DC Trawler

What difference does it make whether Hillary Clinton lied about Benghazi?

Well, that depends. Does she want to be President of the United States?

Quite a lot of news about Benghazi today. First, Vince Coglianese reports:

As the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya raged on for more than seven hours, a team of U.S. special forces in Tripoli was blocked from flying in to attempt a rescue, according to a top American diplomat who was in the region.

In previously secret testimony given by Gregory Hicks — the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya — to congressional investigators last month, Hicks revealed two possible courses of action that could have saved American lives that night: allowing U.S. special forces to enter Benghazi and flying a fast-moving U.S. military aircraft over the scene of the attacks…

CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson reported on the exchange Monday afternoon, noting that “[n]o assistance arrived from the U.S. military outside of Libya during the hours that Americans were under attack.” The claim that U.S. forces were called off from their attempts to reach the besieged compounds is a direct contradiction of the Obama administration’s claim “that nobody was ever told to stand down and that all available resources were utilized,” Attkisson noted.

Jake Tapper adds:

In an interview with congressional investigators, the former top diplomat in Libya expressed concern that more could have been done by the military on the night of September 11, 2012 and morning of September 12, 2012, to protect those being attacked at the U.S. compound and annex in Benghazi, Libya. Specifically, he wondered why the military did not send a plane as a show of force into Libyan airspace, and why four U.S. Special Operations soldiers were not permitted to travel to Benghazi on a Libyan plane the morning of September 12.

“The Libyans that I talked to and the Libyans and other Americans who were involved in the war have told me also that Libyan revolutionaries were very cognizant of the impact that American and NATO airpower had with respect to their victory,” Greg Hicks, then the US deputy chief of mission in Libya, told investigators on April 11 of this year. “They are under no illusions that American and NATO airpower won that war for them. And so, in my personal opinion, a fast mover flying over Benghazi at some point, you know, as soon as possible might very well have prevented some of the bad things that happened that night.”

This just confirms what anybody who’s been paying attention already knew: Our people were under attack, any attempt to rescue them was called off, and then we were lied to about it. This was just one of the many lies, in addition to the lies about the lies, the lies about those lies, ad infinitum, right up to this very moment.

James Rosen at Fox News has more:

On the night of Sept. 11, as the Obama administration scrambled to respond to the Benghazi terror attacks, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a key aide effectively tried to cut the department’s own counterterrorism bureau out of the chain of reporting and decision-making, according to a “whistle-blower” witness from that bureau who will soon testify to the charge before Congress, Fox News has learned.

That witness is Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for operations in the agency’s counterterrorism bureau…

Thompson considers himself a whistle-blower whose account was suppressed by the official investigative panel that Clinton convened to review the episode, the Accountability Review Board (ARB). Thompson’s lawyer, Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney, has further alleged that his client has been subjected to threats and intimidation by as-yet-unnamed superiors at State, in advance of his cooperation with Congress.

Keep your mouth shut if you know what’s good for ya.

This is going to be the story to watch this week. Joel Pollak at Breitbart.com calls it: Democrats’ Agenda for Benghazi Hearing: Protect Hillary at All Costs.

Everything they do makes sense once you realize that all they care about is grabbing and maintaining power. They don’t care about the truth, if the truth threatens that power. They don’t care how transparently ridiculous their lies are, as long as they can get away with those lies. Trying to shame them into admitting the truth is impossible, because you’re appealing to a part of them that’s missing.

But so what? After all, as the Greatest Woman in American History said:

Update: As David Burge reminds us…

Glenn Reynolds adds:

The fast-tracking of Nakoula’s jailing was highly irregular. Among other things, I’d like to see the Congressional investigators get Nakoula’s prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale — and perhaps his boss, U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. — under oath about communications from the White House or the Justice Department regarding this case.

Because what it’s looking like is that Nakoula was targeted and jailed so as to provide a scapegoat/villain in a politically motivated cover story that the White House knew was false. If that’s the case, it’s extremely serious indeed, and in some ways more significant than whatever lapses and screwups took place in Benghazi. I’d also be interested in hearing from Nakoula’s attorney, Steven Seiden, about any threats made by the government to secure a plea deal.

If there’s an impeachable offense anywhere in the Benghazi affair — and at this point, I’m not saying there is — it’s more likely in what happened with Nakoula than in the problems abroad, which by all appearances are simple incompetence, rather than something culpable. Railroading someone in to jail to support a political story, on the other hand, is an abuse of power and a breach of trust.

The whole thing stinks to high heaven. But hey, at least there was no hotel break-in…

Update: “It was false information. There’s no excuse for that.”

Update: Salon.com is pathetic.