Hillary Clinton finally found herself in front of members of the Benghazi Select Committee on Thursday and the results were as expected. Despite their best efforts, the Republican dominated committee has offered very little in the form of new information, as the former Secretary of State wiggled her way through much of the day looking the same as she did in the months prior.
When House Speaker Rep. John Boehner called for the creation of the committee last spring, the general consensus was that it was a partisan creation to bring down Clinton and her hopes of winning the presidency. Americans fell, once in again, down party lines. Even House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, as well as other committee members, acknowledged that the committee was, in large part, constructed to target Clinton. During the Oct. 22 hearing, that partisanship was on trial.
In her defense, Clinton called out the entire panel, Democrats and Republicans, telling them that she has spent more time thinking about the Benghazi attacks then all of them. “I would imagine I have thought more about what happened than all of you put together,” Clinton said. “I have lost more sleep than all of you put together. I have been wracking my brain about what more could have been done or should have been done.”
Republicans weren’t having it, with Republican Rep. Jim Jordan focusing on the reason for the attack, which has been explained by the reaction from the Islamic community over an anti-Islamic video, or the possibility of a planned attack. “You could live with a protest about a video, that won’t hurt you, but a terror attack would,” Jordan said, claiming that Clinton and the Obama administration wasn’t being “square” with the American people. Continuing her defense, Clinton fired back at the Republican congressman.
“I am sorry that it doesn’t fit your narrative congressman, I can only tell you what the facts are.”
Republicans also focused on long time confidant, and anti-Obama political voice, Sidney Blumenthal. House Republicans claim that Blumenthal, who openly admitted in his private email exchange with Clinton, that he knew nothing about the region in and around Libya, was a top adviser for Clinton during that time.
The biggest highlight of the hearing, thus far, came when Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy and Ranking Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings got into a shouting match right before a scheduled recess. Cummings accused Gowdy of promoting misinformation and contradicting himself during a recent appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” but Gowdy denied the allegation. Cummings pushed for the entire transcript between Clinton and Blumenthal to be released so the public could see for themselves that there was no wrong doing, but Gowdy refused.
“You asked for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…Why don’t you just put that entire transcript out there and let the world see it! What do you have to hide?”
As of press time, the hearings continue, but what observers have witnessed over the last few hours is the same as they have been told by various media pundits during the better part of the last two years. Conservative viewers will side with Republicans in their attack against Clinton, while liberals will write it off as another partisan witch hunt by a party that is desperate for good news. The rest of those who are taking an interest, will most likely shake their heads at embarrassment that their elected officials are too busy playing politics, rather than get the country on track.