Except for the people at Fox and the far right fans of the likes of Rush, Breitbart and Drudge, most commentators, including Republicans, see the Benghazi hearing as a win for Hillary Clinton and a loss for the Republican head hunters on the committee.
The Republicans looking so bad made Hillary, who fended off their attacks for over eight hours, possibly look too good by comparison. She did make some questionable, even untrue statements as judged by an Associated Press fact checking crew. But so did her antagonists, as do all politicians.
One dubious comment she made was: “There was a good back and forth about security….” between personnel in Libya and the State Department in Washington. In contrast an independent review that she convened cited a “lack of transparency, responsiveness, and leadership at senior bureau levels” and “shortfalls in Washington coordination” contributing to a “woefully insufficient” security force at the compound.
Here is where our dual political reality comes into play. If you are antagonistic toward Clinton you see that as proof of her lying and blame her for the woefully insufficient insecurity. If you are empathetic towards her, as I am, you note SHE WAS THE ONE THAT CONVENED THAT ACCOUNTABILITY REVIEW BOARD, belying the accusation she was trying to cover up.
And, after all, she did head up a large department. As such, she certainly wasn’t personally monitoring the security of each diplomatic post, even the most dangerous ones, of which there are many. And she did make the system improvements suggested by the Review Board. And decisions about security were made harder by Republican cuts in their budget for 2012 as described in this 2011 article.
The crux of this is while Hillary Clinton can be fairly criticized, she is hardly the callous, incompetent portrayed in the Republican narrative of the Benghazi attack.
As to who looks better after the fact checking, you can take a look and judge for yourself. It can be found here.
P. S. – It did not occur to me until after the hearing that there was barely a mention of who attacked the compound and what has become of them. One of the several curiosities about this Republican obsession with Benghazi is that it extends only about two weeks beyond the attack. There is much to question about our policy there ever since then. I surmise the Republicans don’t dwell on that because they might be implicated in the failure as well.
For those interested in learning more about the attackers, check out this article on Ahmed Salim Faraj Abu Khatallah, the suspected leader of the attack now in federal custody in Washington awaiting trial.