From The Washington Post:
By Associated Press, Published: May 12
WASHINGTON — The seasoned diplomat who penned a highly critical report on security at a U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, defended his scathing assessment but absolved then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. “We knew where the responsibility rested,” Thomas Pickering said Sunday.
“They’ve tried to point a finger at people more senior than where we found the decisions were made,” Pickering, whose career spans four decades, said of Clinton’s critics.
The Accountability Review Board, which Pickering headed with retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did not question Clinton at length about the attacks but concluded last December that the decisions about the consulate were made well below the secretary’s level.
Pickering and Mullen’s blistering report found that “systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels” of the State Department meant that security was “inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.”
Oddly enough, not much more at the link, even though there was a much longer version on page A-2 of this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer. For some odd reason, I’ve been thus far unable to locate the longer version online, or the Inquirer’s link at all.
However, when I read that Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen “did not question Clinton at length,” yet concluded that she wasn’t really involved, my bovine feces detector get activated. We are being told by Mr Pickering, who was appointed Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs by President Bill Clinton in 1997,1 has concluded that the Secretary of State was not involved in the decision-taking concerning the American consulate in Benghazi.2 Secretary Clinton was the one who told us how diligently she was involved, how much of a great leader she was, and how we should want to have her to be the one to answer the 3 AM phone call. Now we are being told that, sorry, ’twasn’t her, just some lower-level minions who were taking all of the decisions.
Apparently someone else at State was answering the 3 AM phone calls!
Well, perhaps Ambassador Pickering is right, perhaps Secretary Clinton wasn’t the ones taking the decisions. Trouble is, she was supposed to be the one taking the decisions, and even if she delegated the decision-taking itself, she is still the one who was responsible for those decisions, however they turned out.3
Republicans are using Secretary Clinton’s non-performance during the Benghazi attack as ammunition concerning Mrs Clinton’s presumed run for President in 2016, as they should; because she is simply not up to the job of being President; she has already proved that she wasn’t up to the lesser job of Secretary of State. Ambassador Pickering is simply the man trotted out by the Democrats to try to give cover to Mrs Clinton on the issue. That part won’t work: there’s no amount of passing off the responsibility that will work here, though, given the results of the 2012 elections, it’s quite possible that a majority of the voters won’t care whether Mrs Clinton was up to her last job, as long as she keeps promising free stuff.
- The Lonely Conservative: Shorter Obama: Just Shut Up About Benghazi
- Patterico’s Pontifications: More Benghazi Talking Point Revelations, Plus: Is Nakoula a Political Prisoner?
- The Other McCain: The Fate of Basseley Nakoula
- Le*gal In*sur*rec*tion: NBC’s David Gregory Calls Carney’s Explanation on Revised Benghazi Talking Points “Not Accurate”. Is “not accurate” a euphemism for “He was lying through his scummy teeth?”
- American Power: George Will Hammers White House on #Benghazi
Sister Toldjah: Shocker: Lying weasel Jay Carney caught lying like a weasel about #Benghazi an we all start referring to Jay Carney as “Baghdad Bob?”
And, of course, the liberals are trying to defend our incompetent President:
- Think Progress: Obama Mocks GOP Charges Of A Benghazi ‘Cover-Up’
- The Lost Kos: Obama says IRS actions are ‘outrageous,’ calls GOP Benghazi investigation a ‘political circus’
- Ambassador Pickering has been appointed to top positions by both Democratic and Republican presidents, but your Editor infers something of his political leanings from the fact that he the American Iranian Council, an organization devoted to the normalization of relations between Iran and the United States. ↩
- The same claims that the Administration is making concerning the revelations that only low-level bureaucrats at the Infernal Revenue Service were involved in targeting conservative organizations. ↩
- Heck, George Bush is apparently responsible even for things which occurred long after he left office. ↩