Diana West

How does she square all of that? No questions. Such curiosity, a call for accountability, might expose the Arab Spring, which all too many Democrats and Republicans supported, thus enabling regimes or democracies guided by Islamic law to take power across the Middle East. As far as American liberty goes, what's the difference between governments guided by Islamic law and global jihadists guided by the same Islamic law? Answer: not much. If Congress were to consider such a concept -- that Islamic law is dangerous, whether advanced by terrorists or governments -- the potential for clarity and creation of a policy in the American interest would become simply too dangerous to contemplate. Dangerous, that is, for the status quo. Maybe that's why lawmakers, with rare but welcome exceptions, stuck to the unrevealing nuts and bolts of "security."

Still, if they were so worried about security at the Benghazi compound, couldn't someone have asked Clinton why the suspected head of al-Qaida in Libya, Wissam bin Hamid, leader of Libya Shield, a militia that fought Gadhafi under al-Qaida's black flag, was one of the U.S. compound's security providers?

At least one congressman, Republican Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, did go to the trouble of displaying pictures of black al-Qaida flags recently waving over Libya and the wider Islamic world. He also asked Clinton whether she was aware of the Library of Congress report "Al-Qaida in Libya" (which happens to include the dossier on Wissam bin Hamid and a reported tie to AQIM).

Clinton's response was to note the many reports out there -- also the many flags. "The United States has to be as effective in partnering with the non-jihadists, whether they fly a black flag or any other color flag, to be successful."

Madame Secretary, what "non-jihadists" would ever fly the black al-Qaida flag?

We'll never know her answer. Of course, Clinton might well have replied -- as she did when Republican Sen. Ron Johnson asked why the administration said a video-driven protest, not terrorism, caused the Benghazi attacks -- "What difference, at this point, does it make?" It was pure Clinton, Hill or Bill. The ends always justify the means.

We still don't even know what reason the late Ambassador Chris Stevens had to be in the lightly protected compound in Benghazi on the Sept. 11 anniversary.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, however, did open an important, possibly related line of questioning. He asked: "Is the U.S. involved with any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow transferring weapons to Turkey out of Libya?"

"To Turkey?" Clinton said, after a pause. "I will have to take that question for the record. Nobody has ever raised that with me." Paul continued, noting news reports regarding ships leaving Libya with arms bound for Turkey and eventually the "rebels" in Syria. If this is true, we're looking at the "gun-walking" scandal known as Fast and Furious on an exponential scale.

Paul then asked whether the CIA annex in Benghazi was "involved with procuring, buying, selling, obtaining weapons, and were any of these weapons being transferred to other countries, any countries, Turkey included?"

"Well, senator, you'll have to direct that question to the agency that ran the annex," Clinton said. "I will see what information is available."

"You're saying you don't know?" asked Paul.

"I do not know," Clinton said. "I don't have any information on that."

That's funny. House Speaker John Boehner does. Following Clinton's testimony, Boehner told radio host Laura Ingraham that he was familiar with "the chatter about this (arms story) and the fact that these arms were moving toward Turkey." He continued: "But most of what I know about this came from a classified source and I really can't elaborate on it."

Is it possible that Speaker Boehner received a classified briefing that the secretary of state did not? Or did Clinton just tell a lie?

The Senate should invite her back and find out.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).