Why Hillary Clinton wanted a permanent post in Benghazi
If you’re wondering why then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would want a permanent State Department post in Benghazi (and just before the November 2012 elections), here’s one reason: optics.
The optics in question involve the State Department (and the Obama Administration) being able to claim victory in the so-called Arab Spring and validate the Administration’s lead from behind philosophy in Libya. In other words, it was about posturing, regardless of whether any real victory (i.e., advancement of U.S. foreign policy goals) had been achieved.
But why bother to posture? It’s simple enough for Mrs. Clinton: while she possesses political recognition as a result of her husband, her being a U.S. Senator, and finally, being the then-Secretary of State, she’s still short on the bona fides of actual accomplishment. That is, she’s done very well at filling the squares of political advancement but she still lacks a legacy of actually making things better.
A second reason might be preemptive scandal suppression. That is, if a permanent post in Benghazi was needed as a front for an arms buy-back program for the weapons provided to anti-Gaddafi “freedom fighters” who inconveniently turned out to be anti-American terrorists. If it was shown the aforementioned Libyans used U.S government provided arms to kill Americans, the reveal would be most unpleasing to Mrs. Clinton regardless of whether or not she decides to mount another presidential run.
Legacy-wise, claiming one and avoiding the other would be better than merely being remembered as “hysterical” by a Russian Foreign Minister. Especially following her Russian Reset.
One major item of interest will be to find out why the Accountability Review Board “authors” didn’t bother to interview Mrs. Clinton. (If you think Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former CJCS Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen actually wrote the ARB, you don’t understand the process. Rather, they put their names on the report to provide an air of credibility. They’re signatories and not authors.)
The likely answer is something like this: 1) the ARB couldn’t ask Mrs. Clinton any questions because they knew they lacked the freedom of action and authority to do so, and/or 2) Mrs. Clinton conveniently wasn’t available to the ARB (by plan) to provide a statement or testimony, and/or 3) Both the ARB and Mrs. Clinton had an interest in protecting Mrs. Clinton.