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Last night, Jon Stewart took Congressional Republicans to task for their inane line of questioning of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over what happened in Benghazi last year, and how Fox News deliberately took one sound bite out of context from Hillary to try and smear her.

But you know, you ain't dealing with a rookie here, guys.  This ain't Clinton's first go-around at the finger-pointing rodeo.  I mean, Clinton's like a finger-point Magneto.  I mean, you come at her, and she'll turn it around on you.  Obviously, the Magneto reference would only be apropos if fingers had a metal component.  Or if Magneto's mutant ability didn't actually affect metals, but fingers.  Fingeto, which obviously... just roll the thing.
1/23/2013:

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY: These are judgment errors and the people who make judgment errors need to be replaced, fired, and no longer in a position of making these judgment calls.

REP. TOM MARINO, R-PA: There are individuals that just have to be cut loose when they're not performing their tasks.

Explain yourself, Madame Secretary!  Why didn't you fire anyone??


HILLARY CLINTON (1/23/2013): Under federal statute and regulations, unsatisfactory leadership is not grounds for finding a breach of duty. ... I have submitted legislation to this committee, to the Congress, to fix this problem.
Huh?


REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, R-FL (1/23/2013): Why did State not immediately revamp our security protocols prior to the September 11th attacks?
Ah-hah!  Ms. I-have-all-the-answers, why wasn't there enough security?
HILLARY CLINTON (1/23/2013): I didn't see those requests.  They didn't come to me.  I didn't approve them.  I didn't deny them. ... We have asked the Congress to help us re-allocate funds.  The Senate has given us that authority.  We don't yet have it from the House.  So that we can get more Marine guards, we can get more diplomatic security guards.
D'oh!  Son of a bitch!!!

....

All in all, the hearings served as a reminder of why they're called hearings, and not learnings, as the big takeaway from the day appears to be an out-of-context soundbite.

HILLARY CLINTON (1/23/2013): Was it because of a protest?  Or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans?  What difference at this point does it make?
Oh.  She really saying there's no point investigating the cause of the attack?  I mean, that's gonna gain some traction.
BILL O'REILLY: With all due respect, it makes a HUGE difference!

SEAN HANNITY: She appeared to indicate that it doesn't matter who was behind the attack.

ERIC BOLLING: It makes everything the difference to everyone who's been watching this, who's been following this, who've been trying to figure out who knew what, and when.

BRIAN KILMEADE: What difference does it make?  The whole reason why we're there is because we don't know what happened still today!

Exactly!  This inquiry is so we can figure out what happened, and to prevent it from ever happening again.  Doesn't Hillary Clinton understand that?
HILLARY CLINTON (1/23/2013): What difference at this point does it make?  It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.
DAMN YOU NEXT LINE!!  DAMN YOU TO HELL!!  I guess she does understand that.

So if Hillary is minimizing the tragedy, well then, the laws of conservation of matter and energy would tell us someone on the committee must balance with equal and opposing hyperbole.

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY (1/23/2013): I'm glad that you're accepting responsibility.  I think that ultimately with your leaving, you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11.
(Jon shakes head vigorously in disbelief)

Someone's forgetting Iraq!

Video and full transcript below the fold.

Yesterday was a big day on Capitol Hill.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared before our nation's lawmakers to finally answer all the tough questions about the terrorist attacks on our consulate in Benghazi last September.

Of course, Secretary Clinton was supposed to have testified back in December, but kept "postponing" it for "health issues".  Which came to be referred to by medical professionals as:

FOX NEWS WOMAN (12/29/2012): She had the Benghazi flu, they're calling it.

REP. ALLEN WEST, R-FL (12/20/2012): ... a case of Benghazi flu ...

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER (12/19/2012): Apparently, she's suffering from an acute Benghazi allergy.

Yaaaaaaa!!  While the "Benghazi flu" turned out to be a cerebral blood clot, point taken.  As there can be no doubt that what motivated Clinton's platelets to coagulate in her neural capillaries was, you know, fear of the uncomfortable Perry Mason-like queries of Republican lawmakers.  Questions such as:
REP. JEFF DUNCAN, R-SC (1/23/2013): At what point in time can our administration and can our government fire someone whose gross negligence left four Americans dead in Benghazi?  What does the word "responsibility" mean to you, Madame Secretary?
"Well Congressman, Webster's defines 'responsibility' as why don't you go fuck yourself?"

