As Andrew McCarthy, a policy fellow at National Review Institute, writes at NRO, there is plenty of fiery outrage by the Bengahazi panel under a Republican-controlled House over the massacre in Benghazi, but not a lot of forthcoming answers. After 10 months, there have been neither subpoenas nor hearings on why the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton failed to take any meaningful action to attempt the rescue of Americans under a terrorist siege.
Mr. McCarthy writes, “Unanswered questions abound.”
What mission was so important to Obama and Clinton that it was worth assigning American personnel to work in Benghazi, a notorious hotbed of anti-American jihadism?
Was the United States involved in facilitating the transfer of arms from jihadists in Libya to jihadists in Syria?
Why were Americans kept in Benghazi despite months of terrorist attacks on the U.S. facilities and other Western targets?
Why during those months, when other nations had the good sense to withdraw their forces because Benghazi was too dangerous, did the Obama administration not only maintain ours there but also reduce security.
Why, in particular, did Secretary Clinton turn a deaf ear to Ambassador Stevens’s personal pleas for more protection?
Why, in light of the history of attacks and the ratcheting up of terrorist threats on the eve of the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, were military assets not moved closer to hot spots like Benghazi and placed on high alert?
Why in the aftermath of the terrorist attack did the administration concoct for public consumption a fraudulent story framing the siege as a “spontaneous protest” over an anti-Muslim video, rather than an attack by jihadist terrorists?
Why, when it is now clear that the State Department knew from the first moments of the siege that a terrorist attack was underway, and knew within the first hours that the local al-Qaeda affiliate was claiming credit, did Secretary Clinton put out a press statement blaming the video?
What, if any, communications did Secretary Clinton have with her top staff — some of whom may also have been using the Clinton private e-mail system — in the lead-up to the statement Clinton issued that night?
What communications did Mrs. Clinton have with the White House — including with President Obama, with whom, according to her congressional testimony, she spoke on the phone minutes before the statement blaming the video was issued?
What was President Obama doing during the hours of the attack, and why did the White House first deny that he had spoken with any top cabinet officials before changing its story after Mrs. Clinton testified?
Why did Mrs. Clinton tell the father of one of our fallen SEALs that the administration was going to “get” the man they were blaming for the attack — no, not the head of al-Qaeda, but the producer of the completely irrelevant anti-Muslim video?
What administration officials were involved in the Justice Department’s shameful S.W.A.T.-style arrest and prosecution of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the video producer? It has been ten months since the Benghazi select committee was appointed.
Here, Mr. McCarthy sums it up: “… there is abundant reason to fear that Republicans do not want to get to the bottom of Benghazi. GOP congressional leaders were major supporters of Obama’s disastrous decision to ditch our counterterrorism alliance with Qaddafi and empower jihadists to oust him. Some of those jihadists were complicit in the Benghazi attack — and they’ve since turned Libya into a failed state in which both al-Qaeda and ISIS now have footholds. Furthermore, if there was a covert operation to help move arms from Libya to the Syrian ‘rebels’ — some of whom worked with al-Qaeda, others of whom became ISIS — it is a near certainty that top congressional Republicans were in the loop when it was approved.”