When recently testifying in front of Congressional committees investigating the fatal disaster that happened at the U.S. Consulate at Benghazi in Libya, former Secretary of State famously shouted, “What difference does it make?” when asked detailed questions regarding the inferior and shoddy security at the consulate. Maybe America should ask a slightly different question of Ms. Clinton if given the opportunity: “What Difference Did You Make?”
News reports and poll results show that Ms. Clinton has very high favorability ratings among Americans. To be honest, many of us don’t see it or get it. When we look at her record as Secretary of State, we see a string of failures, missed opportunities, and management shortcomings that culminated in the unnecessary death of four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador in Libya.
One cannot say that someone else could have done better in this role in this tumultuous times. But it is difficult to see why she is getting this much love for just showing up for work with no discernible success stories or accomplishments to her credit:
1) Iran is four years closer to having nuclear weapons, and no diplomatic efforts from this administration and this former Secretary of State have come close to terminating this growing danger.
2) North Korea is four years closer to having nuclear weapons, and, more importantly, four years closer to having the rocket delivery capability to put one of those nukes into the West Coast of the United States. No diplomatic efforts from this administration of this former Secretary of State have come close to terminating this growing danger.
3) This administration and this former Secretary of State were caught completely by surprise and off guard by the so-called Arab Spring and the ramifications from these uprisings. Once caught by surprise, they never got out in front of the changes and problems associated with these earth moving political shifts.
4) This administration and this former Secretary of State apparently did not anticipate and have no plan to cope with the civil war in Syria, showing no leverage to get the violence to stop or to contain the various types of weapons, including chemical, from falling into the wrong hands.
5) Four years of this administration and this former Secretary of State has gotten us no closer to resolving the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Now, granted, not much progress has been made since the whole conflict started in 1948 so this was a tough issue on which no progress was made.
6) Late last year, the Associated Press reported on the disaster that was to be a U.S. consulate facility in the northern part of Afghanistan. After $80 million of taxpayer wealth had been expended, the State Department decided to abandon the facility since it was basically indefensible, wasting $80 million. Existing State Department procedures and protocols were ignored or overwritten that would have prevented this wasting of $80 million. This calls into question of how well the State Department functioned administratively under Clinton’s direction, especially on high profile, expensive spending initiatives like this consulate.
7) Four years of this administration and this former Secretary of State resulted in no leverage with China, a nation that bullies its neighboring countries, sponsors cyber attacks on other countries’ military, infrastructure, and private businesses, manipulates its currency to our detriment, and which is the biggest polluter and emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.
8) She was either unaware or stood by quietly as this administration violated any number of laws and treaties by allowing the Fast And Furious gun running operation to ship thousands of illegal weapons to Mexican drug cartels, weapons that ended up killing a U.S. border agent and dozens of Mexican civilians without contacting Mexican authorities ahead of the operation.
9) And worst of all, the death and destruction from the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate at Benghazi:
- Despite many, many warnings ahead of the attack regarding the weak consulate security operations, no attempt was made to successfully beef up security in one of the most dangerous places in the world.
- Security was so bad that a badly injured ambassador received medical treatment not from U.S. resources but was driven to a local hospital by Libyan citizens. There Libyan doctors treated him without even knowing who he was. In other words, security operations were so bad we physically lost track of a U.S. ambassador‘s whereabouts and body.
- It is still unknown the real reasons behind the attacks: was it a botched kidnapping attempt, with the Obama administration’s involvement, to trade the ambassador for the “blind sheik?” Was it to cover up an illegal gun running operation to the Syrian rebels and shut down the operation and those that were involved? Or was it just gross incompetence?
- These questions do make a difference and it is her responsibility to come clean with America, she was in charge.
So, yes Hillary, it really does make a difference. But more importantly: What difference did you make in the four years you served as Secretary of State? To be honest, there seems to be no positive difference or international relations progress between now and 2009 when you took over the difficult job of managing our international affairs.