Sgt. Clinton for President

By Scott St. Clair

I’ll admit I didn’t suffer through the entirety of yesterday’s testimony by Hillary Clinton before the House Select Committee on Benghazi – I had far better things to do with 11 hours of my time than go gavel-to-gavel listening to her. But I saw enough to conclude that the former secretary of state and the Democratic front runner for president is running on a Sgt. Schultz platform: “I know nuzzing…I see nuzzing…I hear nuzzing.”

You remember Sgt. Schultz, the bumbling German soldier who was a guard at a World War II POW camp in the 1960’s TV sitcom, Hogan’s Heroes. Ostensibly in charge of keeping an eye on Col. Hogan and his crew, he instead drifted through his job remaining blissfully ignorant and ignorantly blissful about the shenanigans they were pulling. For example:

“I did not even get up this morning,” he says, which is about what Madame Secretary said about Benghazi. While proclaiming that she lost more sleep over the killing of four American officials than anyone on the committee {How much sleep did the families of the four lose?), she was somnambulant in her non-denial denials that she did anything wrong before, during or after the fact.

When confronted with a series of emails she sent to her daughter, Chelsea, the Egyptian prime minister and the Libyan president while events were still unfolding on the ground in Libya, she was clear and unequivocal that a so-called “video defamatory to the Prophet Mohammad” had nothing to do with the attack on the Benghazi compound. Instead, in the email she sent to her daughter, she wrote at 11:12 p.m. her time while the attack was still ongoing that “Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Queda (sic)-like group.”

When asked during the hearing why it was that she later flogged the meme that a video was the cause, including to the families of the four dead Americans and to the American people while President Obama was at her side nodding his head knowingly moments before he jetted off to Las Vegas for political fund-raising frolics, she talked her way around and around and around the question almost to the point of exhaustion.

And she stuck to that story for days afterward, a story that she knew was false, untrue and fake because it started with her, even letting National Security Advisor Susan Rice go on five Sunday news shows to unequivocally flog it.

Watch her gloss right over it despite an intense grilling from Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH (It’s 11 plus minutes, but well worth every second):

In the words of the old Paul Simon song, Madame Secretary was “Slip sliding away…you know the nearer your destination the more you’re slip sliding away.” Admittedly, she was smooth and unflappable, but she never really answered his question nor responded to his assertion that the phony internet-video meme started with her.

Fox News’ national security correspondent, K.T. McFarland summed up her testimony as well as anyone when she said that, in Madame Secretary’s view, “Mistakes were made by others, the fault lies elsewhere.”

Harry Truman’s desk-top plaque proclaiming “The Buck Stops Here” has been replaced by one reading, “Buck –What Buck? I Don’t See No Stinking Buck.”

And why? Per McFarland:

Because the Obama administration had an election to win eight weeks later, and a terrorist attack that killed four Americans didn't fit into that plan.

President Obama asked voters to reelect him because he had killed Usama bin Laden. Al Qaeda was on the ropes. Qaddafi was dead and the Libyan war a success. The wave of war was a receding. President George W. Bush's War on Terror was over because Obama and Clinton had won it.

A terrorist attack that killed Americans at Benghazi did not fit into that campaign narrative, so it had to be retold and spun into a different story. It wasn't radical Islamist terrorists, but a spontaneous demonstration that got out of control in reaction to an obscure  Internet video.

Politics – pure politics – that’s what drove what Madame Secretary did. Not since the days of Richard Nixon and the post-Watergate cover up have we seen such craven and crass calculation all done in what McFarland called the “relentless pursuit of power.”

To paraphrase Nixon’s comment to interviewer David Frost during the famous 1977 Frost-Nixon debates, “When Madame Secretary does it, it’s not illegal.”

 A sense of responsibility-free, above-it-all entitlement for a long-suffering past – for 20 years in a hellhole called Arkansas, for having to subsume her ambition to promote her infinitely more talented husband, despite his canoodling and cavorting through and including being humiliated by him over Monica Lewinsky. It all nets out that she firmly and sincerely believes that she has an unfettered right to do anything and say anything because she is owed a pass no matter what. 

Whatever she does, according to her and by definition, is without stain or sin because she is without stain or sin -- according to her. She paid up front for the right to do whatever now.

While Hillary Clinton knew the truth personally, officially she “knew nuzzing…saw nuzzing…heard nuzzing” except for the narrative of the moment, which will last until the next narrative of the moment.

Besides, when it comes to telling the truth to, and being square with, the American people, “What difference, at this point, does it make?