State by early next week. Clinton had been scheduled to testify last month before a series of health problems landed her in the hospital, forcing a postponement.

Clinton again took full responsibility for what happened and said her department is in process of implementing all 19 of the recommendations by an independent panel that investigated the attack. She noted that she appointed the first-ever Deputy Secretary of State responsible for high-risk posts and implemented an annual review led by the Secretary of all these posts.

At times Clinton grew angry at Republicans’ focus on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s comments the Sunday after the attacks that the situation had been nothing more than a protest gone haywire. It was later found that the assault on the consulate was a coordinated terrorist attack, not a flash protest. “I just want to say that, you know, people have accused Ambassador Rice and the Administration of, you know, misleading Americans. I can say, trying to be in the middle of this and understanding what was going on, nothing could be further from the truth. Was information developing? Was the situation fluid? Would we reach conclusions later that weren’t reached initially?” a clearly exasperated Clinton said, her voice rising, chopping her left hand on the table before her with each question. “What difference at this point does it make?”

Clinton also was careful to underline that Benghazi, while a tragedy, should not become an excuse for the U.S. to become more isolationist. “This is a great opportunity as well as a serious threat to our country. I hope we seize the opportunity. It’s not going to be easy, because these new countries have no experience with democracy. They don’t have any real experience among the leaders in running countries, in doing security,” Clinton said. “[W]e have to recognize this is a global movement. We can kill leaders, but until we help establish strong democratic institutions, until we do a better job communicating our values and building relationships, we’re going to be faced with this level of instability.”

225 comments
kevinclennon
kevinclennon

a clearly exasperated Clinton said, her voice rising, chopping her left hand on the table before her with each question. “What difference at this point does it make?”

Why is her statement stopped here? what did she say after this? Something about a video and people out for a walk deciding to kill Americans. Sorry Madam Secretary it was niether one of these. Why dosen't she know this was a planned attack should of been the follow up question.

This article is bias for leaving out the most important facts. Please tell the who;e story so people can be informed.

idlewyle
idlewyle

Wavejumper, Got Rights?, Teddywyatt, jsammy: after reading your posts on this topic and those responding to you I could not be more grateful for your insights, knowledge of the pertinent facts, ability to stay objective in the face of such vacuous, inane responses and a writing style that just draws the thinking person in - especially wavejumper.  We need your unflappable objective composure, consistency and ability to see the big picture. If any of you ever consider running for office contact me. We need a leader of this caliber now more than ever.

wavejumper
wavejumper

Hello Cosmic. You are not missing a thing. I wish there were a thousand more like you. Allow me to add to your prescient comments. Anger is a fear based emotional response. What does Clinton have to fear if she had done everything in her power to avoid and/or respond to the attack? Its remarkable how relatively restrained the congressmen remained considering the evasiveness they encountered– the congressmen are simply asking questions. While there are numerous details regarding the attack I will defer the bulk of them to the reader. However, to outline the situation on the ground during the attack the following is just some of what the Whitehouse knew: Just one hour after the seven plus-hour-long terrorist attacks upon the U.S. consulate in Benghazi began, our commander-in-chief, vice president, secretary of defense and their national security team gathered together in the Oval Office listening to phone calls from American defenders desperately under siege and watching real-time video of developments from a drone circling over the site.  Yet they sent no military aid that might have intervened in time to save lives or thwart the attack – if such paralysis wasn’t motivated by political correctness, what was the cause? The consulate was contacting the Whitehouse immediately upon attack (by phone and e-mail) but received no response from Clinton or anyone else from the Whitehouse. I find such lack of response as, at least, curious? No contact was ever made by Clinton – to anyone on the ground– even well after the attack – why not? Is there not any way of filtering cables of consulates under attack from others? With the proper response not only could lives have been saved but a proper message the terrorists would have understood been sent. While it is true that embassy’s have previously fallen under attack what makes this attack so heinous is that no response was made by the Whitehouse for nearly eight hours – why not? Regarding any motive to frame the attack as video motivated before the election should be obvious to any non-partisan – to increase Obama’s chances of winning a close election. Obama knew that most of his supporters would not be interested in any wrong doing after he won the debates or election. The mainstream media was complicit by their tacit response to the situation – which Obama also knew in advance. Additionally any surrogates would react predictably, emotionally and without facts in an attempt to scare away legitimate questioners. Perhaps the biggest reason could be explained simply by Obama’s possibly inflated sense of invulnerability or by just followed bad advice – in other words, poor judgment – the type of judgment that is now correctly (even if ineptly) being questioned by congress. Obama and Clinton are now both on the record stating how serious a threat Al Qaeda now is throughout the region - the starkest example is evidenced by their control of Mali. The main point is that those inclined to support Obama would view the death of Bin laden as rendering Al Qaeda critically weakened. If this was not the conclusion then why would Bin Laden’s death be such an important accomplishment as the entire mainstream media indicates? Obama did nothing to discourage such conclusions before the election – of course acting as if Al Qaeda was obliterated now, only weeks after the election would be silly - even for Obama. Again the media revealed very little in the way of foreign policy unrest before the election and is only now illuminating the results of al Qaeda actions which have been brewing internationally for months if not years. To

