The Right Opinion

Hillary Clinton's Dodgy Testimony

By Jonah Goldberg · Jan. 25, 2013

A lot of people in Washington apparently forgot how good Hillary Clinton is at not telling the truth.

Wednesday, in her testimony before both the Senate and, later, the House, Clinton brilliantly fudged, dodged and filibustered. Of course, she’s a pro. Clinton was slow-walking depositions, lawyering up and shifting blame when many of her questioners were still civilians down on the farm.

Aided by a ridiculous format, she outfoxed most of the Republicans with ease.

Meanwhile, the Democrats, almost uniformly, seemed singularly interested in celebrating Mrs. Clinton as a global diva who somehow manages to carry the burden of her awesomeness with humility and grace. If smoking were still allowed in the Capitol, one could easily imagine her removing a cigarette from a gold case, tapping it nonchalantly on the witness table, and the entire Democratic caucus leaping over their desks for the chance to light it for her.

The most dramatic moment came early, when Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson tried to get Clinton to explain why the State Department blamed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in Benghazi on an impromptu protest over an anti-Muslim video. In a rehearsed moment of spontaneous outrage, Clinton yelled back, “With all due respect, the fact is 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 to kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?”

It is a measure of Clinton’s cult-like status on the left and among much of the press that this passed for a satisfactory, never mind impressive, response. But it’s also a tribute to Clinton’s gift for mendacity that it worked so well.

Even among the administration’s harshest critics, people seemed at a loss to fully explain what difference it makes whether the administration’s spin was true or not. For many, the answer is simply that government officials shouldn’t lie. That’s a necessary criticism, but hardly sufficient.

But just to be clear, Clinton lied and is still lying. When asked about the claim that the attack was sparked by a protest over a video, she responded, “I did not say … that it was about the video for Libya.”

That’s simply untrue. When she stood by the caskets of the four Americans killed in Libya, she directly blamed an “awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.” Afterward, she reportedly told the father of Tyrone Woods, the former Navy SEAL who was killed in the attack, “We will make sure the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.” Why tell the man that if the video had nothing to do with it?

Moreover, Clinton was part of an administration that crafted an entire PR strategy to blame these attacks on “an awful Internet video.” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was unequivocal: This was a “response to a video, a film we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting.” In his address to the United Nations, President Obama mentioned the video six times but al-Qaeda once. When he appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” he blamed the video directly. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice went on five Sunday shows blaming the video. All of this happened when they already knew it was not true on the day of the attack, and even the president of Libya publicly called the protest explanation ridiculous.

But again, the lying, while outrageous, is incidental to the real offense, which is twofold. First, why did the administration lie? Well, it wanted to conceal its utter failure to prepare for terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 – which is like being surprised by Christmas falling on Dec. 25. Also, the Obama administration, by which I mean the Obama campaign, was desperate to protect its hyped record of fighting terrorism. A “spontaneous” attack invited not by the administration’s shortcomings but by some nutty video was just the ticket.

Indeed, on this score, Clinton was true to her word. While none of the murderers have been apprehended, the filmmaker is in jail, the picture of his arrest splashed across the globe.

Which brings us to the second part: the nature of the lie. Remember, not all lies are equally harmful. In this case, the U.S. government responded to the murder of four Americans by treating our constitutional rights as part of the problem. A former teacher of constitutional law, Obama was happy to watch the country argue new limits on free expression and the necessity of giving bloodthirsty savages and terrorists a heckler’s veto on what Americans can do or say.

Clinton was in on that lie, and that makes all the difference in the world.

© 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.


Robinius in Broomfield, Colorado said:

Hillary Clinton is a habitual liar as is her husband, Bill. No surprise there. What I wonder about is that the Republicans on the committee were unprepared to call her out about her lies on Benghazi even after Hillary's "concussion" delayed the hearings for weeks. She was allowed to slide by. Is Congress a club? If you are a member of the elite are you given a pass? The Dems can attack a Republican with lies and innuendo (Mitt Romney most recently) but Republicans must play nice? BTW If Hillary takes "full responsibility" for the four deaths in Benghazi why hasn't she resigned in disgrace? And why was our ambassador in Benghazi without protection in the first place? I guess no one cares anymore. Old news. Forward comrades!

Friday, January 25, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Alex in NJ replied:

A cesspool from outside, a hot tub when you're in.

Friday, January 25, 2013 at 1:31 AM

Jim in USA replied:

Here's a thought. If the Republicans let her lie her way out of THAT, maybe the truth is that they are worse than the Demonocrats. Her testimony is sworn. She is guilty of perjury. Who was it that played the tapes showing her saying what she just denied saying and asking her, "Is this one of the times that you didn't say it was the video? Is this? Is this?" Did ANYONE? If no Republican calls for her immediate resignation, if no Republican calls for her to be charged with perjury, then what are they but brazen enablers of evil. At least the Dems are "honest" in their intentions. The Republicans are pretending to be the oppostion and that serves as nothing but as a distraction and deflation to any real opposition.

Friday, January 25, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

Seniors in Arkansas, were ripped off by the Clintonian Couple. Vince foster is dead. There is a trail of blood and gore wherever these reprobates roam. How safe are American embassies, anywhere?

Friday, January 25, 2013 at 6:49 AM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

Continued---Don't worry folks; we are getting John Kerry---He has a plan for the State Department---He was in Vietnam!

Friday, January 25, 2013 at 6:51 AM

Dick Belmont in Fergus Falls, MN said:

During the Democratic Primary Campaign a Hollywood producer or director that was a supporter of Obama said this of the Clintons, "Everyone knows that politicians lie but the Clintons do it with such ease." Nixon was driven from office over Watergate, but no one died. Nixon's deeds paled compared compared to President Clinton and President Obama, and with Obama we had four Americans dead in Benghazi, a dead Border Agent and ICE Agent, and several dead Mexicans with Fast & Furious, and no one seems to care. Where is your investigative interest now, Bob Woodward?

Friday, January 25, 2013 at 10:01 AM in sc said:

Where in hell is the leadership in the Republican party? With all the time they had to prepare for this lying witch, why couldn't they get together to formulate questions in a proper sequence to force her to quit dissembling and get to the real truth. She never did answer Johnson's question about all the other people who had been rescued from Benghazi and she distracted by her vicious rant about "Who cares!". Kudos to Rand Paul who had the guts to tell her to her face that he would have fired her. The Repubs better start using some intelligence or we are going to be lost forever. No more money to their campaigns until they wise up.
The Dems were so nauseating with their slavish, servile praise.
Where is a John Galt when we need him so badly ????

Friday, January 25, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Rich in Providence said:

No one has yet pointed out that those lies about the video caused riots in other Arabic cities where innocent people were killed.

Friday, January 25, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Tex Horn in Texas said:

SC Jo, I agree. So far, the Republicans (with a few Tea Party exceptions) are acting like gutless wonders. Seems Obama and the Dems have them trumped on their every move. Why? Perhaps the goal is the same?

Friday, January 25, 2013 at 2:30 PM

JJStryder in Realville said:

" What difference at this point does it make?" that had to be the most callous, insensitive and ignorant response I've ever heard from a Clinton. And that is saying something from the first family of spin.

Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 11:48 AM