Clinton Blamed A Video, Going So Far As To Condemn The Filmmaker To Victims' Families At A Flag-Draped Coffin Ceremony, When She Knew It Was A Terrorist Attack
- On September 11, 2012, radical Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, and a nearby CIA annex, killing four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
- Unwilling to admit a counterterrorism failure weeks before a presidential election, Hillary Clinton led the charge to cover up the cause of the attack, being the first high-ranking administration official to publicly blame it on a YouTube video.
- While Clinton publicly blamed the video, she told her daughter Chelsea, as well as the Egyptian Prime Minister, that it was a planned terrorist attack which "had nothing to do with the film."
- Days later, Clinton told the victims' families that the video was to blame at a ceremony where their bodies returned home in flag-draped coffins.
- Recently, Clinton has said she never made these claims to the families, drawing sharp and public rebukes from several family members.
On September 11, 2012, The U.S. Diplomatic Compound In Benghazi Was Attacked By Radical Islamic Terrorists, Resulting In The Death Of Ambassador Christopher Stevens And Three Other Americans. "Islamist militants armed with antiaircraft weapons and rocket-propelled grenades stormed a lightly defended United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, late Tuesday, killing the American ambassador and three members of his staff and raising questions about the radicalization of countries swept up in the Arab Spring. The ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens, was missing almost immediately after the start of an intense, four-hour firefight for control of the mission, and his body was not located until Wednesday morning at dawn, when he was found dead at a Benghazi hospital, American and Libyan officials said." (David D. Kirkpatrick and Steven Lee Myers, "Libya Attack Brings Challenges For U.S.," The New York Times , 9/12/12)
- "It Was The First Time Since 1979 That An American Ambassador Had Died In A Violent Assault." (David D. Kirkpatrick And Steven Lee Myers, "Libya Attack Brings Challenges For U.S.," The New York Times , 9/12/12)
"The Most Memorable Moment Of Her [Clinton's] Tenure Was A Tragic One, The Killing Of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens And Three Other Americans In Benghazi..." "Yet even some Clinton admirers acknowledge the absence of a breakthrough, headline-grabbing accomplishment-no Marshall Plan, no détente with the Soviets, no Dayton Accords. The most memorable moment of her tenure was a tragic one, the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012." (Jill Lawrence, "What If John Kerry Outperforms Hillary Clinton As America's Top Diplomat?" National Journal , 8/1/13)
- The Benghazi Attack "Was The Biggest Debacle" Of Clinton's Term As Secretary Of State. "Clinton accepted responsibility but not blame for the deaths of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya last year. It was the biggest debacle of her term and became a white-hot political issue for Republicans." (Anne Gearan, "What Is Clinton's Legacy At State-And Her Future," The Washington Post , 1/31/13)
CLINTON PUBLICLY BLAMED THE ATTACK ON A YOUTUBE VIDEO WHEN SHE TOLD OTHERS IT WAS A TERRORIST ATTACK
On The Night Of The Attack, Clinton Made A Statement About The Attack, Directly Linking The Benghazi Attackers' Justification To The YouTube Videos, Saying "Some Have Sought To Justify This Vicious Behavior … As A Response To Inflammatory Material Posted On The Internet." CLINTON: There will be more time later to reflect, but today, we have work to do. There is no higher priority than protecting our men and women wherever they serve. We are working to determine the precise motivations and methods of those who carried out this assault. Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior, along with the protest that took place at our Embassy in Cairo yesterday, as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet." (Secretary Hillary Clinton, Remarks On The Deaths Of American Personnel in Benghazi, Libya, Washington, DC, 9/12/12)
But On The Night Of And Day After The Attack, Clinton Also Emailed Her Daughter And The Egyptian Prime Minister Acknowledging It Was A Terrorist Attack And "Had Nothing To Do With The Film"
