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Jan 24, 201311:18 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Zero Dark Hillary: At this point, what difference does it make?

Zero Dark Hillary: At this point, what difference does it make?

(page 1 of 2)

This is arrogance of a high order. Seeking to find out who knew what and when in the attack on our embassy in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including our envoy, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, received this answer from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during Wednesday’s hearings:

“What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Didn’t Bill say that to Hillary after a certain intern ...?

The Venerable Meade put your humble Squire onto this train of thought, sending our way these corollaries:

  • Yellowcake uranium in Niger? What difference, at this point, does it make?
  • Claiming weapons of mass destruction as a reason for using military force?  What difference, at this point, does it make?
  • Trading arms for hostages? What difference, at this point, does it make?
  • Covering up a third-rate burglary? What difference, at this point, does it make?
  • Bombardment of Fort Sumter? What difference, at this point, does it make?

This has the makings of a great parlor game. The late-night comedians should have a field day.

  • 9/11? What difference, at this point, does it make?
  • Hanging chads in Florida? What difference ... ?
  • Doing politics in the Milwaukee County exec’s office? At this point ...
  • Very drunk man shot going for the policeman’s gun? What ... sputter [snort]?

I will say the secretary of state most effectively employs a debating tactic: When cornered, lash out in anger.

‘How do you tell the truth if you don’t know the facts?’

Sen. Johnson asks that question in a direct e-mail to Bring It! and also published in USA Today:

During her Senate testimony, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that approximately 25 Americans who were on the ground or who witnessed the terrorist attack in Benghazi were immediately evacuated. Secretary Clinton also revealed that neither she, nor her senior people, debriefed or spoke with those people immediately after the attack, or for months afterward, to understand what happened. She stated that she didn't want to be later accused of playing politics.

When I questioned her about the misinformation disseminated for days by the administration, most notably by Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice on Sunday news programs five days after the attack, she asked, “What difference does it make?”

If you don't expeditiously debrief the people who witnessed the attack, how can you understand who initiated it, what weapons they used and who may have been involved? How do you initiate a proper response if you don't know what transpired? How do you move properly to protect other American assets and people in the region? How do you know what failures occurred, so that you can immediately correct them, if you have not debriefed the very victims of those failures? And lastly, how do you tell the truth to the American people if you don't know the facts?

Our diplomatic forces in Benghazi were denied the security they repeatedly requested for many months before Sept. 11, 2012. Secretary Clinton stated that she was not told of those desperate requests in the most dangerous region in the world. As a result, our people in Benghazi were ill-prepared to repel or avoid that attack, and four Americans were murdered. For many days after the event, the American people were also misinformed as to the nature and perpetrators of that attack.

In truth, Benghazi is a failure of leadership – before, during and after the terrorist attack.

To answer Secretary Clinton, it does make a difference. It matters enormously for the American public to know whether or not their president and members of his administration are on top of a crisis and telling them the truth.

Old to new | New to old
Jan 28, 2013 11:29 am
 Posted by  Matt Logan


Shame on you and every partisan hack who neglected to publish the second part of Hillary's response to Johnson's question. A true American would have posted this:

"With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. 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? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator. Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this. The fact is that people were trying, in real time, to get to the best information."

And Johnson's response you cite indicates he wasn't listening either. How can you govern effectively with Johnson's mindset? Oh, and the icing on this cake is that Johnson missed his initial briefing on the incident. How can Johnson tell the truth if he is unwilling to avail himself of the facts?

Feb 14, 2013 12:35 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

"Facts", Matt? The administration blamed the attack on a video, sans facts. It seems as though you have confused fact with opinion, but don't let that stop you.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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