Did Hillary Clinton Get Thrown Under the Bus, Or Did She Voluntarily Dive Under It?


Whatever the case, Hillary Clinton’s attempt to take a political hit for President Obama ought to satisfy no one. Not that Clinton doesn’t bear some responsibility for the safety and security of diplomatic personnel; of course she does and indeed, any Secretary of State ought to assume some responsibility if something bad happens to our embassy or consular staff anywhere in the world. But last I checked, Harry Truman never lent out his “The Buck Stops Here” sign to either George Marshall or to Dean Acheson. He kept it in the Oval Office.

If President Obama finds it too painful or politically difficult to accept responsibility for the disaster in Benghazi, then perhaps he ought to give way to a new president–one less likely to sell out a Cabinet member for the sake of political expediency, and more likely to personally take charge of any investigation in order to make sure that what happened in Benghazi never again happens anywhere else.

There are 33 comments.

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  1. Member

    The security issues are grave and demand further investigation. The obvious cover-up is another matter, was politically motivated and went beyond the State Department. It is entirely appropriate that it be part of the per-election discourse- do Americans want to re-elect a Presidentvwho took them for fools who wouldn’t see through the propaganda until long after Election Day?

    • #1
    • October 16, 2012 at 2:10 am
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  2. Member

    First, this should have happened on September 12. This is not some heroic act of civil service. This is a month late. I realize that she didn’t personally attack the consulate, but there are a few big issues that involve the Secretary’s purview: denial of additional security requests and the ridiculous story about the film. For the record, I’d like to know what the ambassador was doing away from the embassy on the 9/11 anniversary in light of his security concerns.

    Secondly, Clinton was never going to be the second term Secretary of State. She was a short timer who was going to spend the next four years gearing up her 2016 campaign. I am pretty sure the whole problem with being a responsible adult at the right time is that it would be viewed as a dismissal by Obama in retrospect, even though she intended to resign right after the election. 

    Clinton’s behavior here leaves the door open for speculation that Obama was personally involved with the denial of additional security or video story and Hill was not about to take the hit for the administration’s response.

    • #2
    • October 16, 2012 at 3:57 am
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  3. Inactive
    Brian: She set Obama up. Perfect attack for Romney tonight if you ask me. “You’ll hide behind your Secretary of State?” · 3 hours ago

    I like the way you think. 

    • #3
    • October 16, 2012 at 4:36 am
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  4. Member

    A counter to this administration – I recall years ago, 2005/6? that when a portion of the Big Dig tunnel ceiling became detached and killed a women motorist. I remember being impressed with Gov. Romney taking respomsibility of investigating & correcting the work, though it was not a state project and he wasn’t ‘responsible’ in the least.

    I recall being struck by how odd that was for any politician. He wasn’t my dream candidate, but I think he’s a really good man & leader. We could do a whole lot worse.

    • #4
    • October 16, 2012 at 4:47 am
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  5. Inactive

    So why the video narrative for weeks until even her underlings at State couldn’t say it with a straight face?

    • #5
    • October 16, 2012 at 5:06 am
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  6. Inactive

    Better put a lift kit on that bus. I’ll bet it’s going to get crowded under there in the next few weeks.

    • #6
    • October 16, 2012 at 5:17 am
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  7. Moderator

    I’ve often wondered what Obama and Clinton have on each other. I know there’s been no love lost between them, sort of an alliance made in Hell. Obama must have something pretty big on the Clintons though, something to keep them under control.

    I’m guessing after this, though, we might see a real October bombshell leak, and though we’ll never know for sure, it will come from the Clintons.

    • #7
    • October 16, 2012 at 5:44 am
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  8. Inactive

    In general one of the uses of Cabinet Secretaries is that they can take the political bullet for the president. However, some issues are so important and indicate such a level of incompetence and/or disconnectedness that the Cabinet member cannot shield the president from their own administration.

    • #8
    • October 16, 2012 at 5:46 am
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  9. Inactive

    With an opposition party like the GOP O. has little to fear. Our consulate was attacked by terrorists in June of 2012 and it was covered up. Are we to believe the WH was not informed of this attack? I understand why the Dems are treating this as an everyday occurrence, but other than the usual incompetence why is the GOP. Could it be that Congress was briefed and the GOP decided to remain silent? Could it be the ambassadors blood is on both parties hands? I would hope not, but something stinks here. 