 

James Mangle
James Mangle

So tell me again why we didn't flood the consulate with Seals and Marines?

Cosmic
Cosmic

Am i missing something here? Here is a part of what Clinton said "("Was it because of a protest? Or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided they would go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.") . Note the part where she says " It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again," isn't this what the committee is trying to do? So why is she so mad and everyone is calling this a witch hunt when she herself said we need to find out what happened....

Atoos'
Atoos'

This is what Hillary said in 2006 attacking Donald Rumsfeld  `I just don't understand why we can't get new leadership that would give us a fighting chance to turn the situation around before it's too late,'' the New York Democrat told the Associated Press. ``I think the president should choose to accept Secretary Rumsfeld's resignation.''

Clinton confronted Rumsfeld directly on Iraq and Afghanistan earlier in the day, and said his answers left her convinced he should go.

``The secretary has lost credibility with the Congress and with the people. It's time for him to step down and be replaced by someone who can develop an effective strategy and communicate it effectively to the American people and to the world.''

Brian Ward
Brian Ward

Restored America's Honor and respect abroad. Four people below her on the organizational chart were terminated as they should have been. Ron Paul, you will NEVER be President of the United States.

oldwhiteguy
oldwhiteguy

Rand Paul and Ron Johnson should head up the GOP ticket in 2016.  And I hope Hillary runs.  What greater fun could there be then watching her dress down these two nincompoops on a regular basis?  Rand is a loose cannon even within the tin-foil hat crowd.  Johnson used to run a window replacement or aluminum siding company or something in Wisconsin.  He rode in on the tea party mid-term victories.  Still thinks climate change is something Jon Stewart invented.  After the hearings, he got on the radio with Milwaukee Rush Limbaugh wannabee, Charlie Sykes.  The two of them did a nice Schvetty Balls interview about how he was just making the righteous, conservative most of his allotted 5 minutes. So let's get them together for a run at the Oval office!  And make Donald Trump their campaign manager.

dregstudios1
dregstudios1

The situation in Libya has been overly-politicized and the victims and there families being instrumented as a ruse to create doubt in Obama’s leadership and his cabinet.  Public access to real facts is being whitewashed by this rhetoric while conservative hands paint the Blackface on our President.  Watch them mix and apply the paints to his face in a portrait of Obama being Bamboozed by the Far Right at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/10/bamboozling-obama.html

Aalembertjr
Aalembertjr

Primarily four words to describe today's hearings at the Senate:  A Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. 

Rather, it was a witch hunt!  Not!  

The Former First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the USA, former Senator from New York, present Secretary of State deserves, an in depth investigation into her dealings.  But, then again;  What will it achieve?  She's an untouchable, she can do no wrong.  Didn't you hear all the praise and derriere kissing she was given?  Yes, it was a witch hunt alright, but, this witch will go away scott-free;  This is not Salem, Massachussetts in the 17th Century, and besides this witch has too much influence and gravitas.  

WE're not in (Mena) Arkansas any longer, Toto!  We're not in Chappaqua any longer, Bill!


bkgutt31
bkgutt31

Hillary put on an absolute show. She laughed, she cried (literally). Kudos! Check out this article that describes why this was Hillary's finest moment, and why you may have just seen the first female President of the United States in action...


http://snip.ps/HillaryClintonsFinestHourAndAHalf

reallife
reallife

lol  the drones are in full alert today! they're all out!  

we must deflect  bzzzzzz  we must deflect bzzzzzz we must cover up  bzzzzzz  

we can not let the "low information voter" to find out what we really are bzzzz  

change the subject! change the subject! that's the last white house order 

we must deflect bzzzz   bzzzz   baaaaaaa baaaaaaa baaaaaa  pathetic

DirkGently
DirkGently

The Republicans still heavy breathing over the Fox-News invented "scandal" here do understand that the last Republican president lost more than *200* embassy personnel in terrorist attacks, right?

