Well, we know that Justice is blind, refusing to indict Lois Lerner, but the Hillary Clinton testimony teaches us that the Americans With Disabilities Act applies to other cabinet machers as well. It turns out that State is deaf.
In the post “hock” coverage of her going before the Benghazi committee, the prevailing temper — the prompted “hock” — is the extended yawn. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Madame Secretary made up the You Tube video story and yeah, yeah, yeah, she should not have delegated all the security issues, but there is no new news, or even “Nu?” News, so mistakes were made, but it does not rise to the level of impeachment of her character or leadership.
I plead to differ, because I’m too proud to beg. There is a point which is being missed, and it does point to the Ms. as incompetent and insensitive. I refer here to the six hundred requests for added security at the Benghazi compound. The pride of Kansas, Representative Pompeo, scornfully erupted with a molten lava of condemnation. There were so-many-and-so-many requests per month — “Madame Secretary, do you know how many requests for April?” — until finally arriving at the total of six hundred between January and September 11, 2012.
Ignoring Pompeo and circumstance, Clinton Eastwooded her way coolly through the showdown designed to show her up. She explained that security was handled by Security and those guys have earned that capital letter. She would never — wait for it! — “substitute her judgment” for that of the seasoned experts. She must have been so adored by her subordinates. Such selflessness, such deference to skill and experience!
Indeed her sense of security in Security was so complete that they never even reported to her. And she never did give her beloved — “she feels his loss deeply” — hand-picked Ambassador — “with the great sense of humor!” — Chris Stevens her cell-phone number or her private email. Probably fearful of his being hacked by the Chinese, she left him to the hacks and, sadly, to the real hackers. So it was a comedy, or tragedy, of errors that led to poor Chris getting crucified, not a betrayal by the pants-suit pilot of the State Department. And anyway, 30 pieces of silver does not buy you much at the Clinton Foundation.
This narrative was deemed sufficient by the Dowd-y columnists at the Times and elsewhere of that ill-conceived ilk. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, if you find a reasonable doubt, it is your sworn obligation to return a verdict of Not Guilty.” And so Hillary walked, which is more than Chris Stevens did, so now she can run, like Bowe Bergdahl did.
My quibble is simple enough. Think about what it means to send six hundred (600!!!) requests in the 251 days between January 1 and September 11. That averages out to 2.4 requests every single day. Now think about what it takes to send a request from the murky nether region of Benghazi to Foggy Bottom. There is some kind of elaborate filing procedure, forms in quadruplicate, three officer’s signatures required, a notation entered in the embassy log, a case number assigned, all the trappings — and traps — of the bureaucratic life.
And this is happening 2.4 times every day. Say it’s Saturday morning 9 a.m. The phone rings (if the Libyan phone system is working) in the Ambassador’s office. His trusty secretary, Maggie Baker (I would have used Sally Field but it’s taken already), is on the line. “Ambassador Stevens, sir, Sergeant Woods has identified a breach in the perimeter wall about the size of a tractor. Oh, and a tough bin-Laden lookalike from the neighborhood — we call him Scarf-face — was seen motoring furiously away from the scene in a tractor. What should we do, sir?” “Call the anti-terrorism intern and ask her to file a security request!” “Thank you, sir.”
Three p.m. the same day: rinse, lather, repeat. Over and over and over and over and over and over every dadblamed blessed day of the week, of the month, of the year.
This is not “a large amount” of requests. This is a desperate unrelenting nonstop SOS at the top of the bureaucratic lungs. This is Mayday in January and February and March and April. This is the Occupy Benghazi movement. This is the Tea Party, the Green Party, the Green Tea Party, all rolled into one. This is Fatal Attraction meets Friday the 13th. This is Gaslight meets Under Siege.
Now finish the thought process. Let’s say you are running a business or a school or a club or a charity or any kind of organizational structure. You are the world’s greatest delegater. You put a well-trained hierarchy in place. Everyone knows their role. The operation runs like clockwork. Very rarely indeed is there any need for things to get to the top.
But does this well-oiled clock never need winding? Can it be run with no failsafe? Is there no provision for emergency? Is there no system for a loud alarm to go off when things at the bottom get into a desperate state?
Ladies and gentlemen, State was deaf under Hillary. If we believe her version, she ran a cabinet department with no way to reach the top in emergencies, no matter how awful, how pressing, how hopeless, and no matter how high the embassy officer ranked. That is indictment enough for me. No one who ran a department of human beings in that fashion should hold high office, and I confidently “substitute my judgment” for hers on that score.
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