On The Night Of The Benghazi Attack, Hillary Clinton Emailed Chelsea Clinton That State Department Officials "Were Killed In Benghazi By An Al Queda-Like Group." "On the night of the Benghazi attacks, Clinton emailed her daughter Chelsea, writing 'Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Queda-like group: The Ambassador, whom I handpicked and a young communications officer on temporary duty w a wife and two young children. Very hard day and I fear more of the same tomorrow.'" (Carrie Dann, "Clinton's Emails Give Glimpse Into A Candidate Often Under Pressure," NBC News, 1/15/16)
On September 12, 2012, Clinton Told The Egyptian Prime Minister That The Administration Knew The Benghazi Attack "Had Nothing To Do With The Film" And That It "Was A Planned Attack-Not A Protest." (Lawrence Randolph, Email To S_CallNotes, State Department Release, 9/12/12)
(Lawrence Randolph, Email To S_CallNotes, State Department Release, 9/12/12)
In The Wake Of The Attack, The Obama Administration Scrambled To Explain Its Misleading Narrative On Benghazi
Initially, The Obama Administration Said The Attack Was A "Spontaneous" Response To An Anti-Islam Video Despite News Reports That "There Was No Video-Related Anti-US Protest Before The Armed Attack." "Early on, the Obama administration said the protest against a crude US-made anti-Islam YouTube video 'seems to have been hijacked … by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons,' as UN Ambassador Susan Rice said last Sunday. In other words, it wasn't a coordinated, pre-planned attack but something more spontaneous for which there was no 'actionable intelligence,' as Ambassador Rice put it, that might have alerted officials able to protect against it. Since then, White House officials have acknowledged that it was a sophisticated 'terrorist attack.' Meanwhile, news reports have suggested that there was no video-related anti-US protest before the armed attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the three other men." (Brad Knickerboker, "White House Pressured To Tell More About Benghazi Attack," Christian Science Monitor , 9/23/12)
After Days Of Linking The Attack To Protests Against An Anti-Islam Video, The Obama Administration Finally Reached The "Belated Conclusion" That The Attack Was A Coordinated Assault By Terrorists With Connections To Al Qaeda. "For days after the attack, intelligence officials and the Obama administration said it was likely the outgrowth of protests sparked by an anti-Islamic video made in the U.S. Intelligence officials now believe the attack was carried out by local militants who were in contact with regional members of al Qaeda-affiliated groups, using the eruption of protests elsewhere as an opportunity to mount an assault on U.S. installations. That belated conclusion has raised questions about the adequacy of intelligence and security preparations at U.S. diplomatic posts abroad as they confront both old and newer risks." (Siobhan Gorman and Matt Bradley, "Militant Link To Libya Attack," The Wall Street Journal, 10/1/12)
- Wall Street Journal Editorial: The Obama Administration "Changed Its Story And Said The Attacks Were Pre-Planned And Linked To Al Qaeda." "Cell phone video footage and witness testimony from Benghazi soon undercut the Administration trope of an angry march 'hijacked' by a few bad people. As it turned out, the assault was well-coordinated, with fighters armed with guns, RPGs and diesel canisters, which were used to set the buildings on fire. Ambassador Chris Stevens died of smoke inhalation. Briefing Congress, the Administration changed its story and said the attacks were pre-planned and linked to al Qaeda." (Editorial, "The Libya Debacle," The Wall Street Journal, 9/26/12)
"Some Analysts Argue That The White House, Meanwhile, Sought To Play Down Any Potential Characterization Of The Assault As A Qaeda Attack, Because That Would Undercut Its Claims To Have Crushed Al Qaeda." (David D. Kirkpatrick, "Election-Year Stakes Overshadow Nuances Of Libya Investigation," The New York Times , 10/15/12)
