As expected, Hillary Clinton’s perfunctory testimony on the deaths of four Americans in Libya a) took “responsibility” for Benghazi in words alone, shucking blame and (in)action onto others, b) wrapped herself in the flag to shout down her questioners and c) revealed nothing new.
Exit, stage left. Stick a fork in her, she is done.
But though Hillary slithers off the national stage for hopefully a very long time, the issues she did not attend to at State remain, primarily the lack of adequate management and leadership and specifically the ongoing failure to properly utilize resources in line with policy goals and missions. State is all about the whack-a-mole approach to planning, rushing here and there to nuzzle up to the White House of the day and wondering always why they never seem to have what they need to do the job right (see Iraq, still sucking the oxygen out of State’s budget as the world’s largest and most expensive embassy, because why?)
I could go on, but someone has already said it fairly clearly, so why not just refer you over to Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post, who has written the only intelligent, to-the-real-point essay on Hillary’s Last Stand. Rubin said:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony vividly demonstrated that competence is as critical as ideology when it comes to the highest ranks of national security officials.
Clinton lost it at the hearing when she cried out, “What difference does it make?” with regard to the false narrative the administration put out in the days following the Benghazi attack. On one level this is simply a knee-jerk, defensive reaction. On the other hand it goes to the purpose of her job — to assimilate, analyze and formulate coherent policy based on the world as it is, not as she would want it to be.
Marco Rubio explains why it matters and hence why Clinton’s failure is greater even than Benghazi:
Here is why it matters. Because when they put out word that this was not a terrorist attack — that it sprung out a spontaneous uprising — it furthered the narrative that somehow Al Qaeda was in disarray. That the elimination of Bin Laden had made this extraordinary reduction in the risks in the area. As it turns out, not only was that not true in Libya but we are now seeing it’s not true in other parts of North Africa as well. And the fundamental question is, “Did the administration really believe that?” Because if they did, they badly miscalculated.
the danger of ideologically driven self-delusion and/or management collapse will grow in the second term if yes men who will say whatever the White House deems convenient are confirmed. In Obama’s determination to create a Cabinet of weaklings with a history of bad judgment and highly questionable executive skills, he increases the chances of Clinton-like failures.
Read the whole piece over at the Washington Post.
Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of the Department of State, the Department of Defense or any other entity of the US Government. The Department of State does not approve, endorse or authorize this blog or book. Follow us on Twitter!