John McCormack of the Weekly Standard notes that Hillary Clinton has not commented about the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris that occurred more than week ago. Why hasn’t she?
McCormack believes Clinton has remained silent because of her past failure to defend free speech in the face of Islamist violence. I believe McCormack is right.
Clinton’s deplorable record on the issue is undeniable. McCormack reminds us:
Three days after the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack killed four Americans, including Ambassador 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.
As McCormack points out, the Benghazi attacks were not the product of Nakoula’s video. Nakoula was simply a convenient scapegoat for an administration that didn’t want to blame al Qaeda for Benghazi lest the public realize that the terrorist outfit wasn’t on the run after all.
But the Charlie Hebdo massacre raises a separate problem for Clinton. If she was bent on seeing Nakoula arrested and prosecuted for making a video that offends Muslims, how can she express solidarity with cartoonists who published offensive images of Muhammad?
To be sure, Clinton did not call for violence against Nakoula. But neither did she defend his free speech rights. To the contrary, she made it clear that she wanted him punished for his speech.
For Clinton, then, the less said about Charlie, the better.