On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took to tending the fires of accountability in regard to the Benghazi attacks.
Several pundits have written articles calling Paul a grand stander and accusing him of asking unrelated questions. This tells me that many of our "pundits" don't understand the Benghazi attack beyond the "facts" as Rachel Maddow presents them. Paul did have precedent in the questions he asked, ranging from America's involvement in the Syrian civil war, to a complete administrative failure at the hands of the State Department regarding Ambassador Chris Stevens' death.
Here are some basic facts on the issue:
1. The compound in Benghazi that was attacked was not an embassy, or consulate. It was a Temporary Mission Facility.
2. As a TMF, the compound fell down the list when funding was appropriated, as is standard.
3. Chris Stevens requested additional funding directly through the Department of State several times before the attacks.
4. Chris Stevens' last meetings were with Turkish officials regarding then undisclosed topics. An unnamed source says those meetings were regarding the removal of heavy weapons systems from Libya - specifically SA-7 missiles.
5. Syrian rebels received a large shipment of humanitarian supplies, and apparently, SA-7 missiles. These Were the same anti-air missles used in Libya, and may point to a relationship between the American-supported Libyan rebels and the Syrian rebels. Could the Libya weapons have found their way to Syria? This was at the crux of the "Turkey" question Paul asked Clinton.
6. In May 2012 while the president was campaigning, "White House press secretary Jay Carney warned that (arming the Syrian rebels) would lead to more “chaos and carnage” and was “not the right course.”
So what can we glean from all of this?
Senator Paul was trying to get down to the million-dollar answer today when he asked about any Libyan ships transferring heavy arms via Turkey. He was trying to get the outgoing Secretary of State to admit that she knew about the weapons and the CIA action that was ongoing.
What did he get instead? More lies. Clinton acted aghast at the mere thought of the question and attempted to play it off as grandstanding. Paul followed it up including any country, not just Turkey, but still nothing from Hillary. He opted to let it go, and in doing so showed much more restraint than I would have. I'd have had all of these links printed and posted to the media at the time of my questioning. I'd have called her on the carpet in front of the world.
To say that the secretary of state and even the president had no idea that the CIA was conducting a covert mission to route heavy arms out of Libya and into the hands of Syrian rebels via Turkey is an insult to those of us that are still capable of cognizant thought.
On Wednesday, Paul sent an e-mail to all of his constituents.
"If I were President, I would have relieved you of your post."
That's what I told Hillary Clinton earlier today when she testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing over the Benghazi terrorist attacks that left four Americans dead.
Of course, that's a tough statement, but when it comes to the loss of precious American lives - I'm not going to beat around the bush.
You see, in September of 2012, the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi was attacked, leaving four Americans murdered in cold blood.
During the weeks leading up to the attacks, U.S. personnel in Benghazi pleaded several times for additional security.
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed during the attacks, requested additional security from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Unfortunately, his requests were ignored and overlooked.
Despite a review board citing 64 things that could have been done differently - potentially saving 4 precious lives - the Obama Administration hasn't been too candid with the American people about what happened in Benghazi.
I believe those who make judgment errors need to be replaced, fired, and no longer in a position of making these judgment calls.
So far, no one has been fired - even though it's clear that no one even bothered to read the cables from Benghazi and Ambassador Stevens requesting more security.
Ultimately, with her leaving, Hillary Clinton is accepting the culpability for this tragedy - and I commend her for that.
But this problem should have been addressed earlier.
If I were President, I would have relieved Hillary Clinton from her post a long time ago.
Of course, some cables are going to be missed and not read.
If she would have missed the cable from the Ambassador in Vienna asking for $100,000 for electrical "green" car stations, I would excuse that.
Or if she missed the cables requesting $100,000 for three comedians who went to India to "make che, not war," I would have excused that.
But she didn't miss these cables, and instead missed the cable coming from Libya - one of the hottest terrorist spots in the world.
Not to know cost four Americans their lives. These are lives that could have been saved.
As the review board stated, Hillary Clinton and her Department weren't "willfully negligent."
It was a failure of leadership not to be involved and know these things.
And for those failures, she should have been relieved from her position a long time ago.
As a U.S. Senator, I believe it's my duty to get to the bottom of every judgment and leadership error that occurs within our government - especially one that results in the loss of precious American lives.
That's the only way another tragedy like this can be prevented in the future.
Senator Rand Paul
If asking tough questions makes you a grand stander ... well, that says more about the state of this nation than anything else possibly could. It's no wonder that journalists like Amber Lyon and Ben Swann are crucified by their "peers." They ask tough questions too. When will you start asking tough questions America?