Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Video: Benghazi Hearing Witness Answers Hillary Clinton's Question, "What Difference Does It Make?"

May 8, 2013 - The first day of the House committee hearings on Benghazi produced a lot of fascinating testimony today, much of it damaging to the Obama Administration and to former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton. While questioning whistle blower Gregory Hicks, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) played a video clip of Clinton's testimony to the Senate in December. (Video below.)

In that clip, Clinton said, "The fact is, we have four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again." Gosar then asked Hicks for his reaction to Clinton's question, "What difference does it make?." (Continued below video.)

Hicks said, "I think the question is 'What difference did it make?'" Hicks recalled that Libyan President Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf, who immediately said that the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi was a terrorist operation, "was insulted in front of his own people, in front of the world, his credibility was reduced, his ability to lead his own country was damaged, he was angry."

Witness Gregory Hicks at Benghazi hearings, May 8, 2013
Gregory Hicks at Benghazi hearings.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via NY Daily News
Magariaf's anger was also due largely to Susan Rice's talk show appearances in which she parroted the Administration's false assertion that the attack was the result of a spontaneous reaction to a video that insulted the prophet Mohammed. On Sept. 16, 2012, while Rice was out perpetuating the lie about the cause of the attack,  Magariaf was telling the talk shows a very different story.

"The way these perpetrators acted and moved -- I think we, and they're choosing the specific date for this so-called demonstration, I think we have no, this leaves us with no doubt that this was pre-planned, determined," Magariaf said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"A friend of mine who ate dinner with him in New York during the U.N. season," Hicks continued, "told me that [Magriaf] was still steamed about the talk shows two weeks later. And I definitely believe that it  negatively affected our ability to get the FBI team quickly to Benghazi."

So, back to Clinton's question "What difference does it make?" As Hicks pointed out, it badly affected diplomatic relations with Libya's new president Magariaf, who publicly said the attack was terrorism but was contradicted publicly and repeatedly by the Obama Administration. That caused tensions that slowed the FBI's ability to investigate the crime scene in Benghazi. It unfairly compromised Magariaf's own credibility on the world stage.

Clinton also said, "It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again." Yes, indeed, and that's what the House hearings on Benghazi are about. Perhaps future leaders can learn from these hearing that politics should never be placed ahead of American lives, that the safety and security of Americans abroad is more important than any budgetary concerns, and that lying about criminal and willful negligence will not go unnoticed or unpunished.

Rep. Gosar tweeted this after the hearings:

Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS ‏@RepGosar 49m
Today’s hearing demands further investigation; as new info
shattered Obama Administration lies surrounding #Benghazi.