Written and Published by Han Institute, January 23, 2013

Notes and Thoughts on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Testimony about the Benghazi Attack

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testified on January 23, 2013 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee (chaired by Ed Royce) on the September 11th attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans.

Benghazi is the second largest city in Libya and the capital of the Cyrenaica region.

Clinton delivered a staunch defense on Benghazi in her congressional testimony. Here are a few notes.

In Defense of the Administration's Response to the Attack

Senator Boxer said a $300 million cut of funding to embassies was requested.

So I don't agree with Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher when he claims 'budget played no role'.

Despite Clinton's loyalty, she can't face the decline of the intelligence system and military operation as a whole because of continued budget cuts over the years.

Mechanically, things are wearing out. She said that since the 1990's, there is a provision to have the State Department hiring the cheapest contractors for security. Yet we must constantly update our military intelligence, so this is a DoD defense budget issue. Security was short changed, and the ambassador was sacrificed.

Clinton:

We don't have a voice; we count on CNN now the media as a source of information. We are the best in the world, most countries simply are glad to have jobs and to support their family. We have to go there to fill the void, and not let Jihadists infuse their ideology.

On Relations of Military Troops and Civilian Work

Clinton: When troops are drawn down, civilians have to be capable to do the work. Once we don't have the military resources, we have to know how to work between military and civilian assets.

The intelligence community didn't zero in on the connection in deteriorating East Africa and Benghazi.

Cultural Blindness to see the flag affiliated with killing Americans

Republican Rep. Tom Marrow questioned Secretary Clinton why she couldn't see the Al Qaeda flag, which showed up in demonstrations in Tunisia, Cairo, Jordan, Bahrain, and Kuwait, where they burned U.S. and Israeli flags. This flag should warn you.

Clinton: We considered these to be 'moderates' from Al Qaeda.

We did have security depending on the host government's support unless we invade or have a military presence, we are doing our best.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger: You had 7 hours of no response on 9/11 anniversary in one of the world's hot spots. Even without missiles, F16's could disperse the mob.

Clinton: We received no video.

Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy: you are exemplary, wait to see your future leading role. Clinton: Social media tools can get down to grass roots. Can have new operations to tackle Jihadists and form the global counterterrorism forum.

Secretary of State Clinton testified in the House of Representatives & depicted the US Defense Department & State Department civil service being shortchanged in their budgets by Congress.

Business Encroachment of a Nation by Forced Open Seaports

In 1750, the world's richest man was a tea tycoon from YiHe Company. Gradually with the encroachment of opening up the trade ports, Hong Kong's Jardin and Matteson took over the tea empire, and the English became the rich tycoons.

The British exported opium via manufacturing centers in Afghanistan to poison the Chinese people's health, and depleted China's national silver reserve. The British used their power of the Navy to force China to sign unequal treaties, the first one being the Nanjing Treaty, which opened five seaports for trade.

1900 Boxer Rebellion and the anti-Foreign sentiment led to China's tragedy

Libya reminds me of the Qing Dynasty, which instigated youth boxers to kill the German ambassador and caused 8 countries invasion (or unified front) to protect their diplomats.

Due to the suppression of the unequal treaties, the sentiment against the foreigners was used by the Qing government to instigate the youth to rebel against the west by force.

An attack on a consulate is an act of war. This is the general international protocol and consensus. Yet, Qing Dynasty authorities instigated boxer youths to assassinate the German ambassador. The result was a foreign invasion.

In 1900, the German marshal with other nations united force, including America's far expedition troops, charged into the Forbidden City in Peking.

Battles on Amur River (1900)

The Battles on the Amur River were border clashes between Chinese Imperial Army troops along with Boxers against Russian forces. They were part of the Boxer Rebellion.

"The Chinese treated Russian civilians leniently and allowed them to escape to Russia, even notifying them that since a state of war existed, that they should leave the war zone; by contrast, Russian Cossacks killed civilians who tried to flee in the Chinese villages, westerners noted that the Chinese followed "civilized warfare" while the Russians massacred people. The Chinese summoned all available men to fight, and the Chinese forces and garrisons gathered artillery and bombarded Russian troops and towns across the Amur. Despite the Cossacks repulsing Chinese army crossings into Russia, the Chinese army troops increased the amount of artillery and kept up the bombardment. In revenge for the attacks on Chinese villages, Boxer troops burned Russian towns and almost annihilated a Russian force at Tieling. Russian governor K. N. Gribsky ordered Cossacks to destroy all Chinese posts on Amur river, and Cossacks completed the order during July. On July 20, Russian forces (including 16 infantry companies, a hundred Cossacks and 16 cannons) crossed the Amur near Blagoveshchensk with support from the steamers Selenga and Sungari. On July 20, Russian troops captured Saghalien; on July 22, Aigun. After the victory over the Chinese forces, the general-governor of Amur Region, Nikolai Grodekov, decided to annex the right bank of the Amur River, and sent a telegram to the Sankt-Peterburg, but Russian Minister of War Aleksey Kuropatkin forbade such an action: Because of restoring the good relation with China in the nearest future, His Majesty decided not to annex any part of China."

In 1901 China signed a treaty that put the country in withering debt, and eventually the capital Nanjing was invaded by Japan fascists in 1937.

The war retribution was spared by American president Teddy Roosevelt and in lieu turned the fund into a Boxer Education Fund which supported the country's top students.

My grandfather was a Boxer Rebellion Fund recipient, and he helped the country to turn around and in 1942, when a hundred years of shame and unequal treaties were all cancelled as a tribute to the efforts led by the Nationalist government in WWII.

One of Grandfather's functions was working for the Comprehensive Political Headquarters under the Defense Department, where he worked under Dr. Zhu Jiahua at the Zhong Tong Central Intelligence Statistical Bureau (civilian intelligence), while Mr. Dai Li was the Jun Tong (military intelligence) head.

The Jun Tong and Zhong Tong worked in a concerted effort, that is why we were able to decipher the movement of the Japanese ships and planes and informed the U.S. military to assist the WWII ally.

Although US is on a new horizon and her ally ROC now subsists on Taiwan Island, the work was done brilliantly between U.S. and ROC in defending human peace and freedom.

Analysis of America's Cross Cultural Relations with the World By borrowing Chinese Boxer experiences, the lesson is that if you kill a foreign ambassador, there will be consequences, the Jihadist should know this. Killing an ambassador breaks international law and order. Secretary Clinton may have been slow to respond because of the domestic divided Congress and executive administrative mishaps, as well as the media's indictment of government civil service as a useless class in their smearing anti-government campaign, which leads to low morale.

Social ailments can't be fixed overnight, but need education to bridge cultural differences. A way to change Chinese Communists bellicosity towards U.S. is to integrate them into America's life. If a good Beijing University student comes to work for a U.S. law firm, he will understand how to practice law and base on rule of law. The Communist party can't dictate the law.

Conclusion:

America breaks our heart sometimes. As too many people do not know, freedom can't be obtained by rhetoric alone. They are slow to see how massive sacrificial lambs and the brilliant work laid the foundation of WWII success and preservation of freedom. So America's future lies in the success in promoting cross cultural understanding. The government is foundation of peace. The defense infrastructure, including the civilian sector, is part of the government. America has enemies, but always should try to strive to gain more friends, and learn other cultures, in order to coexist.

Return to main page