Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifying on Benghazi-Linda Davidson/Washington Post

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would have you believe that she knew virtually nothing about anything relating to the debacle in Benghazi, even though she was in charge of the State Department at the time (you’d never know it from the way this played out). U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was her employee and, she said, a dear friend. She, more than anyone, had backed the decision to use force in Libya. So how could she be in the dark about so much, even acknowledging that the compound in Benghazi was primarily a CIA operation.

Did she not know why Chris Stevens was there in the first place? Did she never see memos from Stevens pleading for more security? Did she have no system in place to elevate important matters to her attention? Does she claim not to have known after her conversation with Gregory Hicks that this was a terror attack, not a spontaneous demonstration? Does she want us to believe she didn’t know the talking points were reworked to reflect a false narrative? Did she not watch Susan Rice deliver an ode to fantasy on the Sunday shows or get a report on her misstatements? Did she not hear the president again and again say the video was to blame? Did she not hear or vet his United Nations speech on Sept. 25 in which he raising the video once again? Did she not know her closest confidante, Cheryl Mills, was trying to hush up Hicks? Did she not realize she hadn’t been interviewed as part of an accountability review board that eventually blamed no one in particular?

The Clintons have always worked on plausible deniability and parsing of words. But that doesn’t work for her here, not in the context of the murder of a U.S. ambassador. She either knew most, if not all, of the developments or she chose not to. And that is the most improbable part of all.

The empress of minute detail, the former A student who prized herself on knowing obscure details about every country on the planet, wasn’t paying attention to Libya, didn’t know what had occurred and wasn’t aware of the obfuscation thereafter? I don’t buy it. If she wasn’t in the loop, it was blatant negligence. And if she just let the untruths pile up because someone else was mouthing them, then she wasn’t serving the American people, only Obama’s reelection campaign.

She doesn’t have to have been primarily responsible for security in Benghazi to be found inattentative and negligent. She doesn’t have to be the one who chopped up the talking points to know the administration was spinning untruths to the American people. And she doesn’t have to have invented the spontaneous demonstration nonsense to know that mentioning it at the casket ceremony was going to leave everyone with the impression that it was the cause of four Americans’ deaths. The bar is higher for a secretary of state.

If you are claiming to be in the dark, not responsible and powerless, you are not a feminist icon or presidential material, both of which a whole bunch of people keep telling us she is. So which is it? You can’t have both plausible deniability and stature as the most powerful, competent woman on the globe. Her alibi is her undoing.