The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Clinton’s showstopper at Benghazi hearings

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate testimony on Benghazi, Libya, certainly was interesting … before it became jaw dropping. Clinton claimed never to have seen the talking points or to picking U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to go on the Sunday talk shows, seemingly throwing the one-time Clinton administration aide under the bus. Clinton later threw a crumb, saying she did not know of any evidence that contradicted it. (But wait. Clinton said she knew it was terrorism.) Sen Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) showed some moxie in grilling Clinton on the lack of awareness of the growing al-Qaeda threat.

And then Clinton blurted out a showstopper:

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.

UPDATE (11:50 a.m.): There was also this eye-popping moment in which Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) showed why he is so formidable.

And with that, he did great damage to the myth of Clinton’s competence.