Much has been made of the fact that memos that, among other matters, denied requests for additional security for the Benghazi consulate went out over then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s signature. In particular, the Left insists that it’s entirely routine for others to affix the boss’ signature to correspondence which the boss never actually sees, much less reads, before that correspondence goes out.
The Left is correct in this. In large organizations, it is a commonplace practice for subordinates to generate and transmit correspondence that the boss never sees but on which, because of the subject matter involved, the boss’ signature is required in order to give the necessary weight to the correspondence. State is no different in this regard.
What the Left omits to mention, though—and what the right has missed—is that when subordinates put the boss’ signature on a document, it’s done strictly in accordance with a carefully specified policy, developed and promulgated by that boss, that lays out the subjects and types of correspondence for which this is permissible. And the boss is briefed, usually beforehand and if not as soon as possible after transmittal, on the content of what he just “signed.”
Clinton knew full well what sorts of correspondence were going out over her signature, and she knew full well the contents of the particular correspondence in question: that she was denying upgrades to Benghazi security that were being requested, repeatedly, by the Benghazi security team and by the Chief of Mission, the soon-to-be-murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens. That correspondence was executed entirely in accordance with her carefully designed policy. That she denied the requests of her experts on the ground, and now denies knowing that she denied, speaks volumes about her competence and her integrity.
Alternatively, it’s entirely possible that Clinton, as she claims, really didn’t know what was being sent out over her signature. Since the policy governing those transmittals and their associated briefings was entirely hers, such a failure also speaks volumes about her competence.