So on what basis should anyone take seriously the notion that this event, and not those, constitute a massive failing or scandal for the current President?

I think we all know the answer though, right? Rightwingers ghoulishly hoped to profit off of a tragic, but not atypical attack in the Middle East, in the past national election, in which they were soundly whipped.

TheDisclosure
TheDisclosure

Clinton, no one and I mean no one, likes you.

wavejumper
wavejumper

Thank you idlewyle. This was the kind response I was hoping to motivate. It’s great to see there are those out there who “get it”. Today more than ever it seems too many approach an issue from an extremely partisan, emotional, reactionary and uninformed position. I only wish to illuminate pertinent facts and draw objective conclusions, hopefully allowing for a strengthening of societal ideals, morals and ethics. I believe this process is best started at the grassroots level. We can as a people learn to be rational and strengthen life in all areas but need someone who has taken the time and effort to outline a more scientifically based social philosophical foundation than is conventionally proffered. As regards political office I feel that for me and possibly many potential supporters it would be a death sentence – at least for the foreseeable future. I prefer to stay behind the scenes as much as possible. At heart I am an avid learner and educator much more than a politician. For these and many more reasons I could never support or represent any of the political platforms currently in place. Let’s all stay informed, be objective and engage in the good fight - it will be won – hopefully we’d all prefer it to be sooner rather than later.

 

oldwhiteguy
oldwhiteguy

@Cosmic She got angry at and frustrated with a lot of the ignorance and obvious political posturing that was being thrown into the air.  Typical was Rand Paul who called this something like the "greatest tragedy" since 9/11, conveniently leaving out the thousands dead and the damage done in the Iraqi war, among other things.  He also said he would relieve her because she didn't read a cable in spite of the fact that she gets about 600 cables a day, all with her name on them. But her particular anger was focused at one Ron Johnson from Wisconsin who was completely focused on Ambassador Rice attributing the attack to a mob angered by an anti-muslim film at the time. This was a mistake and it was corrected.  Romney attempted to use it in the campaign (naturally) but to no avail.  Clinton's point was that the issue is not that error, which was certainly not an attempt to mislead.  The issue is how did these men die and what steps can be taken to prevent it?  This against a backdrop of hundreds being killed in similar incidents during both the Reagan and Bush administrations.  Bottom line: honest inquiry with a goal of improved security is one thing.  Half-baked and ill-informed finger pointing is indeed a witch hunt and should be labeled as such.

Ldydewood
Ldydewood

.@Atoos' uh....she is stepping down. Lost her credibility? Seriously? She is more popular than ever. Clearly you don't like her but you best prepare yourself for 2016! Heard the term slam dunk?.. Those men were handled today with the truth.

kevinclennon
kevinclennon

That reset button with Russia worked well. Try some facts. does she even know Bengazai was a planned attack?  I don't think it was people out for a walk.

GaryWoodworth
GaryWoodworth

You an old fool, not an Old White Guy! My dad would classify you as the village idiot! I love Hillary's well timed concussion, bought het some time to concoct a viable story. 4 months have passed, what a sham/scam

kevinclennon
kevinclennon

Sad you feel this way. Was it a planned attack? why dosen't she say this? It wasn't a video are people out for a walk.

division is tool used by progressives. what happens when they don't need you anymore?

weedwacker
weedwacker

You might be more than a waste of flesh if you posted a single solitary fact yourself. I apologize if your excuse is medically related. If so, might I suggest a naturopathic MD - it worked for me.

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

@dregstudios1  Agree much.  I think it is funny that the R's make a big deal of this but skipped out of town whistling a note for Plame affair, WMD and the resulting wars, the financial collapse of banks and Wall St with their friends getting bailed out and a host of other fiascos that have far greater consequences.

reallife
reallife

and by speaking out we are telling the families of the 4 dead in Benghazi that they're not alone, that what happened to them is not what America stands for - we do not leave our own behind - this is just an aberration that will hopefully remind us to be vigilant - the price of freedom is eternal vigilance -

