Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More on the Hillary Benghazi Gambit: Hitting Obama with the Bus

Just a quick post while I get ready to watch the debate.

The more I think about what Hillary Clinton said about Benghazi the more I have to admire the Mafia-like political skills of the Clintonians.

As I noted before, Secretary Clinton has managed to get headlines announcing that she accepts "responsibility" for what happened in Benghazi without, in fact, ever saying that she accepts "responsibility" for what happened in Benghazi. While visiting Peru, on the eve of the great debate, she drops the "bomb," a very smart bomb, at that, saying that she has responsibility for the security of State's 60,000 employees, and that the President and the Vice President would not be involved in the decisions taken by her subordinates on security. She, therefore, simultaneously said that she has the responsibility, not the President, and put the blame for any bad decisions on career security professionals. She never said what she did when learning of the attack--which went on for six hours--or whether she thought it worthwhile to call the President and request a rescue effort. Nobody, in fact, has mentioned the President as a major or even minor player in the course of this long and violent attack even when, as first acknowledged by Diplomatic Security's Charlene Lamb (here and here) and now by the Secretary, the State Department was following the attack in real time.

Her "accepting" of responsibility does not extend to resigning or to anything else tangible. It just consists of words. They, however, are words that put Obama in a bind. Does he let his Secretary of State take "responsibility," thereby tacitly admitting that he does not have responsibility for the nation's foreign affairs? Does he, instead, dispute her "accepting" responsibility and assume it for himself--thereby putting the lie to what Biden said in his debate performance about the White House not knowing anything or having any control over security decisions at State? If he assumes responsibility, he must assume responsibility for his misadministration's mishandling of the aftermath: State and CIA career officers have made clear that they never concluded that the Benghazi attack was the result of a video or a demonstration gone rogue as stated by Ambassador Rice, the President, and Hillary, herself.

In sum: If he lets Hillary "accept" responsibility he has diminished even further his claim to the Presidency and reminds everyone of Hillary's very effective 2008 anti-Obama ad about the call at 3 am. He appears a small man, hiding behind a courageous woman. If he accepts responsibility, he has a lot of explaining to do and even the docile media will not be able to let that go.

The one factor that might undermine Hillary Clinton's otherwise masterful "Chicago Gambit" move is the X-factor known as the State and CIA career bureaucracy. Those folks are increasingly uneasy as the politicians seek to blame them for the fiasco. Those bureaucracies are not under the control of either Obama or Clinton; they play their own games of chess on their own boards and with their own rules.


  1. Well, the Great Uniter Obama, who was supposed to transcend all our partisan divisions, can't even keep his own administration united.

    The most sinister thing about all of this is how our "misadministration" initially made abject apologies to an Arab Street that chants "Obama, Obama, we are all Osama"; and seemed to insinuate that the First Amendment is too dangerous a thing to be left lying around where the yokels can lay their hands on it.

  2. Bush knew what it was like to have the CIA seek to undercut him. Obama may learn the same lesson in the next few weeks.

  3. And We the People look forward to your reporting on the games of chess played by the bureaucrats. I work with bureaucrats every day and I see where their interests lie, Self preservation is the ultimate goal of every human. So, Diplomad, keep us on the inside track. We really appreciate it.

  4. Obama was AWOL just as he voted "present" as senator.

  5. As you are well aware of, there are certain procedures that are followed and notifications made during an incident of this kind.

    Can we get a peek at the logs of the Pentagon and State Dept ops centers regarding who was notified and when?

    I wasn't State Dept but 22 years in the military give me some idea of what happens when the Duty Officer gets a big slimey turd dropped on his lap. It goes up the chain as quickly as possible and is logged for CYA purposes.

    I doubt that State is any different.

  6. Hillary Clinton, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, a minister, and a teen with a backpack are on a small plane. The captain announces, "Folks, we're in trouble, and will crash before too long. Unfortunately, there are only three parachutes in the passenger compartment for the four of you. Bye."

    They all watch in dismay as the pilot bails out with a parachute of his own.

    Kareem says, "I'm a role model for inner city kids. It would be too great a tragedy if I were to die. Besides, I'm stronger than all of you put together." He then grabs a parachute and jumps.

    Hillary Clinton says, "I'm the smartest woman in the world, and if I don't become first female POTUS, all women and girls in America will die of despair." She grabs a parachute and jumps.

    The minister grabs the last parachute and holds it out to the kid. "Son, I've spent my life getting folks ready to meet their Maker, and I guess it's now my turn to go..."

    The teen says, "Shut up and strap it on, Preach. The smartest woman in the world just took my backpack."