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Hillary Clinton Fox News interview analysis: Benghazi, Bergdahl, more

Hillary Clinton Fox News interview analysis: Benghazi, Bergdahl, more

Clinton on initial reports after Benghazi attack: “This was the fog of war”

Hillary Clinton joined FOX News’ Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren Tuesday evening for a much anticipated interview, where the former Secretary of State answered questions on a number of topics – Benghazi, the controversial swap of Sgt. Bergdahl for the Taliban five, the IRS scandal, and a wide range of other issues.

Clinton is out with a new book, “Hard Choices,” and she indicated on numerous occasions as she answered some of the questions, “I write about this in my book.” That said, I’m not sure there was much to come out of the FOX interview that couldn’t be found in the pages of Clinton’s book.

As is often the case with most interviews with any subject, there seemed to be a few missed opportunities for further pressing on some of her answers, as several noted in comments on Twitter. There were a couple instances however where Bair or Van Susteren tried to politely prod Clinton to expand upon an answer.

Here was one exchange between Van Susteren and Clinton on the topic of the Bergdahl swap.

GRETA: Afghanistan. Would you have made that swap for Sgt. Bergdahl? Five Taliban for Sgt. Bergdahl?

CLINTON: Well, as I write in the book, and at the time, I was trying to put together a bigger deal, a deal that would create a negotiation between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban to try to move the Taliban to renounce violence, renounce al Qaeda, and agree to support the constitution and the laws.

GRETA: Isn’t that part of their ideology though, violence? I mean look at the violence towards women. Aren’t we abandoning the women to the Taliban?

CLINTON: Well, those are two different issues and they’re both really important, Greta. What I did on my watch was to see whether we could do such a deal and I write about it in my book, and part of that deal was making some concessions on getting Bergdahl back because that was very important to the Defense department, to the State Department and the rest of the government. And of course the Taliban in return wanted to get some of their people back. So sequencing it, getting a bigger deal was part of what I was trying to achieve. Today however, I think what you’ve heard from Secretary Hagel as well as the White House, Secretary Kerry and others, is that it appeared to be imperative to try to get Bergdahl out. I have not seen the video that people talk about, I cannot offer an independent judgment but I rely on the judgment of medical professionals from Defense and others. So, I think the important points to make here, we never leave anybody behind, I think that’s to our credit. Secondly, there is an agreement, I don’t know the details but I know what I was trying to negotiate with Qatar to keep these people under very strict vigilance, and to prevent them from traveling. And, number three, to debrief Bergdahl to get as much information from him when he’s ready to talk.

GRETA: You’ve been quoted as saying these five guys are not a threat to the USA, I think when people heard that, they were quite surprised.

CLINTON: Well, as long as they’re in Qatar. As long as they’re in Qatar they’re not a threat to the United States.

GRETA: Well, bin Laden was never in the United States.

CLINTON: No, no, but in Qatar with an agreement that has been entered into, they are supposed to be constrained from what they can do, and certainly they are not supposed to be permitted to travel. That is, as my understanding tells me, what the deal is, and in that situation, they are not a threat. Now, I agree with you, that when the new president, whoever that turns out to be, is sworn in in Afghanistan, there is no doubt given the current atmosphere that the Taliban is going to try to attack and take back territory. I worry particularly about the gains that have been made, the sacrifice that Americans made to enable those gains, particularly for women and girls. So this is a situation that is dangerous, that we have to keep watching. Those five men, they are right now not a danger if they are kept where they are supposed to be kept, but we still have to worry about the Taliban and everything that they could be doing.

Unfortunately, there was no specific discussion about what might happen after the Taliban Five are no longer under the aforementioned constraints under the agreement with Qatar.

Bret Baier addressed the topic of the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, including the subsequent talking points that have since become the subject of criticism.

From FOX News Insider:

Baier asked Clinton if she stands by her statement that she didn’t know of any reports that contradicted Ambassador Susan Rice’s talking points on TV shows following the Benghazi attack.

“I do, Bret,” she said. “This was the fog of war.” Clinton said that her assessment of the situation “careened” from whether a YouTube video had something to do with the attack or nothing to do with it.

“Do you know where the president was through the attack?” Baier asked.

Clinton went on to answer that she spoke to Obama on the night of the attack when he was in the Oval Office, and she elaborated on some of those details in the clip below.

You can read more about the interview and view additional video clips at this FOX News Insider post.

[Featured image: FOX News video]


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all you need to know about the taliban is look at pictures of afghanistan women prior to them coming around and after.


Well. My fog cleared that very night, and I had no drone feed or intelligence and military people trying to just get me to listen.

I knew it was a terrorist attack. I don’t mean I “guessed” it was. I mean I knew.

Is she saying that she didn’t know whether or not a video caused the attack because she was in the “fog of war?”

Who cares WHAT caused the attack. Stop the attack Shillary!!

It was the fog of her brain, where the truth goes to die.

2nd Ammendment Mother | June 18, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Now see…. when you mention being in a “fog” during a critical situation, you’re admitting incompetence – last time I checked, leaders do their best to cut thru that fog and develop a clear concise picture…. just a suggestion for the next person she feeds that line of bull to.

    The reference would be to Clausewitz’s Vom Kriege. The Fog of War was a tactical reality to Clausewitz, something which an effective commander had to recognize and make allowances for. But I’d say that when Hillary cites it, it’s not about planning, it’s about excuses.

inspectorudy | June 18, 2014 at 3:48 pm

It is pointless to listen to hillary speak. She is a congenital liar and knows no other technique to avoid tough questions. She and her husband will do or say anything and in their time in public life they have always gotten away with anything. But there is simply no reason to see or hear her except to watch her put her foot in her big mouth which she does routinely.

She was “negotiating” a bigger deal with the Taliban for them to end their violence? With what bargaining leverage. She wasn’t negotiating sh*t.

Mandy nailed it with this one very diplomatic sentence, above: “I’m not sure there was much to come out of the FOX interview that couldn’t be found in the pages of Clinton’s book.”

The interview was really disappointing as Hillary clearly was prepared to talk a blue streak to eat up precious time and ensure neither Bret nor Greta could get a word in edgewise, without appearing to be rude or biased.

This could have been quite a watershed interview – but it really fell short of expectations.

Except for Greta’s fixation on getting her to commit to an opinion on the 4th Amendment and NSA spying, I thought they handled it VERY WELL.

What critics should understand is this is a book tour. She’s not an official candidate yet.

If she were grilled hard on a book tour, it would only give her the excuse to avoid Fox when the campaign begins, “They even tried to attack me on a book tour, they are biased against me.”

Treating her with kid gloves makes it harder for her to exclude Fox reporters from questioning on the campaign trail or to refuse to come back on with Baier.

PLUS, the more she believes she is getting away with avoiding direct answers, the more she will evade, which is her natural inclination anyway. This won’t help her on the campaign trail or in debates.

Even the good minds at Fox News let Hillary’s biggest lie get past them–that the initial Cairo riot was because of the video. It was not; had been planned for weeks to commemorate 9/11 anniversary. Clinton, Obama and Rice had to sell the Cairo lie to set the stage for the key Benghazi video lie. When Obama contacted YouTube, while the riot in Benghazi was underway, it was TO BE SURE that the Muslim world would be able to view the video. Andy McCarthy is one of the few to understand how this all fits together.

“Fog of War” as defined by Hillary is “We had a perfectly good theory that met all of our qualifications to duck responsibility, but all these pesky facts kept getting in the way. So we ignored them. And you should too.”