Hillary Clinton Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Win McNamee / Getty Images)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify Jan. 23 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the Benghazi attack. There are so many questions one hardly knows where to start. But here are some of the critical ones:

  • When did she become aware of the deteriorating security situation in Libya and the uptick in fighters affiliated with al-Qaeda?
  • Did she advise the president or know if others did? What action(s) did she take?
  • Did the president or anyone in the White House dissuade her from calling attention to the security situation in Libya?
  • Was she aware that other nations and non-governmental organizations had pulled their people out of Libya? Why didn’t she recommend that we do the same?
  • Was she aware of any requests for additional security in Libya? Was she aware of, for example, an al-Qaeda threat posted on Facebook?
  • Why did she or someone else wait nearly half a day before repudiating the messages from the Cairo Embassy that the attacks stemmed from protests regarding an anti-Muslim video?
  • Intelligence officials became aware within 24 hours that there had been no sort of demonstration at the Libyan consulate. When did she find this out? Why did she not clarify the record promptly and advise the president, his spokesman and lawmakers that there had been no protest in Libya?
  • Why did she not go on the Sunday shows following the attack to respond to questions, and why was Susan Rice, who had no operational control for Libya, selected?
  • Did she or any of her subordinates help brief Rice or help coordinate the responses she would give? Who else participated in those briefings? Did anyone clarify that there had been no protest and that known al-Qaeda affiliates had been involved?
  • Did she at any time advise the president ahead of his Sept. 25 speech to the United Nations that it was incorrect to tie the Libya attacks to the anti-Muslim film and/or that we knew this to be a terrorist act? When was that? Was she disturbed so many officials were giving out incorrect information during this time?
  • When she met the return home of the remains of those killed in Libya, Clinton said, “We have seen rage and violence directed at our embassies over an Internet video we had nothing to do with.” By that time, didn’t she know there had been no protest in Libya? 
  • What could she have done differently that, in retrospect, would have saved the lives of those four Americans? What could she have done or said differently that would have prevented confusion in the days following the attacks?