General Colin Powell Defends Hillary Clinton Against Right Wing Benghazi Smears


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has long been an admirer of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican, and it seems that Powell has a healthy respect for her as well.

On Sunday morning’s Meet the Press, General Powell defended Clinton’s role in the Benghazi attacks. There has been much speculation and many rash accusations by the GOP, but an independent inquiry into the attacks reported:

“Systemic failures [plus] leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus,” the report said, resulted in security “that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.” (Source: New York Times)

Clinton has even suffered accusations of faking a recent injury that resulted in a concussion and a blood clot between her brain and ear to avoid testifying about the attacks. Has-been Republican Representative Allen West said:

“I’m not a doctor, but it seems as though…the Secretary of State has come down with a case of Benghazi flu. I think we have to get to the bottom of this. There’s still a very countless amount of unanswered questions.”

Clinton took full responsibility, of course. “I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world,” she said.

Many media outlets, including CNN, have speculated that Benghazi could tarnish Clinton’s impressive legacy. General Powell disagrees. Meet the Press’s David Gregory asked him, “Do you think that Benghazi episode is a blot on her record as Secretary of State? Do you think it will affect her political future?” There was no hesitation in Powell’s response:

No, I don’t think so. I don’t– I don’t know what she knew about it or didn’t know about it or where she was and so we will have to wait and see how the testimony goes. But I think she’s had a distinguished record and I don’t think that this one incident, which is one of these– one of these things that those of us in– in government have been through many, many times, where suddenly an action happens late at night, you’re surprised. Somebody gets killed. Something gets blown up. And then the after-action reports start and everybody wants to know who was at fault, who was responsible? Why didn’t we keep this from happening?

Well, you can’t keep everything from happening. Benghazi was a very, very difficult one and a difficult situation and maybe they shouldn’t have been there in the first place. And I think that we have had a good review of that by Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen and I don’t know whether the Congress in their examination of Mrs. Clinton will find something that they find distasteful. But I don’t think it’s a blot on her record.

His response closely matched that of former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, also a Republican.

Polls show that Clinton’s popularity is at an all-time high. As reported by The Washington Post:

Overall, 57 percent of all Americans say they would back a Clinton candidacy, with support peaking among younger women. Among all women, 66 percent say they would support Clinton as a candidate for president in 2016; it is 75 percent among those under 50 and 54 percent among those aged 50 and up. Forty-nine percent of men back a Clinton bid, regardless of what side of 50 they are on.

On both scores — personal popularity and job performance — Democrats are overwhelmingly supportive of the long-time party leader, as are around two-thirds of independents. Even sizable numbers of Republicans are on board here, particularly when it comes to rating how she is doing as secretary of state: 40 percent approve and 50 percent disapprove.

Clinton has accomplished much in her role of Secretary of State and she was chosen for the 17th time by a Gallup poll as “The Most Admired Woman In The World.” When asked if he believed that Clinton would make a good president, Powell smiled and said “I think she’d be good at whatever she does, whether she is interested in it or not, I will let her opine on that.”