For anyone who was paying attention, yesterday was an important day. No, I’m not talking about the Arias trial (which certain networks covered all day without any mention of other, apparently more trivial news), or even Kim Kardashian’s latest appearance as a floral couch/sausage hybrid. On Wednesday, May 8, we heard the testimony of three whistle blowers regarding the attack of our embassy in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, and there were some pretty eye-opening moments. As expected, both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice were discussed in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, and what we heard was hardly flattering.
Gregory Hicks, a foreign service officer and former deputy chief of mission in Libya, gave testimony on the events of the night of September 11, as well as what transpired following the attack. In his initial description of that attack, Hicks stated “the Secretary of State Clinton called me along with her senior staff were all on the phone, and she asked me what was going on. And, I briefed her on developments.” Hicks was also asked by South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy if Ambassador Christopher Stevens had mentioned anything regarding the alleged YouTube video protest that was blamed by the Obama Administration as the cause of the attack:
Gowdy: Would a highly decorated career diplomat have told you, or Washington, had there been a demonstration outside his facility that day?
Hicks: Yes, sir, he would have.
Gowdy: Did he [Amb. Stevens] mention one word about a protest?
Hicks: No, sir, he did not.
So we have testimony that Clinton was briefed on developments and that not a word was spoken about a protest of any kind. Despite that, Rice appeared on a handful of talk shows the following Sunday and stated to the American people that it was in fact a poorly-made YouTube video depicting the prophet Muhammad that spurred the attack. Below is further discussion between Gowdy and Hicks regarding her appearances:
Gowdy: Fast forward, Mr. Hicks, to the Sunday talk shows with Ambassador Susan Rice. She blamed this attack on a video. In fact, she did it five different times. What is your reaction to that?
Hicks: I was stunned. My jaw dropped. And I was embarrassed.
Gowdy: Did she talk to you before she went on the five Sunday talk shows?
Hicks: No, sir.
Gowdy: You were the highest ranking official in Libya at the time, correct?
Gowdy: And she did not bother to have a conversation with you before she went on national television?
Hicks: No, sir.
Neither Clinton nor Rice made any mention of a terrorist attack until immense pressure was put on the Administration for answers, and it’s clear that they were lying to the American people by continually blaming this video. Yet as Hicks and his fellow whistle blowers, Mark Thompson and Eric Nordstrom, gave their testimony in Washington D.C. yesterday, Clinton was on the other side of the country in Beverly Hills, California to accept a public service award. The Pacific Council on International Policy awarded Clinton with the inaugural Warren Christopher Public Service Award, which supposedly honors “the public service of others whose work reflects his [Warren Christopher, former Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton] distinctive leadership qualities.
As if that weren’t enough, on May 7, 2013, the day before the Benghazi hearing, Rice also received an award. The 2013 Louis E. Martin Great American Award, presented to Rice by The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, is given to “an exemplar of change, progress and coalition-building across racial lines”. Apparently, blatantly lying to the American people is now an example of progress. Specifically, the organization honored Rice for “her work in advancing U.S. interests, strengthening the world’s common security and prosperity, and promoting respect for human rights.” I suppose one could argue she advanced U.S. interests, but I think it would be more accurate to say she advanced the interests of the Obama Administration in the throes of an election season.
So there you have it. While Hicks testified that he’d essentially been marginalized and demoted due to questioning the response to the attack on Benghazi, Clinton and Rice are honored with awards for “leadership” and “progress”. While it’s hardy surprising, it’s still disheartening to see that honesty is no longer considered a virtue and “CYA” tactics are recognized as leadership.