Earlier today, Benghazi Select Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy gave a press conference on the report the committee has just released. In it this exchange happened:
REPORTER: …and they’re probably going to continue after today despite your pleas that they read eight hundred pages of a report. There are bumper stickers and t-shirts all over this country that say “Hillary Clinton lied. People died.” Maybe Mister (unintelligible) will answer that. Is that true?
GOWDY: You don’t see that t-shirt on me and you’ve never seen the bumper sticker on any of my vehicles and you’ve never heard me comment on that.
REPORTER: Does your report shed any light on that?
GOWDY: Have you read it?
REPORTER: I’m asking you. I haven’t had time.
GOWDY: Well, I’m asking you to read it. I’m asking you to read it. I’m not going to tell you what to be on the lookout for. I’m going to tell you there’s new information and it fundamentally changes the way I view what happened before, during and after. But I… who was it, Ben Rhodes that said reporters literally know nothing? Was that right? Is that what Ben Rhodes said? I don’t believe that. I actually trust you to read the report for yourself and draw your own conclusions. You’re going to write your report…
REPORTER: So what do you think do you think? Do you think she lied?
GOWDY: I’m not gonna side. That’s a word you couldn’t use in a courtroom. I know this. I want you to contrast the information in the evidence that was available on the the evening of September the 11th. Look at the full body of evidence that was available and then look at what was said and then you draw your own conclusion of whether or not you made the best use of the evidence and the information that was available. It is one thing to say the evidence didn’t exist. It existed. We found them we found the DS [Diplomatic Security] agent, we found the GRS [CIA Global Response Staff] agents. There are conversations ongoing throughout the night. She actually talked to Greg Hicks [Gregory N. Hicks, Deputy Chief of Mission, second in command, of the US embassy in Tripoli]. So that argument actually works both ways. If there’s a failure of information, she was fairly definitive in certain statements she made other people privately. There was no ambiguity. It wasn’t like, you know, I can’t answer that question Mr. Egyptian political leader, we don’t know. She’s pretty definitive. I it was just in the public statements to us that there was are less definitiveness. So you are gonna to have to decide that for yourself.
I understand Gowdy’s reluctance, as a matter of good manners, to call Clinton a liar. I really understand it considering the disgraceful personal attacks the Democrats on that committee have heaped upon him. But it was a missed communications opportunity. He didn’t have to call her a liar to point out where her public and private statements diverged. In particular, he should have gone after her much ballyhooed testimony and pointed out that she spent half a day engaged in fantasizing about things that simply did not happen. And if he is not willing to point reporters and the public to the discrepancies, the story becomes “Trey Gowdy Would Not Call Clinton A Liar” which reinforces the leftist narrative that Benghazi unavoidable and that Clinton acted responsibly.
Stephen Hayes, at the Weekly Standard, doesn’t have the same misgivings. He calls Hillary what she is and gives examples, particularly concerning the fiction that an internet video caused the attack. You need to read it all.
Secretary Clinton’s 10:08 p.m. Statement on the Attack in Benghazi:
“I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today. * * * Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”
Secretary Clinton’s Call Sheet for call with President of Libya Mohammed al Magariaf at 6:49 p.m.:
Under heading “Purpose of Call” notes that “Secretary should urge Mr. Magariaf to respond urgently to the attack against the U.S. Mission Benghazi, and security threats against U.S. Embassy Tripoli.” No mention of a protest or video.
Summary of Call between Secretary Clinton and President Magariaf:
“[O]ur diplomatic mission was attacked[.] . . . [T]here is a gun battle ongoing, which I understand Ansar as-Sharia [sic] is claiming responsibility for.” No mention of protest or video.
Secretary Clinton’s E-mail to daughter at 11:23 p.m.:
“Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Quedalike [sic] group[.]”
And there is a lot more in the report as it is obvious that Hillary Clinton personally interfered in the rescue operation. Gowdy didn’t have to call her a liar but he certainly didn’t have to let her skate.