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The testimony you didn’t hear

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Yesterday Secretary of State Clinton testified about her response, some members of Congress would say her insufficient response, to the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left ambassador Chris Stevens and three others dead.

When one senator demanded yet again to know why she didn’t immediately identify it as a terrorist attack she demonstrated that she had fully recovered from her concussion.

“The fact is, we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest? Or was it because guys out for a walk one night decided that they’d go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?”

That got punditocracy speculating that her retirement might include some leisure time in Iowa and New Hampshire.

But what most of the coverage ignored was her warning that the chaos in Libya had consequences beyond the attack on the consulate. It also unlocked Muammar Gaddafi’s immense arsenal of weapons – weapons that are now flowing throughout the middle east and into areas of North Africa that look a little too much like Afghanistan.

“Because if you look at the size of northern Mali, if you look at the topography it’s not only desert it’s caves,” said Clinton.

Caves in the desert. A tribal culture which hasn’t changed much in 2000 years. So while some senators obsess over what happened in Benghazi last September, an identified terrorist group, Al Qaeda in Northern Mali, is busy establishing a new safe haven.

Said, Clinton, “People say to me all the time, ‘AQIM hasn’t attacked the United States.’ Well, before 9/11, 2001 …”

Say no more.

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