(wild audience cheering and applause)

I'm sorry, that was from the show Webster.

Look, I'm not saying Hillary Clinton or the State Department are blameless here.  We need a thorough inquiry, and a critical analysis of the serious misjudgments, bureaucratic inaccuracies, and pure incompetence that led to the Benghazi tragedy.  But... this here committee weren't it.

1/23/2013:

REP. MICHAEL McCAUL, R-TX: On August 16th, we have this cable that's been widely reported, a classified State Department cable, warning that the Benghazi consulate could not withstand a coordinated attack. ... Were you aware of this cable, this August 16th cable?

HILLARY CLINTON: 1.43 million cables a year come to the State Department. They are all addressed to me. They do not all come to me.  They are reported through the bureaucracy.

So she didn't see the cable.  Let me ask you a question.  Were they Time-Warner cables?  Because that would explain why they never showed up.  (wild audience cheering and applause)  Sorry for that.  Please, come back, reconnect my cable!  Life without Bunheads is no life at all!

All right.  The question was asked, it was answered.  "Did you see the cables?"  "I didn't see the cables."  Which clearly meant that question needed to be asked a few more dozen times.

1/23/2013:

SEN. RON JOHNSON, R-WI: Did you see personally the cable on, I believe it was, August 12th?

REP. MICHAEL McCAUL, R-TX: Was this a cable that surprised you?

SEN. RON JOHNSON, R-WI: Did you see that personally?

REP. CHRISTOPHER SMITH, R-NJ: And how did you respond to it?

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY: You did not read the cables from Benghazi?  You did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens?

REP. MICHAEL McCAUL, R-TX: Certainly somebody within your office should have seen this cable.

Yes.  They should have.  And that concludes the House and Senate Joint No-Shit Sherlock Committee hearings.

Yes, as each one of you in succession has pointed out, someone at State should have seen the cable from Benghazi, popped it upstairs to someone with more authority at State, and given those people at the consulate more security.  That's a fair point... that you don't all have to identically make.

But you know, you ain't dealing with a rookie here, guys.  This ain't Clinton's first go-around at the finger-pointing rodeo.  I mean, Clinton's like a finger-point Magneto.  I mean, you come at her, and she'll turn it around on you.  Obviously, the Magneto reference would only be apropos if fingers had a metal component.  Or if Magneto's mutant ability didn't actually affect metals, but fingers.  Fingeto, which obviously... just roll the thing.

1/23/2013:

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY: These are judgment errors and the people who make judgment errors need to be replaced, fired, and no longer in a position of making these judgment calls.

REP. TOM MARINO, R-PA: There are individuals that just have to be cut loose when they're not performing their tasks.

Explain yourself, Madame Secretary!  Why didn't you fire anyone??


HILLARY CLINTON (1/23/2013): Under federal statute and regulations, unsatisfactory leadership is not grounds for finding a breach of duty. ... I have submitted legislation to this committee, to the Congress, to fix this problem.
Huh?


REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, R-FL (1/23/2013): Why did State not immediately revamp our security protocols prior to the September 11th attacks?
Ah-hah!  Ms. I-have-all-the-answers, why wasn't there enough security?
HILLARY CLINTON (1/23/2013): I didn't see those requests.  They didn't come to me.  I didn't approve them.  I didn't deny them. ... We have asked the Congress to help us re-allocate funds.  The Senate has given us that authority.  We don't yet have it from the House.  So that we can get more Marine guards, we can get more diplomatic security guards.
D'oh!  Son of a bitch!!!

But you know what?  We live in polarized times.  If the Republicans cannot contain their more political instincts, can Democrats bring the proceedings to a more constructive place?

1/23/2013:

SEN. BARBARA BOXER, D-CA: You have represented our country with tremendous strength and poise.

REP. ELIOT ENGEL, D-NY: ... the way you've worked, the tireless effort you had ...

SEN. CHRIS COONS, D-DE: ... your remarkable skills and stamina ...

