Benghazi: Five Key Questions Hillary Clinton Must Answer

1021_Hillary Benghazi
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks at her papers as she testifies on the September attack on U.S. diplomatic sites in Benghazi, Libya, during a hearing held by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on January 23, 2013. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

This article first appeared on The Daily Signal.

On Thursday, October 22, Hillary Clinton will make her long-awaited appearance before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

This will be a crucial moment in the Benghazi investigation, and without the testimony of the former secretary of state, the record will never be complete. We have had eight congressional investigations and one Accountability Review Board report, but the secretary was not interviewed by the ARB.

Furthermore, Clinton's only testimony on this matter, on January 23, 2013, was truncated by her health problems and by the fact that she appeared before two committees on the same day.

Getting to the bottom of the Benghazi affair is important for many reasons: The families of the four men who were killed in Benghazi deserve the truth, as they were promised by the Obama administration over three years ago. Government accountability and personal responsibility matter.

So does making every possible effort to ensure the safety of U.S. diplomats sent overseas to do the nation's business.

This country has missions, consulates and embassies all over the world, and we need to make sure we know what needs to be done to keep them safe and enable them to do their jobs.

That's why we need to get to the full truth of what happened before, during and after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, so we know how we can do to do better.

Some of the important questions that have never been adequately answered,

  1. Why was the construction of the Benghazi consulate allowed to go ahead in the demonstrable absence of adequate security?
  2. Law requires the secretary of state personally to issue a waiver when certain safety specifications are not present. Did she sign such a waiver?
  3. Why were the repeated and urgent requests by U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens for additional security staff denied by the State Department?
  4. What procedures existed then and exist now to aid diplomatic missions in danger of armed assault?
  5. Whom did Clinton communicate with once she became aware that her diplomats were under attack, and what was the substance of her conversations and directives?

It is shameful that the Obama administration has not been committed to advance that truth, sometimes even actively attempting to block access to witnesses and documents sought by investigators.

The Benghazi Select Committee's work has not been easy. Clinton's testimony will be another test of the skill and determination of its members.

Helle Dale is the Heritage Foundation's senior fellow in public diplomacy.