The Republican Party seems to be doing an excellent job of dishonestly using the attack in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens for political purposes. They’re relentlessly trying to drum this up into a scandal where there is no scandal, and our feckless media are taking the bait, of course.
Today in an interview with CNN, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took responsibility for diplomatic security, as she should — and the wingnut blogosphere immediately started concocting conspiracy theories that she was pressured into this statement by the White House.
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 told CNN in an interview while on 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.
“I take this very personally,” Clinton said. “So we’re going to get to the bottom of it, and then we’re going to do everything we can to work to prevent it from happening again, and then we’re going to work to bring whoever did this to us to justice.”
Meanwhile today, the New York Times is reporting that the infamous anti-Islam video “Innocence of Muslims” did trigger the violence, contradicting the shrill right wing claims that the video had “nothing to do with the attack.” Yes, it really did.
To Libyans who witnessed the assault and know the attackers, there is little doubt what occurred: a well-known group of local Islamist militants struck without any warning or protest, and they did it in retaliation for the video. That is what the fighters said at the time, speaking emotionally of their anger at the video without mentioning Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or the terrorist strikes of 11 years earlier. And it is an explanation that tracks with their history as a local militant group determined to protect Libya from Western influence.