Rosario Marin: Hillary Clinton Assumes Responsibility for Benghazi Attack, Too Little Too Late?

U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, speaks after a meeting with Peru's President Ollanta Humala in Lima, Peru, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.

U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, speaks after a meeting with Peru's President Ollanta Humala in Lima, Peru, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.  (AP2012)

I commend Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for taking responsibility for the security decisions that led to the untimely death of our Ambassador in Benghazi, Chris Stevens.

It is very clear she did this to serve as a cover for the mendacity of our esteemed Vice President Joe Biden and to shield our Commander in Chief Barack Obama from any responsibility.  It must be hard for her to eat her own words. Back in the 2008, campaign she fundamentally attached all responsibility to the president saying the "buck stops with the President of the U.S.," as she charged that the then junior senator was less than ready to be president.

What an interesting turn of events for her. She is a political veteran. She understands that as an appointee her allegiance is to the appointing authority. I am positive the screws were tightened to ensure she took the fall for the administration.

But let's just take a quick look at the timeline. On the Sunday after the terrorist attack it wasn't her that went to the Sunday talk shows to talk about it. That distinction was given to the Ambassador to the United Nations. Susan Rice's talking points were that this most unfortunate event (not a terrorist attack) was due to a video about the Prophet Mohammed that had been out since May and nobody had watched. That entire line would become an embarrassment to the administration as the truth trickled out on a daily basis. The most damaging information came during a congressional hearing last week about the attack, where we learned that in fact more security was requested, and shockingly it had been denied.

Then, incredulously, during the vice-presidential debate a day after that congressional hearing, VP Biden said that they (meaning him and the President) did not know of such security requests. That was his feeble attempt to leave on the minds of the debate watchers the notion that, had they known about those requests, they personally would have seen that more security was authorized.   

So now Secretary Clinton assumes the responsibility. Why didn't she do it on day one? Why didn't she go to the Sunday shows and said she was responsible? Instead she takes responsibility while on a mission in Perú? Was it the fog of war or the fog of a presidential campaign?

Nothing has changed, except that we are now aware that her prophetic words came true. Our president was not ready to be president. Maybe if he had attended the presidential daily briefings where the most critical intelligence about threats to the country are discussed, instead of spending more than 600 hours in golf outings, he would have known of the dangers our ambassadors and personnel of that region were facing. We now know that she was right four years ago. Ultimately, even if she attempts to take responsibility, the buck indeed stops with the president of the United States.

Rosario Marin was the 41st Treasurer of the United States and is co-chair of the American Competitiveness Alliance.

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