• Oh Hillary (Exit, stage left.)

    January 25, 2013

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Libya

    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.

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  • Recent Comments

    • John Poole said...


      Ah, so it IS really about her. She teared up describing how devastating it was to have to comfort the families of the killed. Poor thing, to actually have to witness the suffering and grief of others up close is just so unfair and a very uncomfortable situation for sure. She could have easily scheduled a foreign trip instead of having to be there when the bodies were returned but she is a strong woman and made the right call. She’s such a trooper I think she got over it by lunch.

      01/25/13 3:39 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      Gee whizz, I guess that blot clot finally filled the space between her two neurons. A lobotomy notwithstanding, she really does need some healing time..like the rest of her life. Of course..what possible difference would it make. Once a dimwit..always a dimwit. Funny though, I wonder if anyone else saw the last questioner say…

      “Ok..I’ll try DOLTS for 2k”

      01/25/13 4:54 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      The “I knew nothing and what difference does it make” excuse is not looking very presidential for Hillary, surprising considering Hillary feared looking weak on national defense and decided not to oppose the Iraq War. But her Benghazi bluster just makes her appear as incompetent as Bush. Her answer should have been, hey, I fucked up. If Bush had admitted he fucked up on 9-11 and the Bin Laden hunt, the American public wouldn’t consider him the worst presi-dense in history. Hillary would be advised not to beat around the bush.

      01/25/13 5:15 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer- my guess is that the Benghazi disaster’s real roots of incompetence started with Obama. It was his folly to remove Qaddafi and Stevens was then used in an inappropriate and risky way to keep the general public from ascertaining that Qaddafi’s removal had created a mess in Libya. Stevens may have died serving the CIA’s interests more than dying while serving some lofty diplomatic crusade- oops, I mean mission.

      01/25/13 5:32 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      on a side note…

      OMG Peter..from your tweet..

      quote: “From the Department of Out of Touch: General Cartwright says 4G cell network America’s lasting legacy in Afghanistan.” unquote

      4G cell network America’s lasting legacy in Afghanistan. Fucking priceless. DUMB pills notwithstanding, does the DOD force feed STUPIDITY to Generals? After all, Patraeus was living proof in the first instance, but this one absolutely goes down as the plumb bob of fucking incredulous.

      Peter, I must say, I don’t know where you find this stuff, but you must have an incredible database on stupidity.

      01/25/13 5:36 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      It is sadly not too hard. Somebody at State or DOD hits flush and I just watch what comes down the pipe.

      01/25/13 5:52 PM | Comment Link

    • Zareen said...


      I agree with much of what you have said about Secretary Clinton on this blog, but I believe you have undermined your argument in this particular post by quoting Jennifer Rubin. We all know she is nothing more than an attack dog for right wing neocons/lunatics.

      01/25/13 5:44 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Rubin is who she is, but that is not important. What is important is whether her ideas in this instance make sense, which they sadly do. Consider the argument, not the person.

      01/25/13 5:51 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      PVB- one doesn’t even need to plunge anymore. There is such a huge backlog of governmental fecal detritus that it is a wonder the drain is still holding. Better stand back and roll your pants up while trying to read the torrent as it bursts the main drain.

      01/25/13 8:29 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      The personification, and one of the authoresses of, the “Pussy Pass”. Women are mostly immune from prosecution and even more immune from custodial sentences.

      01/26/13 3:03 AM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...


      Rich Bauer says:

      “Hillary would be advised not to beat around the bush.”

      … but Hillary LIKES beating about the bush, no?

      01/26/13 3:32 AM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      In that New York Post photo I imagine that’s how she looked when and if she ever fellated Bill.

      01/26/13 10:07 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      OK, Lisa. We get it but this is old news. If one ever saw some photos of her in college it was clear “what” she was. But what does that say about Bubba? Please don’t go there- I just had my breakfast and would like to keep it down for a few more hours.

      01/26/13 1:49 PM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...



      I submit this was her fierce-face at the very thought of it.


      I haven’t eaten yet. I believe Hill’s predilections say naught about Bill’s virility, only his ladder-climbing nature and Arkansas-boy naivete. That, and he appreciates a fine bit of incisive female mind.

