Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is a national embarrassment. In congressional testimony this week, Mrs. Clinton -- under oath -- repeatedly deceived the public about her role in the Benghazi terrorist attacks. Although claiming "full responsibility" for the breakdown in security, she in fact evaded culpability at every turn. She delivered a performance worthy of an Oscar -- at times choking back tears while at others expressing righteous indignation. Her Hollywood leftist friends must be proud.
For months, Mrs. Clinton refused to face congressional scrutiny about the Benghazi atrocities, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans -- including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. She did have serious medical problems, yet it is obvious what her plan has been all along: to help cover up a major scandal that should have brought down the Obama administration.
Hence, she denied any role in formulating the administration's early talking points, whereby the attack was blamed on a supposedly spontaneous flash mob sparked by an anti-Muslim U.S. video. The protest narrative was a fiction, the concoction of President Obama and his allies. The reason: to divert attention from Mr. Obama's seminal campaign claim that he had smashed al Qaeda. The reality is that under his presidency, jihadist forces are on the rise across North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Rather than subduing radical Islam, the president's policies have emboldened it.
The Libyan intervention was a geopolitical disaster. The eastern part of the country has become an Islamic safe haven. Shariah law is being consolidated in Libya. Al Qaeda-linked terrorists succeeded in raiding a massive stockpile of weapons, which may have been the ones used against our officials in Benghazi. Instead of confronting this blowback, the administration decided to lie about what really happened on Sept. 11, 2012. Mrs. Clinton was an integral part of the deception campaign.
When asked about the false talking points by Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, she waxed indignant. "The fact is we had four dead Americans," Mrs. Clinton roared at Mr. Johnson. "Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans?" she said. "What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and prevent it from ever happening again, senator."
This is not only false, but sinister. Her goal is to whitewash the administration's systematic attempt to politicize the Benghazi attacks and manipulate the intelligence. Within hours of the assault, the evidence was overwhelming that jihadists were behind it. The Libyan government, the CIA's station chief in that country, several U.S. intelligence agencies, an unmanned drone above the compound, and State Department officials in Washington watching the events live from cameras at the consulate -- all reported that the attack was not the result of some imaginary flash mob. This begs the question: Who in the administration deliberately removed references to al Qaeda and terrorism from the talking points? We are still nowhere closer to finding out. The truth is being swept under the rug.
Moreover, U.S. officials were begging for military assistance as the compound was being overrun. U.S. gunships and a rescue team were only an hour away. Yet, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton refused to lift a finger to save them. Why did they not order a military strike against the rampaging jihadists? Several of the victims could still be alive today. Instead, they were betrayed by their own government. Stevens and the diplomatic staff at Benghazi worked under Mrs. Clinton. She was their boss. She did nothing to defend them.
For months, Stevens had sent cables and emails to senior members at the State Department begging for more security. The compound had been attacked several times in the previous five months. The Red Cross and British diplomats had pulled out from Benghazi and armed Islamic terrorists were seen roaming the streets. Stevens and his staff feared for their lives. A major assault was not only predictable -- it was inevitable. Every request, however, for extra guards and heavier firepower was denied.
Mrs. Clinton brazenly told Congress that she never saw or received Stevens' cables. I don't believe her. It is almost impossible. Mrs. Clinton is known for being an intense micromanager, meddling in almost every area -- no matter how low-level -- at Foggy Bottom. Congressional investigators should subpoena her emails.
The Clintons are experts at the art of mendacity. Her husband, Bill, lied under oath about Monica Lewinsky. During Mr. Clinton's administration, Mrs. Clinton was intimately involved in numerous scandals -- Filegate, Travelgate, Mr. Clinton's alleged sexual assaults on Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick and Paula Jones, and of course, Monicagate. Mrs. Clinton is no stranger to cover-ups. Much of her political life has been spent playing to the cameras. She can now add to her credits Benghazigate -- one of the greatest debacles in American history.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a radio commentator in Boston.
© Copyright 2016 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.