Hillary Clinton is heckled at awards ceremony

politics | Sep 11, 2013 | By Martin Barillas

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faced hecklers in Philadelphia during a speech she delivered at the National Constitution Center in the city of brotherly lovee. At the ceremony, Clinto received the 2013 Liberty Medal in recognition for her public service and advocacy for women’s rights. At the September 10 event, Clinton told the hundreds of people gathered that the United States should balance national security with human rights issues in Syria, and called for American politicians to cross party aisles in unity.
 
“When we fail to make progress on the challenges facing our people at home, our standing in the world suffers,” she said.
 
It was near the end of her remarks, when a protester starting chanting: “Benghanzi! Benghazi! Benghazi!”
 
Her speech did not mention the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, one year ago today. The attack caused the death of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. The circumstances of the terrorist attack, and the U.S. response or lack of response at the time still lies shrouded in controversy.
 
The Obama administration, including then-Secretary of State Clinton, said at the time that it would investigate and bring to justice the guilty parties. However, no arrests or retribution is known to have taken place. There are media reports that U.S. intelligence and special forces identified the responsible parties as early as November 2012 and reported their findings to the White House. 
 
On August 9 of this year, President Obama said in a press conference that there are "sealed indictments" issued for the culprits. Among them is Ahmed Abu Khattala, the leader of the Ansar al Sharia terrorist group that made the attack last year. While U.S. special forces operators have not met with Khattala, various media outlets have. He himself has taken credit for the deadly attack.
 
On September 9, Clinton endorsed Obama's largely unpopular planned strike on Syria. She said, "The Assad regime’s inhuman use of weapons of mass destruction against innocent men, women and children violates a universal norm at the heart of our global order, and therefore it demands a strong response from the international community, led by the United States.” In a dramatic move, the Russian government offered to take control of Syrian President Assad's chemical weapons. 


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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