      01/26/13 4:17 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Lisa, I assume you have heard the joke about H&B visiting her old home town and Hillary spotting an old boyfriend working at a gas station. Bill says, “Just think. If you had stayed here you’d be married to that guy. Hillary, “Yes, and he’d be president not you.”

      I don’t claim to understand the minds of such a couple but Bill’s purported satyriasis is despicable regardless of his orientation-real or as a ruse for something more covert.

      01/26/13 6:09 PM | Comment Link

    • JVC said...


      CNN.com has HRC featured as it’s top opinion piece today along w/her mug on the main page…”President Hillary Clinton? If she wants it…”
      With a fawning press & urban consensus seemingly suggesting that with this public, out of sight is out of mind, I don’t think there’s much she could do, frankly, to not wind up as president unless the power elites really don’t want her there.
      We are living in extra dangerous times as along with the advent and proliferation of nuclear weapons, climate change and unfettered human population explosions, the US has lost an independent press, not withstanding journalists like Rubin & the internet. I don’t really see much difference between the mainstream press in the US and the Democratic Party.
      When I tell my friends, many of them lefty Dems, of my perspectives on the federal government from my employment in it, I am met usually with disbelief. “We Meant Well” expertly documents the sorts of things I have seen go on, regularly, though in a different agency. Until the big networks can stand up and call a spade a spade regardless of their party affiliation, Hillary and ilk will be surefire candidates for the positions that matter.
      Comfortable, educated, urban liberals are, in my opinion, so completely enthralled and intoxicated with their president and the idea of the transformative, beneficial, and paternal beneficence of federal governance, they will not see the deficiencies, abuses and corruption until they themselves are made to suffer for their choices. That is what’s going on, it might not be the whole picture but it’s a big part of it as I’m in it, I’ve been adversely affected for speaking out against it and from speaking out against it I know who isn’t saying shit and they need to be reporting a hell of a lot more comprehensively than they are right now: NBC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, etc.
      I’m not giving the Republicans a pass… I guess I find the behavior and sentiment of liberal Democrats (the majority of the main stream press I’ve spoken with) to be so irksome as they just ooze “compassion”, civil rights, blah, blah, blah & then give HRC, BHO and all the rest a pass on issues like robot warfare, habeas corpus, Bengazi, etc.
      When Republicans make war its murder but when Democrats make war its necessary. That’s what I see going on and with the urban/urbane demographic i.e. democratic outlook seemingly coming more and more into vogue as the US becomes increasingly urban and younger I suspect there will be no recourse except to wait for the inevitable collapse, which is what happens when you run debts into the trillions and then print money with nothing backing it to cover the bill.
      Bring it on. This polity doesn’t deserve to continue.

      01/27/13 2:55 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      It is time to drop the illusionary terms Democract and Republican. One will not be disappointed in the next ten years if one accepts that we are Brazil. Study Brazil and you will see the USA soon enough.

      01/27/13 3:00 AM | Comment Link

    • JVC said...


      @ JP… I will have to brush up on my Brazil studies. W/o much background in that country’s history let me just say that we are neither Brazil nor Rome. In either case fundamental human flaws, namely egoism and egotism are the singular fault I see leading to ennui and eventual collapse of states and civilizations. On a daily basis I witness decisions made in my work station that ameliorate the efficacy of my unit (raiding of budgets) and assure degradations in our capabilities to better serve the public good which is what my unit is chartered to do. This is almost always because some GS 12 – 15 is having inadequacy issues because they don’t think their furniture set readily conveys their status to visitors to the office. A very small case in point, not so different from PVB’s ambassador in Baghdad who had to have a green lawn at his desert embassy. The civil service has become a vehicle for self-aggrandizement. Maybe it was always that way but my studies indicate to me this was not always the case.
      I think Hillary Clinton is evil and I think she is a product of the system that generated her. I also think there are people of good will on both sides of the political divide in this country who would like to see her go away. A certain party, that starts with the letter “R”, seems more inclined to see her go away than the other big party player in this country. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. That I have begun to see symmetry in arguments made by self-described Democratic party activists in support of this evil… consistently, reliably in favor of the notion that HRC, BHO & Rice know what’s best… Well, I can’t go along with that. I need to seek out the people who agree with me and as far as national politics and real politic, getting her out, and keeping her out is my primary concern. To that end political parties still matter and can make a difference.

