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Did Hillary Clinton 'play sick' to avoid Benghazi questioning?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 20th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Did U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton fake "playing sick" in order to avoid probing questions on the Benghazi tragedy? That's what former United Nations envoy John Bolton says. He maintains that Clinton falsely claimed a concussion in order to avoid an embarrassing appearance before Congress to explain the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Bolton, speaking on Fox News said that Clinton's claim that she had fainted because of the flu, hitting her head and suffering a concussion is what Foreign Service officers call a "diplomatic illness." These incidents are created in order to free a diplomat from an unpleasant duty. Clinton was scheduled to appear before congressional foreign affairs committees this week to respond to questions about security breaches that led up to the September 11 attack.

"This is a diplomatic illness to beat the band," Bolton said. "I mean, I hope it's nothing serious. But this was revealed in a way that I think was not transparent and I think there is an obligation here."

State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland insisted to reporters Tuesday that suggestions Clinton faked her illness are "completely untrue," saying that Bolton and others who have questioned the concussion "are people who don't know what they're talking about.

"It's unfortunate that in times like this people make wild speculation based on no information," she said.

There is widespread speculation that Clinton is trying to finish her term as chief diplomat without suffering any criticism for the attack. Clinton has said she does not intend to serve in President Obama's second term.

Considered a top Democratic presidential contender in 2016, Clinton declined to appear on Sunday talk shows five days after the attack, which killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans. The duty was then sent to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.

Republicans have attacked Rice's comments on those shows, saying that she was trying to avoid political fallout by saying that the attack was a "spontaneous" crowd reaction rather than a calculated terrorist attack.

Clinton's announcement that she would not testify has been received skeptically by conservative bloggers and commentators. Fox News described the injury as a "purported concussion."

Clinton said Monday in a letter to the committee that she would respond to the committee's questions in January.

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