Clinton really isn't taking responsibility; she's shirking it with every fiber of her being. She's letting people lower on the food chain take the real heat, people who were likely hamstrung--when it came to requests for more security--by Clinton and the Administration. But if that's the case, the truth will likely never come out. If it does, it will be years--if not decades--from now, at which point it will most certainly not make any difference.
And citing the number of cables that her office receives--1.43 million, interesting that she can cite that very close approximation at will, isn't it?--is just so obviously disingenuous, it's scary that people think she should possibly be President in four years. As Gillespie rightly notes, Clinton is running State, she's not supposed to handle everything herself. But she is supposed to make sure all those cables end up on the right desks and she has plenty of help in that regard. And frankly, given the focus on events in Arab Spring-land, it's highly unlikely that she didn't know about the requests for more security in Benghazi and Libya. In other words, she's most likely lying about that.
The idea that none of this matters now, that it makes no difference, is equally deceptive. Clinton is a former Senator; she understands the concept of oversight. Whether she likes it or not, Congress is doing its job by probing this matter, if only to understand where things went wrong and how to avoid a repetition of the Benghazi incident, wherein a sitting U.S. Ambassador was assassinated while on the job, a point that is often minimized with "four americans killed" talking point. This is not to say Stevens' life was more valuable than that of others killed in Benghazi, only that such an incident represents something more than just a tragedy.
I have to admit, however, that Clinton has done a fair job at State, given the Administration she is a part of. Many times, she's been one of the only adults in the room. But that doesn't excuse her actions here. And we all know she can be something of a liar. Remember that nonsense about landing under sniper fire in Bosnia, then running for cover? Remember how the story was shot down by the comedian Sinbad? Years from now, she'll no doubt tell tales of being physically assaulted by Republicans, while she tried to give testimony.
All that said, Gillespie opens his piece with the following comparison:
The scene reminded me of nothing so much as Oliver North's appearance before a joint Congressional committee investigating Iran-Contra back in the 1980s. Not because of anything Clinton said but the way that she carried herself and the ease with which she wrapped herself in the flag and tragedy to obscure the simple fact that she wasn't going to answer anything. North famously showed up to testify in a military uniform that had nothing to do with his day job of subverting the U.S. Constitution from the basement of the Reagan White House. Clinton couldn't repeat that fashion statement but she was able to pound the table and choke up at all the right moments to evade serious discussion not simply of major screw-ups, but major screw-ups that will go unaccounted for.When North went before Congress in 1987, I was in college. I watched much of the proceedings with hundreds of others on a big screen television at the student union. Nick is about my age, so I'm guessing he likely saw the proceedings, as well. Yet, we seem to have very different memories of them.