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Does anyone else see Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony before the Senate committee for what it is – contempt of Congress?

That’s what it is called when you lie, make excuses, obfuscate and basically tell members in sworn testimony that matters of national security and life and death are none of their business.

“What difference does it make?” has to go down as one of the classic lines of executive-branch contempt for the more powerful branch – what is supposed to be the people’s branch – of government.

Others have explained in plain language all the reasons the truth makes a difference:

  • Because lying to the people by government to cover up ineptitude and bad policy is serious stuff;
  • Because the needless and unavenged deaths of an ambassador and other Americans is intolerable;
  • Because if the executive branch is permitted to get away with such behavior it is likely to be repeated again and again;
  • Because the people have a right to know what actually happened and information is being purposely and arrogantly withheld;
  • And because her story makes no sense.

Let me address one of the craziest notions Clinton floated in her testimony Wednesday.

She actually tried to blame Congress for not providing the necessary money to beef up security at the Libyan mission.

Let me point out that Congress has provided about $3.5 trillion – some of it from taxpayers and the rest borrowed – for the administration to spend.

There has not been a budget for nearly four years, so that money is largely fungible – meaning it can be spent in many ways, without congressional approval. The State Department and Defense Department have wide latitude on how money is spent. The president has even conducted military action throughout his first term – rightly or wrongly – without congressional approval.

So how can Clinton sit there contemptuously and suggest action wasn’t taken to ward off the attack on the mission, to rescue Americans or to punish those responsible?

It would be laughable if this were not a matter of deadly seriousness.

For instance, the State Department spent some $525 million on a mosque in the Middle East. Did the executive branch seek permission or authorization from Congress to do that?

I don’t think so.

The State Department has all kinds of discretionary funds that are used for the most ridiculous ideas under the sun. Are we supposed to believe that it didn’t have funds to beef up security at the request of the ambassador?

It’s time for Congress to get tough with this administration and to stop taking this excuse-making lying down.

It needs to set clear budget priorities – that’s its job – so the Obama administration understands that protecting the lives and safety of Americans at home and abroad is the No. 1 objective of the federal government. Period. End of story.

In addition, liars like Hillary Clinton need to pay a price for their contempt, incompetence and deceit.

There is a remedy. Congress can and should throw her in prison for a while to see if that refreshes her failing memory and jogs her mind as to the facts the American people demand to know about Benghazi-gate.

I don’t care whether or not she is still secretary of state. It makes no difference. She was, like Barack Obama himself, responsible for the disaster in Libya. Even while making excuses at every opportunity, she claimed responsibility.

So why the lying? Why the long delay in releasing the facts? Why the double-talk? Why did the administration continue to blame a “spontaneous uprising” when it knew the truth? And why is Hillary Clinton still getting away with all of this?

As she was fond of asking as one of the young assistant prosecutors back in the Watergate days: “What did the president know and when did he know it?” And, “What did Hillary Clinton know and when did she know it?”

 

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