Well isn’t this interesting…
Lima, Peru (CNN) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday tried to douse a political firestorm over the deadly assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya, saying she’s responsible for the security of American diplomatic outposts.
“I take responsibility,” Clinton said during a visit to Peru. “I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. The president and the vice president wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They’re the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision.”
But she said an investigation now under way will ultimately determine what happened at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, where Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed on September 11.
…”In the wake of an attack like this, in the fog of war, there’s always going to be confusion,” Clinton said. “And I think it is absolutely fair to say that everyone had the same intelligence. Everyone who spoke tried to give the information that they had. As time has gone on, that information has changed. We’ve gotten more detail, but that’s not surprising. That always happens.”
She added, “What I want to avoid is some kind of political gotcha or blame game.”
“I know that we’re very close to an election,” Clinton said. “I want to just take a step back here and say from my own experience, we are at our best as Americans when we pull together. I’ve done that with Democratic presidents and Republican presidents.”
It’s even more interesting one night before the second Presidential debate. Is President Obama going to fall in line with Clinton’s assessment? Were he to do so that would open him to criticism that as to who the buck really stops with; Clinton or Obama?
Last week there were rumors that Hillary might resign over the ever-increasing possibility that she might be the administration “fall guy” for the debacle in Benghazi. Rumors were that Bill Clinton was livid, considering that he had gone out of his way to shore up Obama at the DNC, producing a dramatic (if short-lived) bounce for Obama.
There are many ways to read this admission, but considering all the scenario’s as to how this all could go down, it appears that this move serves the ball back to Obama’s court. If Obama wins re-election Clinton is already scheduled to step down so she’ll be taking 100% of the heat in that case – lap-dog media willing. If Romney wins the election one would assume that he’ll be too busy to be invested in a long blame pointing investigation. In that case the chances that she takes 100% of the blame goes down, as a new administration will surely want to spread the blame around the Obama administration as they bring in their own national security team.
Is it possible that this is a passive aggressive move to help put a final nail in Obama’s sagging re-election prospects? Considering Slick Willy and Hillary’s history, one would be naive to suggest that it might not be a possible motive.
Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte responded to Clinton’s admission with this:
“We have just learned that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has claimed full responsibility for any failure to secure our people and our Consulate in Benghazi prior to the attack of September 11, 2012. This is a laudable gesture, especially when the White House is trying to avoid any responsibility whatsoever.
“However, we must remember that the events of September 11 were preceded by an escalating pattern of attacks this year in Benghazi, including a bomb that was thrown into our Consulate in April, another explosive device that was detonated outside of our Consulate in June, and an assassination attempt on the British Ambassador. If the President was truly not aware of this rising threat level in Benghazi, then we have lost confidence in his national security team, whose responsibility it is to keep the President informed. But if the President was aware of these earlier attacks in Benghazi prior to the events of September 11, 2012, then he bears full responsibility for any security failures that occurred. The security of Americans serving our nation everywhere in the world is ultimately the job of the Commander-in-Chief. The buck stops there.
“Furthermore, there is the separate issue of the insistence by members of the Administration, including the President himself, that the attack in Benghazi was the result of a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video, long after it had become clear that the real cause was a terrorist attack. The President also bears responsibility for this portrayal of the attack, and we continue to believe that the American people deserve to know why the Administration acted as it did.”
Guess who is getting painted into a corner on this one? Hint: He is debating Mitt Romney in less than 24 hours and is have a foreign policy debate in less than a week…