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May 28th, 2017

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Benghazi Hearing Takeaways

Bruce Bialosky

By Bruce Bialosky

Published Nov. 2, 2015

Benghazi Hearing Takeaways

Our country just went through a spectacle indicative of our government's operational dysfunction. Politics comes before the safety of our State Department personnel and the truth. There are a lot of takeaways from this event that have a lasting effect.

Overview: This committee exists and these hearings were being held because 1) Our State Department personnel were left under-protected in the neighboring country to one where our embassy had just been assaulted and four of our fellow countrymen died. No one truly took responsibility or suffered any consequences for this massive failure. 2) This administration stonewalled on providing documents to our Congress whose job it is to investigate such matters.

First, Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and his committee did not want this to be a public hearing. Hillary Clinton insisted it be televised. It became a sideshow instead of a search for the truth. Ms. Clinton knew she could act above it all because the Democrats on the committee would perform as her political henchmen, and they did. She could sit there while her allies started a food fight and she could watch indifferently. Mr. Gowdy should have either insisted that the hearings be behind closed doors like the others or the questions be directed to Ms. Clinton by committee attorneys to maintain a consistent line of questioning.

Second, the Democrats on the committee were near a universal disgrace to the institution of the Congress. They had to know the committee had received thousands of documents and interviewed many witnesses never addressed by prior committees, yet they lied about the work. Either they are just hacks or have not been paying attention. How could they not be appalled that the committee had received 1,300 pages of Ambassador Chris Stevens' emails two days before (5,000 pages that week) the Clinton hearing and 17 months after their work began? If they did not like what the committee was trying to find out, why did they continue to show up? Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Linda Sanchez (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) were either pimping themselves for their dreamed-of positions in Clinton Admin 2, or just lackeys. Adam Smith (D-WA) was the real revelation. This man truly does a disgrace to the institution (and his famous name). The only grown-up and responsible member of the committee from the Democrats was Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) who actually appeared to care about the entire process and the four dead Americans.

Third, we know that Ms. Clinton had a lot of responsibility. There are 196 countries. There is an immense amount of disruption in the world. We also know that Ms. Clinton does not do all of her communication through email. She has lots of meetings and lots of face-to-face discussions. Taking that into consideration, it was quite stunning that Ms. Clinton's emails were a fraction (1/12) of what they were in 2012 regarding Libya as opposed to 2011. It was not as if after the overthrow of Gaddafi that a stable government took over or that the country was in a stable region. Ms. Clinton could not identify that she actually spoke to Ambassador Stevens after his appointment. Libya did not all of a sudden become Liechtenstein.

Fourth, Ms. Clinton does not have a computer in her office. What a dinosaur. She has a BlackBerry and a tablet, but once she walks into her office she cuts off that form of communication. I am big on speaking to people live about business matters, but I cannot think of anyone who can operate without a computer at the ready. This fits into the recent article in Vanity Fair (not exactly a right-wing rag) which talked about the insulated bubble in which Hillary keeps herself with aides handling everything and keeping her isolated. This fits into the fact that she stated at the hearing that Stevens contacted her aide Jake Sullivan regularly. She never picked up the phone and asked Stevens how he was doing. She is detached. Bad management.

Fifth, 600 security requests from Libya and she never got personally involved in the situation. She actually made light of it when she joked about how entrepreneurial Stevens was for attempting to acquire barricades from Germany. Or that she did not think she should get involved whether a wall was eight feet or ten feet high. There was evidence she delegated this, but did not properly supervise. Again, poor management.

Sixth, people rarely, if ever pay for their mistakes in government. If the security people were responsible for the decisions, as Clinton states, why was the head of her security not fired due to the worst breech in over 30 years? Ms. Clinton stated she followed the law in regard to personnel matters, but she did not state she found it disgusting that the inept people she had could not be replaced. Once again, bad management.

You are probably waiting for a takeaway about the utter nonsense of the video being a rationale for the attack. How can it be? Only a complete partisan or an idiot believed that pile of manure. The fact that Ms. Clinton immediately knew it was garbage and communicated one thing to us and another to insiders does not surprise me. We just have proof now. Did you really expect that Hillary Clinton was going to be straight with you? Do you believe if she is elected president she will be straight with you? It depends on what the meaning of "straight" is.

It is clear that Ms. Clinton was much more involved in the decision to destabilize Libya than she was the aftermath. Once the regime change occurred she handed off the day-to-day of making it work to underlings. Unfortunately, it did not work; it's more a mess today than ever and we have four dead Americans. Ms. Clinton bears that responsibility and the American people should hold her accountable. Bad decision making and poor management.

Ms. Clinton wants to be promoted to be president. The best evidence of her abilities to do that job comes from her handling of Libya. In both strategic decision making and personnel supervision, she was an abject failure. It is clear from the death of four Americans and the disastrous state of the country. That is not partisan opinion. That is fact.

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Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former Presidential appointee.

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