In the days since the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the response from American politicians has ranged from pathetic to parodic. Through his press secretary, President Obama expressed regret on Monday that neither he nor any other high-ranking American official joined 44 world leaders who marched alongside millions in Paris last weekend. Then on Friday, in an effort to make amends, Secretary of State John Kerry brought James Taylor to Paris to sing “You’ve Got a Friend.”
The response from Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, hasn’t been any better. Clinton has remained silent about the Charle Hebdo massacre since it occurred on January 7.
Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill confirmed in an email to THE WEEKLY STANDARD that the former secretary of state has not publicly commented on the attack, but Merrill declined to give any particular reason for Clinton’s silence. (She did manage to find the time Friday afternoon, however, to condemn Republicans in Congress for “[a]ttacking financial reform.”)
What seems most likely is that Clinton has remained silent in response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in order to avoid scrutiny of her own failure to defend free speech in the face of Islamist violence.
Three days after the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack killed four Americans, including Ambassodor Chris Stevens, in Benghazi, Libya, Clinton attended a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base welcoming home the remains of the slain Americans. While flanked by four flag-draped caskets, Clinton blamed an “awful internet video that we had nothing to do with” for the “rage and violence directed at American embassies.” Clinton did not, in the course of her speech, defend the right to free speech.
What’s worse, Clinton privately told the father of one of the CIA officers killed in Benghazi: “We will make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.” By the end of the month, an American citizen known as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man who made the anti-Islam YouTube video, was indeed arrested for violating the terms of his probation. He was later sentenced to a year in jail for using a name other than his given legal name.Follow enlightenedlbrl