So Hillary Clinton finally decided to take responsibility for the lack of security that led to the deadly assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya, on September 11:
“I take responsibility” for what happened on September 11, Clinton said in an interview with CNN’s Elise Labott soon after arriving in Lima, Peru for a visit. The interview, one of a series given to U.S. television networks Monday night, were the first she has given about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Clinton insisted President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are not involved in security decisions, Clinton said.
Obama and Biden were out of the loop, Hills said.
So that’s that.
Last night three key Senate foreign policy gurus, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) made clear they were not buying a word of it. They released the following statement:
We have just learned that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has claimed full responsibility for any failure to secure our people and our Consulate in Benghazi prior to the attack of September 11, 2012. This is a laudable gesture, especially when the White House is trying to avoid any responsibility whatsoever.
However, we must remember that the events of September 11 were preceded by an escalating pattern of attacks this year in Benghazi, including a bomb that was thrown into our Consulate in April, another explosive device that was detonated outside of our Consulate in June, and an assassination attempt on the British Ambassador. If the President was truly not aware of this rising threat level in Benghazi, then we have lost confidence in his national security team, whose responsibility it is to keep the President informed. But if the President was aware of these earlier attacks in Benghazi prior to the events of September 11, 2012, then he bears full responsibility for any security failures that occurred. The security of Americans serving our nation everywhere in the world is ultimately the job of the Commander-in-Chief. The buck stops there.
Furthermore, there is the separate issue of the insistence by members of the Administration, including the President himself, that the attack in Benghazi was the result of a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video, long after it had become clear that the real cause was a terrorist attack. The President also bears responsibility for this portrayal of the attack, and we continue to believe that the American people deserve to know why the Administration acted as it did.
From their perspective Clinton was forced to walk the plank for a cowardly president who should have stepped forward to take the blame. The buck stops, in Obama’s administration, at Foggy Bottom and not at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
But Da Tech Guy is under the impression that Hillary, rather than being “thrown under the bus” has been a master politician in all of this.
There has been a lot of back and forth about “Will Barack Obama Throw Hillary under the Bus over Benghazi?” or vice-versa this week .
It was quite a situation, If Obama threw Hillary under the bus would the Clintons work subrosa against him? (I maintain they already have been.) If Hillary threw Obama under the bus would the African-American community make her pay in 2016, it’s one thing for them to be pissed off at Obama, it’s quite another for some white lady to beat up on him.
What do you do? Well Hillary has threaded the needle in a way that accomplishes everything she needed to thus.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday tried to douse a political firestorm around the deadly assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya, saying she is responsible for the security of American diplomatic outposts.
“I take responsibility” for the protection of U.S. diplomats, Clinton said during a visit to Peru. But she said an investigation now under way will ultimately determine what happened in the attack that left four Americans dead.
The moment I heard this I had one thought: This is the move of a political master. Consider what this accomplishes:
Last night, Paul Mirengoff of Powerline noted: Hillary takes responsibility for Benghazi, sort of:
In any case, Clinton’s statements will be interpreted, for now, as her taking the blame. Come 2016, they will be re-interpreted as blaming the “security professionals” who let her down.
Does this take President Obama off the hook? No. First, he appointed Clinton as his Secretary of State, in what was probably his most important personnel decision as president.
Second, Clinton did not, and cannot, take the fall for the false statements by the Obama administration about what happened in Benghazi. The State Department, which was following events there in real time, knew that this was a terrorist attack, not a protest. Yet, days after the attack, the administration mischaracterized it as a protest that spun out of control against a movie. That’s on Obama, not Clinton.
Third, Clinton cannot take the fall for our failure, to date, to strike back at those responsible for the Benghazi attack. This too is on Obama.
Scott Johnson of Powerline writes… Speaking of fog:
The Obama administration has had the fog machine working on overdrive since the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi. Hillary Clinton substantially contributed to the fog in her comments to reporters yesterday, including one as it appears in the notes of reporter Wendell Goler of Fox News. Commenting on Susan Rice’s infamous appearances on the Sunday news shows on September 16, Clinton had this to say:
On Rice “grew out of a protest” assertions: “the fog of war. The confusion you get in any type of combat situation. Remember this was an attack that went on for hours…there had to be a lot of sorting out…everyone said here’s what we know subject to change.”
