Opinion: Morning Examiner

Morning Examiner: 2016 hangs over today’s Benghazi hearing

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll,Morning Examiner,Benghazi

There are still more than 31 months before the Iowa Caucuses begin in January 2016, but the race for the White House will very much be on everyone’s mind Wednesday when three State Department officials testify under oath before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has previously testified before the Senate about her oversight of the U.S. mission in Libya, the slaughter of Ambassador Chris Stevens by terrorists and the subsequent efforts by multiple Obama administration officials to deny terrorism. But Republican investigators have since unearthed two emails that make it clear that multiple senior White House and State Department officials knew the Obama administration’s post-attack talking points were a complete fiction.

“My jaw hit the floor as I watched this. … I’ve never been as embarrassed in my life, in my career as on that day,” then-Acting Ambassador Gregory Hicks told CBS News earlier this week about Ambassador Susan Rice’s claims that a video caused a demonstration which led to Stevens' murder. Hicks said everyone in Libya knew instantly that the Benghazi incident was a planned terrorist attack and had nothing to do with a YouTube video as President Obama and Clinton would later claim.

Hicks will also testify that a team of Special Forces had been assembled to help rescue the Americans who ultimately died in Benghazi, but was ordered to stand down by as-yet unidentified officials in U.S. Special Operations Command Africa. This statement directly contradicts other Obama administration claims that no stand-down order was ever given.

Asked if Wednesday’s hearing could damage Clinton’s 2016 White House ambitions, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told Fox News, “I think it’s damaging because it happened under her watch.”

If Clinton does run, you can be sure footage from Wednesday’s hearing will be appearing in some Iowa television ads.

From The Washington Examiner
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