#Benghazi headdesk moment: Why the review board stopped questioning Clinton

Posted by: Phineas on May 14, 2013 at 1:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

US Consulate, Benghazi

“Don’t ask questions”

Via PJM. This is one of those statements that makes you think “No, you didn’t just say that, did you?”

He did:

“Now, with hindsight, don’t you [Amb. Thomas Pickering, co-chair of the Accountability Review Board] think it would have been important to ask her about that conversation and other decisions she made that night? Because she [Secretary Clinton] was intimately involved,” [Wolf] Blitzer asked.

“We did. We did. We interviewed the senior staff members…”

“But why not her?” Blitzer pressed.

Pickering replied that they “felt that everything that we saw was fully and competently taken care of.”

“We didn’t have a reason in any way at all to suggest there was anything that she might have known that was not already relayed to us. It was straightforward. We thought they did an excellent job the night of. There were many different pieces of testimony we put together with respect to that,” he continued.

When asked if the ARB was trying to protect Clinton, Pickering said, “Well, the criticism may be the criticism. We will have to live with that, but the truth is that we didn’t feel there was a need to do that on the basis of all the evidence we had accumulated to date.”

“And knowing what you know now, was that the right decision?” Blitzer continued.

“Yes, of course it was the right decision.”

“To avoid any serious questioning with the secretary of state?”

“Well, if we had started down that line, where would it have ended?” Pickering asked.

Oh, gee, Ambassador, I don’t know. How about with “the Truth?” Clinton was on a 2 AM (Libyan time) phone call with DCM Hicks, by that time the highest American official in Libya because the Ambassador was missing in a besieged consulate and later found dead. He made no mention of a “demonstration” or a video. Every bit of evidence from our people on the ground –relayed to Clinton directly– and from intelligence that night indicated this was a terrorist attack. Maybe you could have asked her just where in the process of revising the talking points a dozen times the idea of a video being the cause of it all entered the picture?

And if that wasn’t in your purview, how about why repeated requests for additional security (or even just to keep the security they had) were denied? Why was the inter-departmental FEST counter-terrorism team never activated that night, despite repeated requests from the Deputy Assistant Secretary in charge to be included?

That’s why you ask the questions: You may not know where they’ll end, but, when you get there, you’ll have the accountability your board was supposed to establish.

Unless, in your dictionary, “accountability” means “whitewash.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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7 Responses to “#Benghazi headdesk moment: Why the review board stopped questioning Clinton”


  1. Lorica says:

    “Well, if we had started down that line, where would it have ended?” Pickering asked.

    This is just the continuation of the “What does it matter” attitude that Hillary has. Mister Pickering, it would have ended with the American People Knowing the truth of how these men were left defenseless, and to their deaths. If you have a problem with that, You need to then go, as you are in vioation with your oath of office. – Lorica

  2. When Pickering was US Ambassador to El Salvador a similar situation arose and Col. Oliver North was certain to provide adequate security. Too bad his memory is so short or that he does not feel there was any deficiency in the security arrangements at Benghzi for which Clinton bore direct responsibility.

  3. “Well, if we had started down that line, where would it have ended?” Pickering asked.

    And, then, in my dream Wolf Blitzer said “That’s the point, dummy.”

  4. Carlos says:

    Pickering is feeling very targeted and picked on, for what he feels is a terribly unfair reason, that he didn’t do the assigned task.

    He DID do the assigned task. He completed the whitewash exactly as instructed by Mr. Obama.

    How can anyone question whether he did what he was assigned to do?

  5. Polly says:

    I think that by the time it is all said and done some very dark motives will come to the light of day. It won’t be long now until’executive privilege’ is used.If the Republicans will stay the course we will eventually know the answers. Too late though for the murdered personel.

  6. Carlos says:

    Eric Holder to a congressional hearing on May 14, 2013:

    “It put the American people at risk, and that is not hyperbole,” he said. “And trying to determine who was responsible for that, I think, required very aggressive action.”

    I guess the rules change if it is a matter involving State, or the White House, as was the case of the Benghazi attacks, ’cause neither Hillarious nor Duh-1 cared enough to even stay awake that night, let alone actually DO something. Apparently they had more important matters on their devious minds (such as they are).

  7. Drew the Infidel says:

    Exactly when did security breaches become an item of high concern for this administration? After the UBL raid there were 18 different versions put forward (He had a gun, he didn’t have a gun; he hid behind his wife, he didn’t hide behind her,etc.). It got so out of control SecDef Robert Gates had to tell the WH to STFU.

    It develops that AP was working with the administration on this story and only published it after receiving WH clearance. And it just involved five reporters. That is what they get for entering into a Devil’s baragain with Obhammud.