House Republicans reportedly want to bring Hillary Clinton and Gen. David Petraeus in for testimony in regard to the Benghazi fiasco. That’s a good idea: Then they can testify together and explain who was responsible for what.
The questioning could unfold like this:
Which one of you was responsible for the security in Benghazi?
Did the responsible person think it was the other one?
Did you two ever talk it out, about who would do what? Did you instruct your staff to? Did you follow up?
Did either of you ever read in the newspaper about the unraveling security situation in Libya in 2012 or hear that other governments had pulled out?
Either one of you get concerned or go to the other to discuss? Anyone mention this to the president?
Who was responsible for vetting the local militia?
Mrs. Clinton, your department by Sept. 12 — when a background briefing was given to reporters — seemed to understand this was a terrorist attack, right? And by then, Mr. Petraeus, you’d figured out this wasn’t about a video, either, right?
So how did talking points come out of the CIA and get signed off by both your deputies telling an entirely different story? Mr. Petraeus, you said the talking points were worthless, but weren’t they false?
Mrs. Clinton, why did you bring up the video at the casket ceremony on Sept. 14?
Did the two of you talk at all over these days to understand what the attack was about?
Either of you catch Susan Rice on the Sunday shows or get briefed on her statement? Either one of you alarmed that this was a tall tale? Mention it to anyone?
Any doubt in your minds by Sept. 20 or even Sept. 25 what this was all about? Ever tell the president he wasn’t accurately characterizing what went on?
You get the idea. Let them tell the American people who did what. I do not imagine they want to sit side-by-side and tell us “It was his job!” “Hers!” But that is in fact the posture we’ve gotten from the e-mails and other testimony. The CIA wanted to say they had warned of an attack? When was that warning about Libya? Did the CIA listen to its own warning and properly vet militia?
Recent reporting has made clear how badly the CIA handled this entire matter. (By the way, anyone want to ask CIA Director John Brennan why, eight months later, we haven’t grabbed or droned the perpetrators?) That doesn’t mean Clinton and her department didn’t mess up as well.
And if we want to make things really interesting, why not bring in Ben Rhodes (I think the administration already waived any privilege by coughing up the e-mails)? Then we can have the White House, the CIA and State Department tell us what they all did. And maybe one of them can tell us what the president did that night.