On Tuesday, Republicans finally released the “findings” from their “investigation” into what happened on September 11, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya. The much-awaited report ultimately turned out to be nothing more than 800 pages of information we’ve known for years, mixed with their subjective opinion claiming that, despite no actual factual information to support their partisan findings (including their own hand-picked military expert who literally said that nothing would have altered what ultimately happened), something more could have been done to prevent the attack.
Yes, Republicans wasted years and millions of dollars on absolutely nothing more than a partisan stunt aimed at trying to hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances at becoming our next president.
Of course, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, has used the 2012 attack to take several shots at Clinton throughout his campaign, including recently as news began to break that this report was about to be released.
In fact, on June 21st, Trump sent out this tweet:
If you want to know about Hillary Clinton's honesty & judgment, ask the family of Ambassador Stevens.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2016
Seems pretty straight forward, right? According to Mr. Trump, if you want to know about the honesty and judgement of Hillary Clinton, just ask the family of the late Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Well, Robin Wright of The New Yorker did just that during an interview with Ambassador Stevens’ sister (who’s also the family spokesperson), Dr. Anne Stevens.
When asked who she blames for the attack that took her brother’s life, this is what she had to say:
I do not blame Hillary Clinton or Leon Panetta. They were balancing security efforts at embassies and missions around the world. And their staffs were doing their best to provide what they could with the resources they had. The Benghazi Mission was understaffed. We know that now. But, again, Chris knew that. It wasn’t a secret to him. He decided to take the risk to go there. It is not something they did to him. It is something he took on himself.
She was then asked what she thought of Hillary Clinton’s conduct on Benghazi:
She has taken full responsibility, being head of the State Department, for what occurred. She took measures to respond to the review board’s recommendations. She established programs for a better security system. But it is never going to be perfect. Part of being a diplomat is being out in the community. We all recognize that there’s a risk in serving in a dangerous environment. Chris thought that was very important, and he probably would have done it again. I don’t see any usefulness in continuing to criticize her. It is very unjust.
Here’s what she had to say about whether or not she felt her brother’s death had been politicized:
Yes! Definitely politicized. Every report I read that mentions him specifically has a political bent, an accusatory bent. One point that seems to be brought up again and again is the accusation that the attack was a response to the video. I could understand why that conclusion would be made, because it was right after the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Egypt. But, frankly, it doesn’t matter that that was the thinking, that night, about why the attack occurred. It’s irrelevant to bring that up again and again. It is done purely for political reasons.
Dr. Stevens also went on to say that it’s “not appropriate” for some (mostly Republicans) to use her brother’s death as an election issue and that he had “a lot of respect” for Hillary Clinton. She also said that this new report recently released didn’t “look like anything new” and that what Republicans found was what we had already known.
In just this one interview, not only does Chris Stevens’ sister literally say “I do not blame Hillary Clinton,” but she also gives her credit for taking responsibility for the attack and she doesn’t see any “usefulness in continuing to criticize her” because it’s “very unjust” and “inappropriate” for Republicans to continue to try to politicize her brother’s death.
She basically destroyed every idiotic talking point Republicans have been trying to use for years to go after Clinton.
Sadly, I’m sure her words won’t matter one bit to most on the right, especially Trump. Republicans will simply say and do whatever they want, all while claiming this is about honoring the families of the victims, while blatantly ignoring the words spoken by the de facto Stevens family spokesperson, Chris’s sister, Dr. Anne Stevens.
So, when Donald Trump instructs people to ask the family of Ambassador Stevens about Hillary Clinton’s judgement, he’s right – they should. Ambassador Stevens’ sister just said that Hillary Clinton wasn’t to blame for what happened to her brother; that it’s “unjust” for Republicans to continue to criticize her; that she has taken full responsibility for what happened; that it’s “not appropriate” for people like Trump to continue try to use her brother’s death for political reasons; and that her brother “admired” and had “a lot of respect” for Hillary Clinton.
In other words, the family of Ambassador Chris Stevens just make Donald Trump look like an absolute fool by praising Hillary Clinton, while condeming those like him who continue to try to exploit their loved one’s death for political gains.
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