Blaming Clinton in Benghazi tragedy lacks honor

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Letter Letter

To the editor:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is still being hammered by congressional Republicans for her presumed lack of competence in the Benghazi tragedy. She continues to be blamed for not reading specific cables requesting more security at the U.S. Libyan embassy and following through with those requests.

Perhaps Republican accusers never got the memo, but it is not the job of a secretary of state to micromanage embassies. Nevertheless, casting aspersions on Democrats, especially high-profile Democrats with perhaps presidential ambitions, can energize a crowd still licking its wounds after a recent shellacking at the polls.

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, presumably President Obama’s first choice to replace Hillary Clinton, was similarly vilified for initially asserting an incorrect assessment of the attack based on information she obtained from CIA sources. No doubt, such interrogators expected her, perhaps on instinct, to attribute the attack to terrorists, realize it was preplanned, not the result of a hostile crowd.

Yet after 9/11, congressional Democrats did not interrogate Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or anyone else in the Bush administration for a blatant failure to act on numerous warnings that terrorists might target sites on American soil, including some evidence suggesting they might use aircraft. If Al Gore had been president, would Republicans have acted differently?

Republican Sen. Rand Paul even told Mrs. Clinton that if he were president, he would have fired her. Wow! Did any Democrats threaten to impeach President Bush or initiate procedures to fire any members of his administration after 9/11?

Certainly the blame game at that juncture would have been more justifiable than after the Benghazi attack, but Democrats rightly chose not to go down that path for the sake of our traumatized nation.

What might this say about today’s Republican Party? Would dishonorable be an appropriate term? When attempting to tarnish the reputation of a potential presidential rival means more than serving the best interests of America, honor surely has been cast aside for the sake of political gain.

Ironically, Republican House members voted to cut nearly $300 million from the U.S. embassy security budget in 2012 and intend to cut much more in years to come. Might such proclivities have contributed to the Libyan tragedy?

Then again, uniting America and putting America first never was nor is a consideration to Machiavellian right-wingers who now dominate what once was an honorable political party.

Lawrence Uniglicht

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