"What difference at this point does it make"?
In questioning by Sen. Johnson about the Sept. 11, 2012 bombing at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the secretary of state made this now familiar quote famous.
Clinton: "With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they'd they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator. ..."
As a veteran of the Viet Nam war, to me and lots of other veterans of other wars it makes a hell of a big difference. Whenever fellow troops are being attracted all available resources are brought to bear on the enemy. There is an unwritten code that you leave fallen fellow soldiers behind, nothing is off limits to bring them home or protect them from enemy forces. Read the story of the rescue effort of "Bat 21B" and you will understand the commitment that is made to fellow soldiers in distress. There were 234 individual medals awarded for bravery in the rescue effort.
One might say that they weren't military but diplomatic members, they were just as important in the mission they were performing. They had a much higher level of access to classified intelligence so the argument can be made that they deserved more protection.
There are many unanswered questions that need to be followed up on to prevent a situation like this from happening again. Why were there so many CIA agents at that location? Why did the state department ignore the warnings of possible attack? Why did the request for security from the ambassador go unanswered?
Why could a non-governmental agency get documents by the Freedom of Information act that the Congress couldn't get from the White House? An email from Benjamin Rhodes to White House staff and press secretary and his staff outlined talking points that they wanted Susan Rice to use. The White House wanted to convey that the U.S. was doing everything possible to protect our people, we now know differently. Reinforce that the president's steadiness in handling difficult situations like Benghazi. We now know that his method of handling these situations is to spread untruths.
The big question is who was responsible and who is going to be held accountable? Without accountability no organization can have the qualities of honesty and integrity needed to perform their mission successfully.
It may be difficult for many to understand the importance of this issue as a principle for our military today and in the future. If we don't bring this issue to an honest conclusion we will send a strong message to our current and future protectors of our freedom, we may or may not do everything we can to protect you if you are attacked by our enemies.
Rex O. Kenyon