Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Blessing in Disguise for Hillary Clinton

October 26, 2015
By Saeed Qureshi

The latest hearing staged on October 22 by the Congressional Select Committee to further probe the September 11, 2012 attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi Libya turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Hillary Clinton; the former Secretary of State and the current Democratic presidential candidate for 2016 elections.

It was during the uprising of 2011 against Muhammar Qaddafi, the ruler of Libya that the American Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Libya was ransacked and 4 Americans including ambassador Jay Christopher Stevens lost their lives.

The House of Representatives Select Committee on Benghazi comprising 7 Republicans and 5 Democratic Party members continued their deliberations from 10 AM to 9 PM that means for 11 hours. At the end of the day one would feel that it was an exercise in futility as far as the studied attempt by Republican members to blemish Mrs. Hillary Clinton was concerned.
Madam Hillary seemed to have a clear and transparent conscience and exhibited an admirably dignified, composed, logical and sober posture. 

This prolonged session was the eighth in a row and patently appeared to be a malicious move on the part of the Republicans to make a dent in her forthcoming presidential elections which by all indications she is likely to win.

This impression gets its veracity from the views of the friends of Trey Gowdy the House Select Committee’s Chairman. In the backdrop of the comments of some of his close friends, Mr. Gowdy has been suspected to be partisan with a motive to discredit Mrs. Clinton as presidential competitor in the November 2016 elections. Trey Gowdy’s best friends in Congress Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, on Fox News said that the committee’s purpose was to bring down Mrs. Clinton.

Another Republican lawmaker, Representative Richard Hanna of New York, reiterated the same claim. The questions that were hurled at Hillary were a refrain of the past questions that would convey a message that she was primarily or solely responsible for the harrowing Benghazi tragedy. The issue of emails from her private server or computer was played up several times especially by the chairman of the committee, Rep Tery Cowdy of South Carolina.

While the tone and tenor of the Republican members was aggressive and mostly deriding, Mrs. Clinton was not provoked and remained within the bounds of decency and decorum. On several occasions they would not listen to her full answers and disdainfully interrupt her by posing supplementary questions. Disrupting her conversation meant that they were riveted on their assertions rather than her response. It was the demonstration of a loaded mindset to override her explanations.

As far the merits of the Benghazi gory incident are concerned, the bare fact is that the State Department or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in any country is not primarily responsible for the security of the premises and compounds of the foreign missions established in various countries. The safety and protection of the assets aboard including the premises of the embassies fall within the ambit of the interior ministries, the intelligence agencies and the local police. This is an established practice and followed in all the countries.

The foreign office that we in the United States call the State Department is responsible for interstate diplomatic and political relations and handing out directives and guidelines to the embassies about the issues like visits of the dignitaries, interaction with other embassies, consulates and the host countries’ departments particularly the ministry of foreign affairs.

Within the United States or for that matter in any country, there can be coordination and joint strategy between the State Department and other ministries such as defense, culture, agriculture and security agencies on international issues or problems such as the Benghazi tragedy. But it is a sheer misunderstanding to claim or contend that all responsibilities including security of foreign diplomatic missions devolve on the State Department.

As such the accusation hurled on Hillary Clinton by the Republican members of House Select Committee for not doing enough to protect the American Consulate in Benghazi is misleading and hollow. It exhibits their ignorance as to how the state institutions operate and the tasks and responsibilities are allocated to them.

To blame Hillary Clinton of dereliction of responsibilities in protecting the mission from the attack does not hold water and is a shaky premise to stand upon. From the allegations of the Republican congressmen and women on the panel, it surmises that they would have wanted Hillary to be physically present in Benghazi and hold back the attackers.

The Libyan cities were caught in a rampaging hurricane of lawlessness and a bulging uprising against tyrant Qaddafi swelling by hours. It was impossible even for the Libyan army or the scant security staff at the mission to stop or beat back the rioters from attacking the consulate. The attack on American Benghazi Diplomatic Mission was sudden and unpredictable and four members of the mission lost their lives. Such unfortunate incidents happen during a civil war situation.

 Madam Hillary Rodham Clinton has advocated her stance quite objectively and convincingly. As per her statement, she did everything possible within the State Office to help the besieged mission staff that included talking to the Libyan government officials and other heads of States one of whom was the then Egyptian president.

Through the latest hearing on October 22, her role and stance on Benghazi tragedy has been effectively brought home to the American voters. As such the Republican Party has inadvertently, done a great favor to Hillary by saving her from the labor of explaining at length the Benghazi tragedy in her electoral public rallies.

There are a host of reasons and grounds to presage that Hillary Clinton is going to win the 2016 elections and thus have the unique honor of being the first female president of the United States of America. Such an honor was bagged by the incumbent president Barack Hussain Obama for being the first non-white president of USA.

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