Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is setting his sights on his biggest political target yet: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. [The Hill]
THE HILL does us all a favor by unmasking the politics of Rep. Darrell Issa’s hearing today. [Full live coverage of hearing here.] It also reveals the salivating inside the Beltway on targeting Secy. Clinton before a question has been asked.
That is if the title of the hearing, “The Security Failures of Benghazi,” didn’t give the purpose of Issa’s hearing away.
It won’t include that the Republican Congress cut State’s budget, which Secy. Clinton warned at the time would endanger national security. Republicans are always targeting the State Department’s budget, because most on the right think diplomacy is for weenies.
I’ll let Dana Milank make the point, since unlike myself he didn’t write a book on Clinton. Milbank makes the obvious connection to Issa’s hypocrisy.
For fiscal 2013, the GOP-controlled House proposed spending $1.934 billion for the State Department’s Worldwide Security Protection program — well below the $2.15 billion requested by the Obama administration. House Republicans cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012. (Negotiations with the Democrat-controlled Senate restored about $88 million of the administration’s request.) Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Republicans’ proposed cuts to her department would be “detrimental to America’s national security” — a charge Republicans rejected.
After Rep. Issa blew it on Fast and Furious, making a fool of himself, he’s making sure not to shoot too high and miss. But his target is clear.
The Washington Post picked up the same framing as The Hill.
This is about more than Clinton’s legacy, it’s also a preemptive strike on 2016, even if Clinton has said she’s not going to run.
If Clinton was hampered on what she could do through security, it seems obvious that Ambassador Stevens also had to know of this reality, while choosing to not only move to the Benghazi location but remain as threats mounted, as well as attacks on the consulate escalated. It was a precarious situation at best, as I wrote about this morning. It’s a heroes job what the foreign service does in far away places and it’s dangerous, too. We are reminded of it yet again through the deaths in Benghazi.
Facts are important and there are many questions to ask, including of the State Department. Secretary Clinton may indeed need to testify, but the goal isn’t answers today. The goal is to humiliate President Obama and Secretary Clinton, both of whom are political targets in an election year.