Clinton Comes Under Fire for Benghazi
by Mykayla Sandler on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
11 years after Al Qaeda launched a coordinated attack on American soil, on September 11, 2012, another group of Al Qaeda-linked terrorists acted, this time against the United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans were killed, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. Numerous questions have been raised about this attack: who knew what, when? Why were we using local forces to protect our ambassador, and where did they go? Why did the US not deploy ground or air forces to protect our people and assets? Why were consulate requests for more security ignored? Why did the President, the Secretary of State and the US Ambassador to the United Nations initially attribute this attack to an anti-Muslim video, days after the CIA and others in the government already knew that this was a terror attack? In recent days, it has become clear that initial reports were contradictory concerning the impetus for the attack, and that even the White House was unsure whether the assault was a planned attack or a spontaneous demonstration. However, many of these questions remain unanswered. Observers hoped to hear an honest assessment of this situation from then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on January 23 during her testimony before Congress.
During her testimony, Secretary Clinton took responsibility for what transpired in Benghazi, but when asked about why the State Department ignored cables sent from the American embassy in Libya asking for help, Clinton replied that thousands of cables are sent to the State Department every day. When Sen. Ron Johnson tried to get Clinton to explain why the State Department blamed the Benghazi attacks on an impromptu protest over an anti-Muslim video, Clinton, irate, snapped, “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided to kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”
While some of the uproar over Hillary’s testimony can be attributed to Washington partisanship, disregarding the reasons, motives, or details of any terrorist attack is unacceptable, especially when the State Department received memos asking for help. When American lives are lost, the government’s duty is to find out every single detail. This knowledge makes a difference because it allows officials to backtrace and fix the issue. Many Americans are out there doing the hard and dirty work the country needs, and we owe it to them to keep them safe.
Many may defend Clinton’s testimony, arguing that she was leaving office anyway and that her work as Secretary of State should be recognized. Hillary Clinton emotionally reflected many times upon her years as Secretary of State and the many countries she traveled. Her expertise in foreign policy and dedication to the country were never doubted by either Democrats or Republicans. Still, Hillary Clinton and the State Department she led owe this country an explanation for the Benghazi attack. The safety of American citizens should always be the number one priority of all government officials. Personal agendas and political opinions cannot trump this honorable duty. In order to protect Americans everywhere in this increasingly complicated world, the government must put politics aside to make sure that it makes the right decisions and discloses the right information to protect its citizens.
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