REP. ALAN LOWENTHAL, D-CA: ... your openness, your thoughtfulness today ...

REP. JUAN VARGAS, D-CA: You said earlier that we haven't done enough promoting ourselves around the country, the world.  I think you have.

REP. GRACE MENG, D-NY: If you have any advice for a fellow New Yorker finding her way in this town, please let me know.

Ms. Clinton... (gets down on one knee) would you make us the luckiest committee in the world?

I'm sorry, did I say constructive?  I meant ass-licky.

Wow!  You got the Secretary of State in front of you under oath, and you're fishing for restaurant recommendations!  Even Paula Abdul is watching this, going, "Jesus, go a little harder on her."

Yes, it appeared many Democrats saw this as an opportunity not to question the Secretary on Libya, but to interview for perhaps a future position.

DEL. ENI FALEOMAVAEGA, D-AMERICAN SAMOA (1/23/2013): I salute you, and I look ahead to 2016, wishing you much success and extending to you my highest regards.
Oh shit!  Oh my God!  Wait a minute, there's no American Samoa delegate on the Foreign Affairs Committee....  Computer, enhance that image!

I knew it!!  It's noted Pacific Islander über-prankster Ronaiah Tuiasosopo!  Tuiasosopo, I knew it was you-iasosopo, from that clue-iasosopo.  But you will never best me, for I am rubber and you are glue-iasosopo.  Actually, there is an American Samoa delegate on the Foreign Affairs Committee, but I wanted to do four straight days of that bit.  You know, carry it through-iasosopo.  I'm going to miss that story!

All in all, the hearings served as a reminder of why they're called hearings, and not learnings, as the big takeaway from the day appears to be an out-of-context soundbite.

HILLARY CLINTON (1/23/2013): Was it because of a protest?  Or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans?  What difference at this point does it make?
Oh.  She really saying there's no point investigating the cause of the attack?  I mean, that's gonna gain some traction.
BILL O'REILLY: With all due respect, it makes a HUGE difference!

SEAN HANNITY: She appeared to indicate that it doesn't matter who was behind the attack.

ERIC BOLLING: It makes everything the difference to everyone who's been watching this, who's been following this, who've been trying to figure out who knew what, and when.

BRIAN KILMEADE: What difference does it make?  The whole reason why we're there is because we don't know what happened still today!

Exactly!  This inquiry is so we can figure out what happened, and to prevent it from ever happening again.  Doesn't Hillary Clinton understand that?
HILLARY CLINTON (1/23/2013): What difference at this point does it make?  It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.
DAMN YOU NEXT LINE!!  DAMN YOU TO HELL!!  I guess she does understand that.

So if Hillary is minimizing the tragedy, well then, the laws of conservation of matter and energy would tell us someone on the committee must balance with equal and opposing hyperbole.

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY (1/23/2013): I'm glad that you're accepting responsibility.  I think that ultimately with your leaving, you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11.
(Jon shakes head vigorously in disbelief)

Someone's forgetting Iraq!

But done.  Order is restored to the universe.  We'll be right back.

BTW, Stephen also offered his PG-13 take on the Benghazi hearing.
Jon then looked at the horrid state of China's air pollution.
Meanwhile, Stephen opened the show by looking at what's happening in Mali with the French, and discussed it with NYU professor Edward Berenson.
Jon talked with actor Christopher Walken, while Stephen talked with 16-year-old fashionista Tavi Gevinson.

Originally posted to BruinKid on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Jon Stewart---Quit the Tuiasosopo thing!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tinfoil Hat

    How long is he going to flog that?? 4 Freaking days of it!! Give complete publicity to a freaking liar and manipulator.
    Don't tell me he's shaming Tuiasosopo, the guy has no idea what shame is.

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:04:40 AM PST

  •  i love this guy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, NonnyO, TexDem


    Hillary aside, the Tuiasosopo joke was just great.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:20:36 AM PST

    •  Sssssssaaaaaaaaaaaaay... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy

      Can you explain, in ten words or less, what the whole Tuiasosopo thing is all about?

      I see a guy in a jock uniform of some kind, never click on stories about jocks, but Jon seems to be having fun with it.

