Hillary Clinton and the Benghazi Committee

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Our next installment in the ongoing political drama of American politics focuses on a presidential campaign, a House committee, and partisanship.

Her 2008 campaign for President of the United States came to an unforeseen halt. A charismatic young senator from Illinois stole the former First Lady and New York Senator’s thunder, rallying support among minorities and young voters to overpower her base. Putting aside personal pride, Hillary Rodham Clinton supported the Democratic Nominee and future President of the United States, Barack Obama. For that support, inherent leadership abilities, and Yale-level intellect, President Obama offered Mrs. Clinton a position in his cabinet as Secretary of State. Revealed in her book Hard Choices, Senator Clinton denied the president several times upon his requests. Eventually, Senator Clinton became Secretary Clinton, listening to her inner American, encouraging her to serve her country and her president. The position of Secretary of State set Hillary Clinton down a path that would prepare her for her current and oddly familiar position, frontrunner for the Democratic Nomination of President of the United States.

Secretary Clinton is flanked on social and economic issues from the left by self-proclaimed democratic-socialist, who is also running for the Democratic nomination, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Secretary Clinton was forced to reverse previous opinions, including the rumored approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline and Wall Street deregulation, to avoid losing progressive supporters to Senator Sanders, who in past months has posed a serious threat to Secretary Clinton’s campaign. Secretary Clinton has since retained her place at the top of national polls, however her scandals keep adding up in the eyes of her political rivals.

Her decision not to use a State Department sanctioned email account while serving as Secretary of State has left some Americans and lawmakers uncomfortable, even mad. The combination of her work and personal email, without proper supervision, could lead many to believe Secretary Clinton purposely used this arrangement to her advantage to bypass federal regulation regarding sensitive information, putting clandestine knowledge in an unsafe electronic environment. Along with the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya in 2012 that left 4 Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador J Christopher Stevens, the potential lapse in security due to Secretary Clinton’s email account started to turn heads. Many held Clinton personally responsible for the death of these four Americans, as she was Secretary of State during this time. A House Committee was created on May 8th, 2014 called the Benghazi Committee, whose purpose is to attempt to discover what lapse in security protocols was exploited that lead to the Benghazi attack in 2012.

Chaired by Congressman Trey Gowdy, the conservative members of this committee have come under fire for “partisan attacks” against Secretary Clinton. Having testified twice to the committee already, many accuse this committee of enforcing a partisan agenda, fueled by political motivation to destroy her chances at a successful presidential campaign. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made a comment that sent the media into a tailspin, attributing the decline of Hillary Clinton’s poll number with the “successful efforts” of the Benghazi Committee. This comment enraged Clinton’s supporters, confirming their bias that the Benghazi committee was formed as a partisan campaign to keep Secretary Clinton out of the White House, not to mention the outrage at the thought of millions of tax dollars being put towards a smear tactic.

Secretary Clinton, and her successor Secretary of State John Kerry, instituted State Department inquiries to ensure that a disaster like Benghazi never happens again. Some members of the Republican Party are not satisfied with the work of the State Department, demanding more be done. Citizens, lawmakers, and agencies still have questions about the attack. The genuine desire lawmakers on the Benghazi Committee have to find the truth deserves credibility and respect, however the Committee has not interviewed other major players during this time period, for example then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta or CIA Director David Petraeus. While this Committee is relatively new and still has “lots to get to” according to its members, I think the focus on Secretary of State Clinton prompts a reasonable questioning of intentions by the majority party in this committee.

I encourage those of you reading this to develop your own theory towards the intent of this committee. The evidence in the testimonies provided by Secretary Clinton and her publicized emails creates an environment for political orientation to be placed at the forefront. Secretary Clinton has many more battles ahead during her campaign for the Presidency, and I am sure the Benghazi Committee will be there every step of the way…to catch her when she falls, of course!

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