What a noble thing to say: I take responsibility.
Especially for a high-ranking public official to say, amid a clamor for accountability, after something has gone terribly wrong under that official’s watch. But what does the statement really mean when followed by an asterisk, and the asterisk becomes more significant than that which precedes it?
Regarding the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, Hillary Clinton has stated, “I take responsibility, but I was not making security decisions.” When asked by Bret Baier, of FOX News, “What exactly are you taking responsibility for?” her response was, “I took responsibility for being at the head of the State Department at that time.”
One could surmise that Mrs. Clinton has ruled out accepting responsibility for the safety of our murdered ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and the other three Americans murdered along with him; pretty much counted out the systemic security failures that left our diplomatic compound in Benghazi vulnerable to attack; as well as the failure to be open and forthcoming, in the days following the attack, about what had occurred on that now infamous night.
What Mrs. Clinton so nobly took responsibility for – being at the head of the State Department – was really nothing more than a pre-existing condition. So, she was Secretary of State … at that time … big deal. She was also Secretary of State a week earlier. I guess she takes responsibility for that too? What the heck, she might as well take responsibility for getting out of bed that morning and being driven to work that day.
Mrs. Clinton expects to enjoy the power and privilege of high office, yet attempts, however clumsily, to avoid the accountability that attaches to such office.
Instead of saying … I take responsibility, she might just as well have said … I want to have my cake, and I’ll eat it right in front of you.