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:55:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  1. They 2. say (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO

        3. Manti
        4. got
        5. Heisman
        6. because
        7. sympathy
        8. Tuiasosopo's
        9. internet
        10. scam

        Long version.

        It goes fast.  
        It is Hawaiian.  
        It is internet.  
        It is not only jocks it is under 21 year-olds on the internet.
        It is drama.
        It is not the Steven King novel we have been in for the last month.

        My gun control petition was shot down.

        by 88kathy on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:09:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  :-D Thank you.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          88kathy

          :-D This is something I can blissfully ignore, in other words. :-D

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:29:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, BruinKid (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, TexDem, Tinfoil Hat

    I always appreciate these posts very much, and should thank you each and every time, but don't :(.  T&R always tho!

    Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

    by Gustogirl on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:39:00 AM PST

  •  i watched it last night (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexDem, 88kathy

    very good. the finger pointing thing was beautiful.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:03:50 AM PST

  •  Am I the only one who does not get... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, SilentBrook

    ... the whole brouhaha over Benghazi?

    Wasn't the technical cause of death for the ambassador 'smoke inhalation?'  I only heard that once on some long-ago TV segment, don't even remember which one, so I'm not sure if they were even talking about the same fellow.

    Weren't the guards private corporate mercenaries?  [They make buku bucks and the US government pays the corporations that employ them for their salaries.  Corporations live and die by cost-benefit ratio.  Financially, no one lost in that deal.]

    Wasn't everyone briefed about the danger in the area before they left..., and given an opportunity to say 'no' to the assignment?

    If they knew the risks and went anyway, then what, pray tell, is the big issue?  They gambled that they wouldn't be killed, but got killed anyway.  Too bad, so sad, but if they were briefed on the risks and went anyway, that decision is on them, not the SoS or anyone else.

    Express sympathies and MOVE ON.  Obsessing about Benghazi at this late date shows the Repukes are mentally ill and need counseling - and/or OCD medication.

    This has passed the point of ridiculousness and I don't understand the obsession over Benghazi any more than I do over this Teo (sp) fellow (I've not clicked on a story that could explain the issue with him in ten words or less, so I'm at a loss; sounds like a jock issue and I ignore jocks).

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:52:03 AM PST

    •  My SIL believes that the death was similar to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO

      Black Hawk down, and was not smoke inhalation.  He has the weirdest beliefs, but is basically a good guy.

      My gun control petition was shot down.

      by 88kathy on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:12:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know what happened... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        88kathy

        ... with Black Hawk down.  It's a movie based on a real event, yes?  Helicopter crash?

        All I can remember of the TV blurb about the ambassador in Benghazi is that he saved lives and then died of smoke inhalation.  In other words, if he had left the scene earlier, he wouldn't have died.  He was not murdered if he died of smoke inhalation.

        I just don't understand why Repukes have their knickers in a knot over this when they gave full support to that lying group of war criminals under the Bushistas to illegally and unconstitutionally invade two countries....  That was far, far, far, faaaaaaaaarrrr worse than what happened at Benghazi, and too many people died for the sake of a war started for oil based on lies, and lies to cover the original lies....

        War is a waste of lives and money.

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:27:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Basically, it boils down to... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, elginblt

      .... they desperately needed SOME kind of "scandal" to undermine the President, but he's run a remarkably smooth, competent and scandal-free administration.  

      You can tell how desperate they are because suddenly Ambassador Rice's talking points -- given to her BY THE CIA and yes, deliberately kept vague because investigation was still ongoing and they didn't want to tip their hand on how/where they might be getting information -- was suddenly a big issue.  Because she said what was Diplomatically Correct instead of blowing an ongoing security investigation out of the water -- which might have actually been false, because not all the information was verified yet, etc.  Police investigations don't reveal all they know at press conferences, either.  It's counter-productive to the whole business of actually investigating.  You wait until you have facts -- you don't trot out to the press and promote the speculations without evidence.  

      What happened in Benghazi was tragic, and clearly some errors in judgment were made, but the State Dept. KNOWS THAT.  

      This is just a pitiful display of political circus -- because the Republicans have the authority to hold hearings and they've been desperate to find any excuse to attempt to portray the Administration as deceitful, incompetent, or In League With Terrorists.  

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