According to State Department aides, dehydration due to a stomach flu caused Hillary Clinton to fall and hit her head, giving her a concussion. Usually this type of news would not make headlines, but it has caused her to cancel her scheduled appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday in relation to what has been dubbed “Benghazi-gate.”
Although the injury has come at a rather convenient time for Clinton, it is perfectly reasonable if she is truly ill and concussed, to postpone her testimony. With emphasis on rescheduling, however, the hearings will take place as scheduled with “senior” level officials appearing in her place.
This evasion is controversial because the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya has been shrouded in secrecy and government redirection. Initially, the attack was dismissed as anti-American protest sparked by a YouTube video featuring Islam's prophet, Mohammed. There has been speculation that what really transpired was a terrorist attack and the Obama administration was actively trying to disseminate misleading information about the attacks. The extent to which this is true is still a matter of debate, but with General David Petraeus coming out it seems more compelling than ever.
No one expects that having Clinton appear before Congress will give everyone closure on what really transpired in Benghazi. What most congressional hearings end up being is an opportunity to go on record exposing the failures of government officials. Often they end up being nothing more than a façade, but sometimes the record shows the incompetence of government officials.
That is why it is so important for us to have Clinton and others come testify before Congress — to set the record straight but to put them in the hot seat. Even though the real facts about what happened will end up being determined by historians a long time from now, it is important that we can still try to keep our officials accountable. With this “concussion” and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry essentially excusing her from testifying, there is little hope of this.
Nevertheless, I have not had much hope for there ever there really being accountability for what happened in Benghazi, or other scandals for that matter, even if Clinton did testify. What is amazing though is how much more proactively and sincerely extramarital affairs are investigated compared to government mishaps like Benghazi, as the Petraeus scandal has so effectively pointed out.