After Thursday’s mental waterboarding of Hillary Clinton that lasted eleven hours Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the House Special and Select Committee tasked with finding out the truth about the events in Benghazi on 9/11/2012, declared that he probably had not heard anything new from the Secretary, but added that he had to check the transcript of the hearing to make sure.  Personally I don’t have to go back to the transcript to know that I learned a lot.  I already knew that people who speak with a strong southern accent sound stupid, but now I also know that often they are stupid.  Starting with Gowdy there were quite a few southerners in the Republican bloc of the committee, and collectively they seemed to be involved in a competition to come up with the dumbest question or with the most bizarre theory about the Obama administration’s conspiracy that allowed things in Libya to get out of hand.  The question that took the cake came from Martha Roby of Alabama, who asked the Secretary if she had spent the whole night after the assault on the consulate alone. When Hillary burst out in laughter Roby got angry and wanted to know what was so funny.

The common thread of the various conspiracy theories was the idea that the administration had purposely denied the embassy staff in Libya sufficient protection, because it would threaten the election narrative that getting rid of Gadaffi had been a huge achievement.  Even someone who has been homeschooled or barely made it through a public grade school in the south should be able to see that this is an oxymoron: The administration would have forfeited the lives of the Ambassador, embassy personnel and CIA agents to be able to continue to say that Libya was a success?  Only half-wits can come up with a story like that, but it was the integrating mechanism of the Republicans’ lines of questioning.  Something else the GOP committee members could not get their heads around was the obvious possibility that a spontaneous protest about the anti-Islamic video ‘Innocence of Muslims’ and a terrorist attack coincided, because terrorists who were already planning an attack on the consulate took advantage of the public outrage over the video in most Muslim countries to execute their plan, thus creating the administration’s initial confusion.

So while we learned that US Representatives Westmoreland and Roby are certifiable idiots, that Congressman Roskam is rude, that Gowdy is a thug and that ‘Jimmy’ Jordan’s mother forgot to tell him that women don’t like men who yell at them, we also learned that Hillary Clinton is made of the stuff that good US Presidents are made of.  She was calm, collected and consistent throughout the ordeal, showing the class that the GOP members of the committee all lacked.

Next to Hillary’s excellent performance the Democratic members of the committee were a great supporting cast.  US Representatives Schiff, Duckworth and Smith provided the Secretary with the occasional breather, Congresswoman Sanchez constantly pointed at Gowdy’s abusive time management, and Elijah Cummings exhibited his usual level of moral statesmanship, putting Gowdy to shame.

An excellent article in Rolling Stone by Matt Taibbi, probably America’s best writer, is entitled ‘Trey Gowdy Just Elected Hillary Clinton President,’ and I could not agree more.  I have never been a big fan of Hillary and her dual personalities, as I wrote earlier, but on Thursday she earned my vote.

Hugo Kijne


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