    • #9
    • October 16, 2012 at 5:49 am
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  10. Inactive

    Hillary has lots of experience taking one for the team. That’s story of her marriage.

    • #10
    • October 16, 2012 at 6:07 am
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  11. Inactive

    During the primaries, didn’t Clinton run some ads about who was better prepared to answer that 3:00am phone call?

    It turns out neither Obama or Clinton are ready for that call.

    We now know how the story would have unfolded if the IkilledOsama mission failed.

    • #11
    • October 16, 2012 at 6:13 am
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  12. Inactive

    What does “take responsibilty” even mean? “Nothing,” is the short answer. Nixon said he took the responsibility but not the blame over Watergate, upping hair-splitting to a level not achieved since. In some cases taking the responsibility is asserted instead of what really should be done, humbly apologizing for serious and preventable error. Cabinet officials in this country don’t resign because of disgrace, otherwise Eric Holder would be defending purse-snatchers in municipal court. The White House wanted so badly to believe that our too-generous First Amendment freedoms were behind the consulate attack that they stayed with that story for a fatally long time. Perhaps the wily Clintons, playing a deeper game, encouraged them in this belief. It will all come out, probably in a book written by Bob Woodward. He’s the go-to guy when Washington insiders want their story told without getting in dutch.

    • #12
    • October 16, 2012 at 6:19 am
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  13. Inactive

    If the White House didn’t know what really happened, but rushed out to assure everyone that they did (and offered sanctimonious speeches at the UN against “intolerance”), then they have zero credibility. What else are they saying they know, but really don’t?

    If the White House did know what happened, and offered an excuse that they knew to be false – then they’re liars.

    Either way, they have no credibility.

    • #13
    • October 16, 2012 at 6:28 am
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  14. Inactive

    But she didn’t fall on her sword, not at all. She said:

    “And I think it is absolutely fair to say that everyone had the same intelligence. Everyone who spoke tried to give the information that they had. As time has gone on, that information has changed. We’ve gotten more detail, but that’s not surprising. That always happens.

    On the issue of who’s ultimately responsible for the lack of security, she took the blame that was already there, it’s part of being Sec of State. Taking THAT responsibility helps her look like a leader.

    What she said about “everyone” having “the same intelligence,” though, is a clear jab at the White House. It’s “absolutely fair” to say that the White House had all the same intelligence about what happened as the State Department.

    So, she’s talking about two different things, the original decision to not have sufficient security, and then the cover-up afterwards (blaming the video). She said, in effect, “Yeah, State screwed up, but the White House is who lied about it.” People forgive mistakes a great deal, lies, well, not so much.

    • #14
    • October 16, 2012 at 6:39 am
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  15. Inactive

    Bin Laden:




    • #15
    • October 16, 2012 at 6:55 am
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  16. Inactive

    Exactly what did she take responsibility for?

    Certainly it wasn’t a failure to make facilities more secure as she blames underlings. So, then, what is she taking responsibility for? That is became a political hot potato just before the election?

    I just don’t get it.

    • #16
    • October 16, 2012 at 7:12 am
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  17. Inactive

    Back in the olden days, taking responsibility meant resigning in disgrace. Now it seems that accepting responsibility carries no consequences whatsoever. In fact, people admire the courage and integrity of someone who “accepts responsibility.” What a load of malarky!

    • #17
    • October 16, 2012 at 7:27 am
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  18. Inactive

    Taking responsibility is an act, not a declaration.

    • #18
    • October 16, 2012 at 7:34 am
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  19. Inactive

    Bottom line… Hilary takes responsibility for nothing if there are no consequences to her actions. A Secretary of State who failed at this monumental level can only surrender her post, since there is no, as yet proven, criminal negligence.

    • #19
    • October 16, 2012 at 7:36 am
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  20. Inactive

    As I recall, Democrats demanded that senior heads roll on the issue of Abu Ghraib, where nobody died. They’re certainly hypocrites if they don’t call for the same here. Actually, Rumsfeld did submit his resignation over Abu Ghraib. It just wasn’t accepted.

