Benghazi Terrorist Attack: The Difference It Makes

James Phillips /

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bristled in a heated moment at yesterday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing when pressed about why the Obama Administration initially failed to recognize the September 11 Benghazi, Libya, attack as terrorism. She countered: “Was it because of a protest or is it because of guys out for a walk one night and they decide they go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”

It makes a huge difference because:

The Obama Administration continues to underestimate the degree to which al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremists have exploited the “Arab Spring.” Although Ambassador Christopher Stevens clearly recognized the growing threat posed by Islamist militias in Libya, this understanding was not shared by top officials in the Administration.

By peevishly asking “What difference, at this point, does it make?” about the initial failure of the Administration to correctly label the assault on the Benghazi diplomatic mission as a terrorist attack, Secretary Clinton demonstrates that she fails to understand the implications of the September 11 attack in Benghazi, as well as the flawed U.S. counterterrorism policy that led to the original 9/11 terrorist attack.

See also: The Arab Spring Descends into Islamist Winter: Implications for U.S. Policy