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

@Aalembertjr I will maintain that spending over $40 million to find out Bill had an affair was part of a conspiracy.  They investigated real estate, investigated the death of a staffer, investigated the travel expenses, just kept going like the energizer bunny (the same people that now say we should not spend money)......and who do you know does not clean a dress that has semen on it?  The same right wing lunacy that refuses to enact any legislation unless they can "drive the car" even though they are clearly the minority party.  There does not have to be a club membership or a memo passed around; they do a good job of sharing their misguided values without putting it into code. 

reallife
reallife

@Aalembertjr  What will it achieve? 

probably not much, but somebody has to say it -  somebody has to stand for truth in this country - freedom does not come easy -

there is a reason this country was created - we are not Europe - we are not drones (even though if you read this commie tabloid you might think so)

Ldydewood
Ldydewood

@reallife ............obviously you're the one that's low on information and full of sour grapes and hate at best.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@reallife

baaaaaaa baaaaaaa baaaaaa

What to be expected from a shyster like Rusty.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@reallife 

You have presented no substantiated arguments outside of "your points are wrong (ignored) because they're from the White House".  Right.  Also, who's changing the subject?

outsider
outsider

@reallife 


So how come you bailed on the bet Rusty?

how come you came back?

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@DirkGently 

Because this happened under the bla-I mean, this happened under Obama's watch.

Ldydewood
Ldydewood

@TheDisclosure You're kidding right?

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

'Guess your opinion is so not fact.

DirkGently
DirkGently

@TheDisclosure I like her too. She has brains and brass and brought back a modicum of respect to U.S. foreign affairs.

kevinclennon
kevinclennon

How was this corrected She still dosen't know it was a planned attack. Her statement proves this point.  Why did the times cut out her statement? Its called propaganda please stay informed America needs help.

kevinclennon
kevinclennon

Why did the Times cut off her statement. Does she know it wasn't a video are people out for a walk deciding to kill Americans. It was planned attck. This artcle is an example of manipulation why don't you see it?

Atoos'
Atoos'

@Ldydewood That whole paragraph was what Hilary said about Rumsfeld and attacked him merciless back in 2006!  And now when she is in the hot seat, she cries!  What a hypocrite!

outsider
outsider

@reallife 


You missed where the families said to stop playing politics with their dead loved ones, obviously. 

Aalembertjr
Aalembertjr

@reallife @Aalembertjr Hillary is an illuminists, Bilderberg and CFR Member.

No amount of Hearings can defrock her.  
Just read the transcript of this brief excuse for a hearing when it's made available and you to will be convinced; no one can touch this dame, she is connected to high powered covert magnates...  In the notes you will read how the (D)'s adulated her and lavished her with praise, and the (R)'s poked her with ten foot poles out of fear... all the congressmen/women are beholden to her and are afraid of her. 
I wish a real hearing into the Benghazi Fiasco were held, and she was put on the hot seat 'a la Iran Contra Hearings Style'... that went on for weeks if I remember correctly.  Yet, that won't happen Mrs. Clinton is too well aquainted with the masters of the universe.   

outsider
outsider

@DirkGently @TheDisclosure 


Me too. A hell of a lot more than anyone on the other side of the isle. For herself, but also for how she does the job. 

oldwhiteguy
oldwhiteguy

@kevinclennon Don't agree.  I think it has been established that it was a planned attack.  It simply was not described that way initially.  This is not unprecedented when unfortunate and chaotic events like this occurred.  What's troublesome to me is the incessant political posturing that serves no purpose.  It's continuing on the Hagel hearings.  To me, that's where America needs help.

kevinclennon
kevinclennon

Who lied? How is Iraq today after Obama handled the planned withdraw designed by Bush. How did that reset button work with Russia?  Bengazai was a because of a video are people out for a walk? Do they even know it was a planned attacked?

Information is available please stay informed American needs help not drones.

Fla4Me
Fla4Me

@Atoos' @Ldydewood Not being aware of each of the thousands of cables coming into the state department is a bit different then lying to start a war that kills over 100,000 innocent people and everything else that went with it.

Hadrewsky
Hadrewsky

@Aalembertjr

Keep on eating that BS... Do you keep all the poop you eat off of your tinfoil hat to keep it shiny? 

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Your hatred gives you away every time

Fixed it.

reallife
reallife

@outsider2011 @reallife  keep playing your little game if you want - whatever floats your boat, drone - this rusty character must've really gotten to you

outsider
outsider

@reallife @outsider2011 


Ah, we're back to the i'm not him bit, right?

Original. 


You did this last time; your hate comes through Rusty, no matter how stupid you play. 


And i say play simply to be polite.