Yet the State Department monitored the attack in real time. The attack never appeared to be anything other than a planned terrorist operation. There was no report of a protest. In this case the fog of politics is a helluva lot thicker than the fog of war.
Hillary is complicit in the bogus protest narrative, having peddled it herself initially, so she has every reason to hide behind a phoney “fog of war” excuse.
I don’t know how she makes a political comeback in 2016 with the taint of this administration all over her.
Roger L Simon says: No, Hillary. Benghazi Will Not Go Away:
Off in Lima, Peru — at least it wasn’t Antarctica or the Aleutian Islands — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has fallen on the proverbial sword long distance, declaring the buck the stops with her on the Benghazi security debacle.
That’s all well and good, but where does the buck stop on all the lying and covering up that followed? Yes, I used the unvarnished “l-word” because that’s what it was. How else to characterize UN Ambassador Susan Rice running around telling everyone in earshot that the Benghazi events were caused by an idiotic and unwatched YouTube trailer when Occam’s Razor — not to mention rocket-propelled grenades, an ambassador dragged through the streets, and a safe house mysteriously under fire — pointed to a terror attack commemorating September 11?
And then the president, acting like an errant husband unwilling to confess his adultery (who do you believe – me or your lying eyes?), repeated the same swill on The View nearly a week later. Unconscionable.Why did this happen? Why this bizarre need to obfuscate or push away such an obvious truth?
It’s a lot more significant than the usual election season blather. On the deepest level, Barack Obama did not want to be found out. He had something even bigger than Benghazi to cover up – his worldview.
Part of Obama’s worldview is that al Qaeda can be defeated with drone strikes and police actions but as Rep. Peter King says, Al-Qaeda a bigger threat than they were on 9/11.
Meanwhile, Twitchy tries to keep up with the changing storylines: Not so fast … did Hillary really take the fall on #Benghazigate? Passes buck back, Obama punts:
“We did everything we could to keep our people safe, which is my primary responsibility.” <-- That sound like someone thats taking the fall?—
John Ekdahl, Jr. (@JohnEkdahl) October 16, 2012
So Hillary says she's responsible, not Obama, but also, she's not responsible.—
KingPimpPaulRyan (@AceofSpadesHQ) October 16, 2012
Over at AoSHQ, Drew makes some very good points on how this hurts President Eye Candy:
How does this hurt Obama? Well tonight he will be standing next to Mitt Romney. Romney you might recall has made a rather big stink about Obama’s failure to lead and his own stellar leadership record.
Here’s how he might play this when Benghazi comes up (or he brings it up himself)…”It’s all well and good that Secretary Clinton is taking responsibility but my leadership experience has taught me that only the person at the top of the organization is truly responsible. President Obama is at the top of the Executive Branch and he’s ducking responsibility. I’d like to know if the President agrees with the Secretary and if he does, why hasn’t he asked for her resignation? If he doesn’t agree, why doesn’t he say who is responsible? Most importantly, why hasn’t he taken responsibility from Day 1. Harry Truman didn’t say the buck stopped at the Department of State, it stopped at his desk in the Oval Office.”
And then it will get ugly for Obama when Romney ads, “And who does the President blame for the failure of his policies to get this economy going? The Secretary of the Treasury? Maybe he blames you the voters for not paying enough in taxes. This country needs a President who accepts the responsibility that comes with the job and doesn’t blame his subordinates.”
Obama will have no answer to any of that. He also can’t fire Hillary because that would cause problems with Team PUMA and his administration would be in disarray 3 weeks before the election
He can’t suddenly say, “Oh no, it’s me not Hillary who is responsible” because A-he doesn’t believe that and B-It’s too late. She beat him to the punch, he’ll look like he’s scrambling to catch up (which he would be).
It should be a fun debate, tonight!
This report from The Washington Free Beacon does seem to substantiate Drew’s thesis: After joking with reporters, Obama silent on Benghazi question:
For those of you wondering how the administration thought they could possibly get away with this outrageous cover-up, Charles Krauthammer has your answer.(hint: the MSM is a big part of the equation):
You should fast forward past the tedious introductions to :20 secs in: