The conventional wisdom is that Hillary Clinton crushed it in her testimony before the Benghazi Select Committee last month. Cool, calm, and collected, she made the Republicans into fools and exposed the committee as the partisan witch hunt that she always claimed it was. By golly, if we could have held the election the next night, Clinton would have been the only possible option.
How low our standards have fallen.
Clinton’s 11-hour testimony, when paired with the steady release of emails from her private server, only proved one thing: She knows how to lie under pressure. Testifying before Congress, Clinton was adamant that Sidney Blumenthal was just a friend. “He was not at all my adviser on Libya,” she said.
But in the latest batch of emails is one from Blumenthal, where he is undeniably advising Secretary Clinton on Libya. “U.S. might consider advancing tomorrow,” he wrote in February 2011. “Libyan helicopters and planes are raining terror on cities.”
Clinton passed this on to her deputy chief of staff, asking, “What do you think of this idea?”
At another point in the testimony, Clinton was challenged on her assertion that none of the 600 requests for security and aid in Libya reached her desk. She was steadfast and inflexible. “That’s correct,” she said.
But in the new release, it is shown that at least one request for humanitarian aid did reach her private server. Ambassador Chris Stevens, one of the men killed on that fateful night in Benghazi, sent her a request for “essential services and commodities” in August 2011. And Clinton herself responded, asking, “Can we arrange shipments of what’s requested?”
This is, of course, only scratching the surface when it comes to the tangled web of lies surrounding September 11, 2012 and the immediate aftermath. But if you get all of your news from the mainstream media, there’s nothing to it. Instead, we’re obsessed with the extent to which Dr. Ben Carson was involved with a vitamin company. A shady vitamin company, perhaps, but not one that killed four Americans in the Middle East.
We used to value honesty in this country. We grew up admiring men like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and we made it a point to celebrate their penchant for the truth. We made heroes out of men like Walter Kronkite, dubbing him the “most trusted man in America.”
Today, though, it seems honesty is outdated. Passé . We’ve come to believe that all of our politicians are lying scumbags, so when we prove that one of them is just that, we shrug and say, “Yeah, so what else is new?” President Obama said, in no uncertain terms, that he would never authorize “boots on the ground” in Syria. Yet this week, when he deliberately broke that promise, there was barely a whiff of discontent.
We need to raise our standards. How can we have a great country if we don’t demand even a minimal amount of virtue from our leaders? How can we steer this ship to shore when the captain, the navigator, and half the people on board are telling us that the iceberg in the distance is actually dry land?