Hillary is on the Hill today testifying about Benghazi. First up, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to be followed later today by an appearance before the House Foreign Affairs. The spin she is doing is worthy of a Ferrari engine revving at full RPM. She is doing a dandy job of misleading and misdirecting. She claims she was fully running things and properly coordinating in State Department when the attack in Benghazi commenced. An artful lie. For example, she did not alert the Bureau of Counter Terrorism. Senior officials in that Bureau were left in the dark for an hour and sidelined when it came time to weigh response options. Why would she do that? The answer lies in understanding what what was really going on in Benghazi.

Though the facility where Ambassador Stevens died was initially described as a “Consulate,” it was not. A Consulate normally is staffed with consular officers and a senior diplomat who carries the title of Consul General. No such animals at that facility. Just Stevens, a communicator and some Diplomatic Security folks.

That facility existed solely to provide diplomatic cover for U.S. intelligence activities. That fact explains why State Department was reluctant, even unwilling, to spend resources fortifying and defending a facility that really did not serve the direct interests of the State Department and the Foreign Service. What was left unsaid in the unclass version of the Accountability Review Board report on Benghazi was the expectation on the part of State that the CIA would shoulder the burden of security for the facilities. It was a hot potato and, as we subsequently saw, no one was in charge.

The Obama Administration’s desperate effort to cover up what was really going on at Benghazi was the focus of the response on September 11th, 2012. Why?

The legitimate CIA mission being carried out under a Presidential finding at the Annex was focused on a variety of things, including rounding up weapons for Qaddafi’s caches and identifying radical groups that posed a threat to the fledgling government in Libya. But there was something else going on at the Annex. An intelligence activity not covered by a finding that was devoted to moving weapons collected in Libya (and some purchased elsewhere) to Syria rebels with the assistance of the Government of Turkey. That was the dirty secret Obama and his team were hiding.

So, what do you think of her answers today?

UPDATE–What difference does it make?

Great question Hillary. If it was a spontaneous attack with no warning then who can be faulted. Who is to blame when a meteor blazes thru the atmosphere and it smashes you car, that is an unfortunate event and there is no one to blame. But when you send diplomats into a dangerous area, and you know from prior written intelligence that the threat is high, you have a personal and professional responsibility to protect them. You, Hillary, failed on that point. There blood is on your hands. I say this as someone who has admired you and respects your intelligence. But you are dishonoring the dead by your dissembling and evasion. It does matter that you helped the Administration lie about the genuine cause of this event and, as Harp points out below, you were party to implicating an innocent American for this act. That is truly shameful.

The real news from the hearing is that Senator Rand Paul scored a direct hit. What a contrast between Paul, who nailed Hillary on the Turkey weapons angle, and the wimpy Marco Rubio. Rubio is just a pretty boy with no depth. Rand showed us something today. If you find the link to the exchange, let me know and we’ll post it up.

Found it:

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.