The Senate Foreign Relations Committee gathered today to cross examine Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the sensitive matters coming out of the surprise attacks by angry insurgents on the US Embassy in Benghazi, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Within a few short days of these attacks, during a politically sensitive period just prior to the elections, the Democratic administration called the attacks “terrorist” and placed the blame, tentatively, on Muslims angry at a film depicting the Prophet Muhammad in an unfavorable light. No mention was made of al-Qaeda, but at every juncture it was affirmed that the investigation was still in early stages. The Republican Party took the stand that the American people were not told the full truth, that some misleading characterizations and misinformation were involved, and that embassy protection was a failure. The administration pointed out then, and still, that certain facts were withheld for reasons of security.
The highly regarded Secretary of State was knowledgeable and firm in her testimony, stating that the administration, including herself, was aware of every aspect of the attacks; not only in Benghazi but throughout the Arab regions. Regarding requests by Stevens and other diplomats for additional security, some of which were denied and not forwarded by embassy personal within that region, she reasserted to both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, "I didn't see those requests. They didn't come to me."
Finally under pressure from Republican members, she spoke her feelings: “With all due respect, the fact is that we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?" she gestured for emphasis.
We are at a point in time in America, leader of the free world, wherein foreign policy is of the highest importance. The Muslim world has begun in many quarters: in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Africa, to yearn for the potential of freedom. The repercussions of global events, as people place their lives in jeopardy to seek the blessings of democratic principles, are felt in Russia, even in China. In addition, the world must respond to threats from rogue nations, including Iran and North Korea. Indeed, the coming years will mark a turning point in history, for better or for worse.