I just spent the whole day watching the same Democrats who held 77 hearings and countless investigations into the Iraq war they all voted for complain that Republicans were wasting their time holding an 8th hearing on Benghazi. [mc_name name=’Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’D000622′ ] was literally the only Democrat in the room who came to do anything other than lick Hillary’s boots or to quote [mc_name name=’Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001165′ ] and/or [mc_name name=’Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’H001051′ ], neither of whom have ever been on the committee.
Quite frankly, though, the Republicans in the hearing (other than Gowdy and to a slightly lesser degree Pete Roskam) have not done a great job of encapsulating their questions into a coherent narrative, or explained why the emails or Sid Blumenthal tie in.
Just now on CNN, however, Jake Tapper cut off both Amanda Carpenter and Paul Begala (who were arguing about this) with what I consider to be the key fact. Throughout the course of the day (and throughout all previous questioning) Hillary has steadfastly denied that the dozens of requests Ambassador Stevens made for additional security never made it to her desk and she never saw a single one of them. It was also revealed during the hearings that Ambassador Stevens did not even know about Hillary’s private email address.
In the midst of Democrat attempts to paint the Blumenthal emails as a pointless sideshow, Tapper interrupted and, with one question, outdid all the Republicans throughout the course of the hearing when he asked, essentially: “I think what a lot of people are wondering is, gee, wouldn’t it have been great for Ambassador Stevens to have been able to actually reach Secretary Clinton with the same ease that Sidney Blumenthal apparently could?”
Boom. A perfect encapsulation of the problem. Clinton clearly believes that it’s exculpatory that she never saw the increasingly frantic requests for additional security. Instead, the question really is why it was so difficult for Stevens et al to communicate with Clinton at all? Clinton’s defense to this, that there were people whose job it was to evaluate security needs, doesn’t wash either. Clearly, Stevens was not getting the response from these professionals that he wanted, which is why he kept making the requests repeatedly. He should have been able to go over the heads of the bureaucrats who were stonewalling him to contact his dear friend Hillary directly, if he wanted.
Apparently, he either couldn’t, or he did (via phone or some other means) and he was ignored. Neither is good for Hillary, and neither exculpates her in the slightest.