Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded in an interview with television reporters to the leak of incriminating State Department e-mails from September 11. It was another disgraceful performance by an Obama Administration official, an attempt to flagrantly dismiss mounting, incriminating evidence.
The e-mails, obtained by Reuters and CBS, informed other government agencies as well as the White House in real time about the terrorist attack taking place on the Benghazi consulate. Their content clearly contradicted the Obama Administration’s argument that the attack was a result of a spontaneous demonstration spurred by an anti-Islam video.
This discrepancy raises the question as to why no U.S. military assets were deployed to rescue the beleaguered diplomatic personnel. The last of the three leaked e-mails even stated that a terrorist group, Ansar al-Sharia, claimed “responsibility” on Facebook and Twitter for the murders of the four American victims on the day of the attack.
Clinton’s first line of defense was to imply that the e-mails were taken out of context and that only the State Department’s own review board’s report will—in the fullness of time, when conditions are right, and so on—give us the full picture of what happened on September 11 in Benghazi. To quote Clinton:
Now finally on Benghazi, look, I’ve said it and I’ll say it one more time. No one wants to find out what happened more than I do. We are holding ourselves accountable to the American people, because not only they, but our brave diplomats and development experts serving in dangerous places around the world, deserve no less. The independent accountability review board is already hard at work looking at everything; not cherry-picking, you know, one story here or one document there, but looking at everything, which I highly recommend as the appropriate approach to something as complex as an attack like this.
Clinton’s second line was to dismiss social media as a credible medium for a terrorist organization seeking to claim credit for a bloody crime. This dismissal is entirely out of line with the Clinton State Department’s embrace of social media. It has invested countless man hours in social media and has embraced it for counterterrorism communication. Again, to quote Clinton:
You know, posting something on Facebook is not, in and of itself, evidence, and I think it just underscores how fluid the reporting was at the time and continued for some time to be.
What I keep in mind is that four brave Americans were killed and we will find out what happened, we will take whatever measures are necessary to fix anything that needs to be fixed, and we will bring those to justice who committed these murders. And I think that is what, that is what we have said, that is what we are doing. I am very confident that we will achieve those goals.
As it happens, the State Department review board will conveniently report after the presidential election, and expecting the Obama Administration to investigate itself is a non-starter after its initial, inept attempt at obfuscating the events in Benghazi.
In the days ahead, the drip, drip, drip of leaked documents and e-mails will undoubtedly tell the American people more about what really happened in Benghazi and in Washington. And, shocking as it may be, the four Americans who lost their lives deserve that the truth be known.