LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Benghazi committee has overplayed its hand

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted responsibility as is customary for any Secretary of State for the failure of State Department employees to increase security after repeated requests by the diplomats in Benghazi. Afterwards, she had the State Department conduct an independent accountability review board report on diplomatic security that resulted in the administrative leave of four employees.

Security in overseas embassies has been lax and underfunded for several years. The longest congressional investigation on record has been overplayed by the Republican committee. There has not been any factual evidence to support their other allegations during and after the Benghazi attack. In fact, they have all been disproven over and over again, like a broken record.

There were also Benghazi-type incidents under Presidents Reagan and Bush that went unaddressed by Congress. Security improvements were called for by Congress after 240 Marines were killed in the 1983 Beirut, Lebanon, truck bomb attack. Lack of improved security was evident three months later when militants struck a Beirut outpost, kidnapping and killing the CIA’s station chief, Bill Buckley.

Congress failed to hold any public hearings. Eighteen months later, another government outpost in Beirut was bombed again. President Reagan acknowledged “… that new security precautions had not yet been implemented.” Once again, the State Department failed to act in a timely manner. Same old song!

Under Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense for the Bush administration, there were 13 different attacks on our overseas U.S embassies from 2002 through 2008. Mr. Rumsfeld, in regards to Benghazi and these other attacks, tweeted “ … that attacks on our embassies and diplomats were a result of our perceived weakness.”

Whom was he blaming for being weak? He failed to look in the mirror. He was later found to be incompetent by President Bush and replaced for not performing up to par. Parents had to send their sons and daughters in the Iraq war bulletproof vests after Rumsfeld stated “ … that you go to war with the Army you have.”

Was his defense budget shortchanged, also? The alleged Benghazi scandal has been drummed up in order to defeat Hillary’s presidential aspirations.

This alleged scandal will most likely be finally put to rest after these next round of hearings.

Bill Clemens

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