Hillary's Book: GOP Turned Benghazi Into 'Political Tool'

Image: Hillary's Book: GOP Turned Benghazi Into 'Political Tool'

Friday, 30 May 2014 09:42 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Hillary Clinton has gone on the offensive against Republicans in her new book "Hard Choices" for turning the Benghazi tragedy into a partisan "political tool."

In a 34-page chapter titled "Benghazi: Under Attack" that was obtained by Politico, Clinton criticized the GOP’s motivations for congressional investigations into the 2012 attacks on the U.S. mission in Libya.

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"Those who exploit this tragedy over and over as a political tool minimize the sacrifice of those who served our country," wrote Clinton, the potential Democratic front-runner for the presidency in 2016.

"I will not be a part of a political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans. It’s just plain wrong, and it’s unworthy of our great country. Those who insist on politicizing the tragedy will have to do so without me."

Her comments appear to indicate that she will not take part in the special select committee recently empaneled by House Speaker John Boehner, even though she may face a subpoena to testify or sit for a deposition.

In the autobiography, Politico reported that Clinton ultimately takes responsibility for the "horror" of the Benghazi siege, in which four Americans were killed, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Clinton, who was then secretary of state, admitted that the loss of life was the result of "the heartbreaking human stakes of every decision we make."

But the former first lady also alleged that Republicans have lied to the public about Benghazi for political purposes, saying that there has been a "regrettable amount of misinformation, speculation, and flat-out deceit by some in politics and the media."

Still, Clinton does accept that the controversy surrounding Benghazi has led to new information from "a number of reputable sources" which "continues to expand our understanding of these events."

Asked why Clinton dedicated a chapter to the attacks, her spokesman, Nick Merrill responded, "Until the book is released, there’s nothing to say. And once it’s released, it will speak for itself."

Clinton said in her memoirs that nine days after the Sept. 11, 2012, firefight she ordered an investigation into what went wrong, and noted that she carried out all 29 recommendations from a review board, Politico reported.

Republicans have accused the Obama administration of attempting to cover up the cause of the Benghazi attacks shortly before the 2012 election by claiming they were a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video. Later investigations have shown that the siege was likely carried out by Islamic militants on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Clinton, however, still continues to believe that the Muslim outrage over the video may have been "indeed a factor" that led to the Benghazi tragedy.

"There were scores of attackers that night, almost certainly with differing motives," she wrote. "It is inaccurate to state that every single one of them was influenced by this hateful video. It is equally inaccurate to state that none of them were. Both assertions defy not only the evidence but logic as well."

In the same chapter, Hillary defended then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice for saying the attacks were due to the anti-Muslim video when she appeared on Sunday talk shows just days after the attack.

"Susan stated what the intelligence community believed, rightly or wrongly, at the time," Clinton wrote, according to Politico. "That was the best she or anyone could do. Every step of the way, whenever something new was learned, it was quickly shared with Congress and the American people.

"There is a difference between getting something wrong, and committing wrong. A big difference that some have blurred to the point of casting those who made a mistake as intentionally deceitful."

Although Clinton said she appreciated the "oversight role that Congress is meant to play,"
the former secretary of state took the GOP to task for repeating the same questions about Benghazi, Politico said.

"Many of these same people are a broken record about unanswered questions. But there is a difference between unanswered questions and unlistened to answers."

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