      01/27/13 4:28 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      PVB- remember our bet with Hillary. I’m still confident she will not run.
      If she did run in 2016 it would be expected that she would be willing to do a possible eight years. A potential eight years in a very draining office would clot her up real good and she knows that.

      If she could be the first woman president by only having to serve two years and out then I’d lose our bet.

      01/27/13 3:06 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      You all are so optimistic to assume there will even be a democracy in 2016. By then, Obomba will be able to justify drone attacks inside the US and screw US and the Constitution.

      01/27/13 5:01 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Of course, the USA is a joke in the eyes of most of the world already. Torture – okay but don’t tell anyone, banks moneylaunderer for the cartels and terrorists, pay a fine and get out of jail free card, but tamper with your cell phone and there’s a cell waiting for you:


      01/27/13 5:43 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      Solzhenitsyn speaking prophetically to America in 1978:


      01/27/13 6:56 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      I am grateful that when I was a young man I met one of this woman’s friends:


      01/27/13 7:02 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer- It isn’t optimism.

      I said there wouldn’t be a 2008 election back in 2007 and was laughed out of the room by my Democratic friends. I made that bold but outlandish (by all my friends) prediction because I sensed no real alternative to the Cheney/Bush ethos would EVER be allowed to happen. In a strange way I was right-there wasn’t a real and honest election in 2008. I could not have anticipated the brilliant cleverness of the plutarchy when Obama was marketed as the alternative to the Bush Cheney reign because I was unaware of how well Obama had been covertly vetted and prepped to take that baton of empire and run his leg.

      01/27/13 7:32 PM | Comment Link

    • Expat said...


      @ Rich –

      Q: Dude, what u doin’ time for? U kill someone? Rob a bank? Commit an act of terrorism against ze homeland? Torture someone? (Oh, yeah, that one’s OK, if u were workin’ for The Company.)

      A: Worse, man, I unlocked my new iPhone. 🙂

      01/28/13 1:44 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      re: the only crimes that our gov sees fit to prosecute, reminds me of this great scene in “Dr. Strangelove”


      “It’s a MAD MAD MAD MAD World, ATT”

      01/28/13 12:41 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Why Wikileaks is a good idea:

      Secretary Clinton told Congress that about 1.4 million cables go to the State Department every year, and they’re all addressed to her and she DOESN’T HAVE THE TIME TO READ THEM ALL. There’s a cable reportedly floating around the net sent by Ambassador Stevens to the State Department about security. Apparently, NO ONE thought to ask if Hillary read that cable.

      If State sent a cc of each cable to Wikileaks, every cable would be read by someone. That person would contact the NY Times and then somebody in State who was reading the news instead of boring cables would know about it.

      01/28/13 4:51 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      That was one of her weakest statements, and one which Congress was too dumb to call her on– OF COURSE she can’t read everything. She failed to organize her staff properly so that they fed her the important stuff. The info load on a president is even higher and faster paced. I doubt she could handle it given her work as SecState as an example.

      01/28/13 5:06 PM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...


      @ JohnPoole,

      Yes, a good joke because it belies a truth. As per the Clintons, their marriage is probably the template of many: pragmatic at best, a deal with the devil at worst. I’ll scratch your back, you mine; what you do on TDY is your business, ditto for me. What galls and pains is the sheer unrepentant Machiavellian-ness of it all.


      Couldn’t agree more: toady press, superior-feeling knee-jerk liberals not seeing the irony of criticizing the bilious, torturing and rapacious Republicans all while beaming at their Obamasaviour for doing the same.

      01/28/13 5:11 PM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...



      Excellent link — thank you fort reminding us of the warnings of Bezmenov, Solzhenitzyn, et. al.

      Americans are useful idiots, no?

      01/29/13 6:34 PM | Comment Link

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