Not going to lie to you. I did not have the stomach to listen to the entire presentation by the State Department reps today in front of Issa's committee. If I get something wrong let me know. After almost 34 years in the State Department, I have a pretty good idea of what's going on and don't really need to hear it. It is the silky swooshing sound of asses being covered.
The fact that Hillary Clinton did not show up or send any of her political appointees to represent her speaks volumes. The politicos are trying to get the top bureaucrats to take the spear. It ain't going to happen. These Obama types might think they are very clever, tough, and devious Chicago politicians, but they obviously have never gone up against senior career State Department bureaucrats fighting for their jobs and reputations. Foggy Bottom vs. Chicago? Put your money on Foggy Bottom.
I can guarantee you that the State bureaucrats are burning up the phone lines, running down their cell phones batteries, and going hoarse in "off the record" calls to Congressmen, staffers, and journalists. There is the public presentation being made before the committee, and then there is the "Open Kimono" presentations being made behind the scenes. I don't know Charlene Lamb, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security, but it sure seems as if she has been chosen as the sacrificial, ahem, lamb. How good she is at the double dealing game, I don't know. The master of the double deal is Undersecretary for Management Kennedy, whom I have known for twenty years. Whatever he says in front of the committee, which will be a "sort of" defense of the Department and White House leadership in the Benghazi fiasco, you can be sure that behind the scenes he and his acolytes are throwing Clinton, Rice, etc., under the bus. He is not about to go down in flames alone. He will not throw himself on the grenade to save Clinton and Rice and Obama. If he dies, they die, too.
I hope the congressmen can see through the classic State dodge: try to confuse input with output. Lamb, for example, proudly stated that she spent endless hours on the phone during the attacks monitoring the situation. I believe her: People at State work hard. Does it make a difference? Well, that's the rub. What did Lamb do with all this information she was gathering? Had she looped in the White House, the Pentagon, AFRICOM, or SOCOM? Was there a rescue plan underway? Hours went by, if there wasn't, why wasn't there?
Why was the Ambassador visiting Benghazi on 9/11 if he had serious concerns about security? Again, what was so important? Did the Ambassador let down his staff?
As noted, I didn't watch the whole thing; couldn't stand the State Department statements--they read too much like slick nonsense. From what I can tell, the real question is not being asked--maybe it is in a classified hearing. What was the facility in Benghazi? What made it so important even in the face of mounting threats? If it was important enough to operate, why wasn't it important enough to protect? Did the Ambassador ever threaten to close it down if it weren't protected? The real issue, however, is that the site could not be protected from the sort of attack we saw on 9/11 short of 30 or 40 well armed US troops. Why was it so important to risk so many lives?