When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faced down Sen. Ron Johnson and asked exasperatedly, "What difference at this point does it make" why the attacks in Benghazi happened, she must have known it would spur controversy.
Even if she didn't, it has. Specifically, a whole host of right-leaning commentators have leaped at the chance to answer Clinton's entirely rhetorical question. Below are the 5 best responses from those commentators.
#5. Redstate blogger Moe Lane
"It matters because – contra Hillary Clinton’s tacit attitude, and frankly, contra Barack Obama’s tacit attitude, too – the US government exists for the benefit of its citizens, and it is responsive to the desires and opinions of its citizens. Not the other way around. When one of our people gets killed, the government has no right to hide the reason, despite how personally or professionally embarrassing that the reason might be. And it is especially important that American voters be told what is actually happening, because – and this will be a shock to the Democratic party, I’m sure – American foreign policy is ultimately supposed to be reflective of the will of the American electorate."
#4. Columnist Debra J. Saunders
"There’s a big difference between a 9/11 attack that stems from a protest, some guys out for a walk, and a concerted terrorist attack on an American mission. If it was just a protest or guys out for a walk, the U.S. response and efforts to prevent a repeat must be very different than the reaction to a planned, armed attack to kill an American ambassador and staff. If it’s a protest or a rogue attack, routine security changes must occur. If it was a planned terrorist attack — and I think we know it was — Washington has to re-think its assumptions."
#3. Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin
"It doesn’t matter if the administration lied? Umm. Ooops. That will make the anti-Hillary ads if she runs in 2016. The New Media and conservative Republicans pounced. But more important has been Clinton’s acknowledgement as to how dangerous and widespread al-Qaeda is in Northern Africa. This is directly contrary to the Obama-Hagel meme that we have decimated al-Qaeda and really don’t need that big military any more. Clinton in essence just told the president his idea that we have 'peace in our time' is crazy talk. Perhaps Clinton should be brought in as a witness in the Chuck Hagel secretary of defense hearings. By the Republicans."
#2. National Review's Eliana Johnson
"Clinton’s dismissal of the impetus behind the attack also stands in stark contrast to nearly everything senior officials of the Obama administration said publicly about it in the days that followed, including both the president and Clinton herself — that is, when the administration was blaming the attack on a YouTube video. In opening remarks for a strategic dialogue with Morocco — video below — which occurred four days after the Benghazi attack, Clinton said, 'There is no justification, none at all, for responding to this video with violence. We condemn the violence that has resulted in the strongest terms.' The idea that the cause of the attack should now take a backseat to other concerns seems all too convenient. "
#1. Hot Air's Ed Morrissey
"Well, gosh, I can think of a few reasons why it matters. First, it mattered enough for the Obama administration to send Susan Rice to five different Sunday talk shows to insist that the sacking was a spontaneous demonstration of anger over a months-old YouTube video, while saying that there was 'no evidence' that it was a terrorist attack.[...] It also matters because Barack Obama at the time had been bragging about crippling al-Qaeda while on the campaign trail.[...] There’s also the matter of Barack Obama’s intervention in Libya and his undeclared war against Moammar Qaddafi."
- "It Makes a Big Difference, Madame Secretary"
- Clinton Finally Explains Why the Four State Dept. Employees Blasted for Leadership Failures in Benghazi Report Have Not Been Fired
- Rand Paul Grills Clinton at Benghazi Hearing: ‘Had I Been President…I Would Have Relieved You of Your Post’
- Angry Clinton Explodes at Questioning on Libya Protest: ‘We Have Four Dead Americans…What Difference at This Point Does It Make?’
- Hillary Clinton Chokes Up During Opening Benghazi Statement