    • #20
    • October 16, 2012 at 7:47 am
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  21. Member

    She sure likes to eat it for these dudes. I’m beginning to suspect some manner of Freudian disorder.


    • #21
    • October 16, 2012 at 9:09 am
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  22. Member

    I think John Nolte from Breitbart has called this. It’s a perfect setup for Obama to take responsibility during the debate. He’ll say something like “Although I appreciate the Secretary of State taking responsibility, ultimately the buck stops with me”. It will allow him to look like a president while not really taking any responsibility. With Obama it’s always about campaign tactics, never real leadership.

    • #22
    • October 16, 2012 at 9:29 am
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  23. Member
    Kowaliczko Tom: A counter to this administration – I recall years ago, 2005/6? that when a portion of the Big Dig tunnel ceiling became detached and killed a women motorist. I remember being impressed with Gov. Romney taking respomsibility of investigating & correcting the work, though it was not a state project and he wasn’t ‘responsible’ in the least.

    I recall being struck by how odd that was for any politician. He wasn’t my dream candidate, but I think he’s a really good man & leader. We could do a whole lot worse. · 4 hours ago

    As you describe it, I don’t find this all that impressive. He didn’t take responsibility for the death, so there was no real political risk. He stepped up and took leadership for the investigation and remedy. Yes, that’s leadership, but there’s a lot of political upside there as well. He gets to be the hero who comes in and saves the day, without the taint of having been the one who messed up. Seems like a mixed bag to me.

    • #23
    • October 16, 2012 at 9:52 am
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  24. Member

    I don’t know my history well, so perhaps those who are pointing out that Hillary’s taking of responsibility is rather empty if there are no consequences can educate me: Truman is hailed for his “buck stops here” sign. But what are the examples of his philosophy in practice? What missteps did he actually take responsibility for, and what were the consequences he suffered? Similarly, when Reagan “took responsibility” for Iran-Contra, what consequences were self-imposed on him? I don’t recall either of these gentlemen resigning after having “taken responsibility.” Aren’t calls for Hillary’s resignation just so much partisan posturing? Set me straight here.

    • #24
    • October 16, 2012 at 10:13 am
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  25. Member

    A couple of things:

    1. This can’t be good right before the debate. Theories about Obama pulling a Truman tonight aside, a senior administration official basically acknowledged that mistakes were made, which runs counter to the insistence that they did the best they could with the info they had. Romney has to pounce on that, right?

    2. This reinforces what I’ve been saying for months (though I think this is the first time on Riccochet). Hillary WILL NOT RUN IN 2016. Bank on it. She doesn’t like campaigning. She isn’t good at it. If Obama is re-elected, there will be two terms of baggage to overcome (how often do parties get three consecutive terms in the White House) and a whole crop of Republican young guns like Christie, Jindal, Ryan, etc as potential opponents. If he loses, she has to fight it out with an incumbent president who will most likely be presiding over an economic recovery. She’s getting older, and she realizes that she has a chance to leave public office as a highly respected, popular Secretary of State and former Senator. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

    • #25
    • October 16, 2012 at 10:25 am
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  26. Inactive


    …of story.

    • #26
    • October 16, 2012 at 10:35 am
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  27. Inactive
    Pejman Yousefzadeh Post author

    I wonder what this will do for Bill Clinton’s enthusiasm for Obama down the home stretch of the campaign. Probably nothing good, if anything.

    • #27
    • October 16, 2012 at 10:59 am
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  28. Member

    She set Obama up. Perfect attack for Romney tonight if you ask me. “You’ll hide behind your Secretary of State?”

    • #28
    • October 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm
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  29. Member

    Wouldn’t it have been great to hear the negotiations between them about this. Narcissists never apologize, for themselves that is.

    • #29
    • October 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm
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  30. Inactive

    Obama would have won huge applause, and looked presidential , if he had said on September 12: ” I am stopping my campaign and staying in Washington to direct and monitor the investigation into this event and I will not return to the campaign until I am sure that I have assigned the right people to carry this forward to a definitive conclusion. We will find the perpetrators and we will bring them to justice if it is the last thing I do as your President. And if I bear any responsibility for any part of this, you will hear it first from me.”

    • #30
    • October 17, 2012 at 2:26 am
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