Hillary: There’s more to find on Benghazi and the IRS
posted at 8:01 am on June 18, 2014 by Ed Morrissey
Who knew the former Secretary of State was such a fan of getting answers? When Congress tried to get answers about the failures that led to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Hillary Clinton infamously erupted in anger, asking “What difference at this point does it make?” Now that she’s preparing a run for the presidency, it apparently makes more difference now than it did then:
There are still too many unanswered questions about the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday, even as she welcomed the capture of a suspected mastermind of the assaults.
“There are answers, not all of them, not enough, frankly,” she said of the September 2012 attacks on a diplomatic and CIA compound that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others.
“I’m still looking for answers, because it was a confusing and difficult time,” Clinton said.
Her remarks, delivered during a CNN interview in Washington to promote her new book, appeared to lend credence to a central claim by Republicans that there is more to learn about the Benghazi tragedy. The Obama administration has said that after multiple investigations, there is little new to say about the attacks.
It’s also a statement against her own interests, and a sharp change from the past 18 months since the issuance of the Accountability Review Board. Since December 2012, Hillary has insisted that the ARB report was the sine qua non of Benghazi answers, but that report hasn’t convinced many Americans — perhaps because the ARB spent more time avoiding accountability than pursuing it. In this answer, Hillary has thrown away the ARB fig leaf and finally acknowledged that it didn’t provide any comprehensive answers at all, thanks to its relentless focus on everyone below the level of the actual decision-makers.
That’s not the only investigation Hillary endorsed yesterday, either. During her interview on Fox, Hillary told Greta van Susteren that the probe on the IRS targeting scandal and abuse of power needs to continue, too:
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says “the investigation needs to continue” into possible wrongdoing at the IRS — a position that puts her at odds with many fellow Democrats.
In an interview Tuesday night, Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren noted that President Obama has called allegations the IRS targeted conservative groups a “phony scandal.” Van Susteren added a simple question: “Is it a phony scandal?”
“Well, I think that any time the IRS is involved, for many people, it’s a real scandal,” Clinton began. “And I think, though, that there are some challenges that rightly need to be made to what is being said, and I assume that the inquiry will continue.”
“So I don’t have the details,” Clinton continued, “but I think what President Obama means is there really wasn’t a lot of evidence there that this was deliberate, but that’s why the investigation needs to continue.”
Hillary tried to salvage the “phony scandal” slam by saying it applies to “the circus” around the scandal, but that’s clearly not what the White House has said about it. Barack Obama went on national TV in February to proclaim that there’s “not even a smidgen of corruption” at the IRS — while Lerner takes the Fifth and the agency loses two years of e-mails related to the targeting practice. In the same interview, Obama also claimed that the White House had already shared all the answers on Benghazi, too. That argument was intended not to criticize “the circus” but to preclude the very investigations that Hillary now endorses, at least nominally.
This is nothing more than Hillary putting distance between herself and Obama … and on Benghazi, between Hillary 2012 and Hillary 2016.