- The Obama Administration Focused On The Protests For As Long As Possible After The Benghazi Attack Because "It Certainly Was In The White House's Interests To Not Portray The Attack As A Terrorist Incident." "In any kind of confused overseas event, initial reports are often wrong. But the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, including the ambassador, is a case study of how an administration can carefully keep the focus as long as possible on one storyline - and then turn on a dime when it is no longer tenable. For political reasons, it certainly was in the White House's interests to not portray the attack as a terrorist incident, especially one that took place on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Instead the administration kept the focus on what was ultimately a red herring - anger in the Arab world over anti-Muslim video posted on You Tube. With key phrases and message discipline, the administration was able to conflate an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Egypt - which apparently was prompted by the video - with the deadly assault in Benghazi." (Glenn Kessler, "From Video To Terrorist Attack: A Definitive Timeline Of Administration Statements On The Libya Attack," The Washington Post , 9/27/12)
Clinton And The Administration Have Stonewalled, Failing To Turn Over Relevant Emails For Years
In September 2015 - Three Years After The Attack - The State Department Told The House Select Committee Investigating The Benghazi Attack That It Would Produce Over 900 New Clinton Emails Relating To Benghazi And Libya, Including A Number Of Benghazi Emails It Had Previously Missed When It Claimed To Have Produced All Relevant Emails. "The State Department has said over and over again that it turned over all of Hillary Clinton's Benghazi-related emails to the committee investigating the 2012 attack… The State Department informed the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Friday that it would deliver to them approximately 925 new Hillary Clinton emails relating to Benghazi and Libya, among them a small number of Benghazi-related emails that it had missed." (Tim Mak, "State Department Hands Over 'New' Hillary Clinton Emails To Benghazi Panel," The Daily Beast , 9/25/15)
- "In February 2015, The [State] Department Turned Over 296 Emails Relating To Benghazi To The House Select Committee Investigation The Attack, Claiming At The Time That They Were The Only Emails Relevant To The Committee's Request." (Justin Fishel, "State Dept. Discovers New Benghazi Emails From Clinton's Private Account," ABC News, 9/25/15)
CLINTON SAID THE VICTIMS' FAMILIES WERE WRONG WHEN THEY CLAIMED SHE TOLD THEM THE VIDEO WAS TO BLAME
During The March Democrat Debate, Clinton Called The Mother Of A Benghazi Victim "Absolutely Wrong" About Lying About The Genesis Of The 2012 Attack. CLINTON: "You know, look, I feel a great deal of sympathy for the families of the four brave Americans that we lost at Benghazi, and I certainly can't even imagine the grief that she has for losing her son. But she's wrong. She's absolutely wrong. I and everybody in the administration, all the people she named - the president, the vice president, Susan Rice - we were scrambling to get information that was changing literally by the hour. And when we had information we made it public but then sometimes we had to go back and say we had new information that contradicts it." (Hillary Clinton, Univision Democratic Presidential Debate, 03/09/16)
Clinton In A 2015 Interview Denied That She Told Family Members Of The Deceased That The Attack Was The Result Of The Video And That The Filmmaker Should Be Arrested. "Continuing to press, McLaughlin said three family members victims said that Clinton told him that the attack was the result of the video and or that the filmmaker should be arrested. Clinton replied that other family members believe differently and stressed she had sympathy for all involved. 'I can't recite for you everything that was in a conversation where people were sobbing, where people were distraught, the president and the vice president, we were all making the rounds talking to people, listening to people,' said Clinton. 'I was in a very difficult position because we have not yet said two of the four dead were CIA ... This was a part of the fog of war.' (Daymond Steer, "Clinton Talks Iraq And Benghazi With The Sun Ed Board," Conway [NH] Daily Sun, 12/30/15)
On This Week With George Stephanopoulos Clinton Denied That She Did Not Tell Family Members Of The Deceased That The Attack Was A Result Of The Video And That The Filmmaker Should Be Arrested. ABC'S GEROGE STEPHANOPOULUS: "Family members as you know say that you told them it was by a filmmaker and you'd go after the filmmaker… Did you tell them it [the attack] was about the film and what's your response?" CLINTON: "No. Look, I understand the continuing grief at the loss that parents experienced with the loss of these four brave Americans. And I did testify as you know, for eleven hours and I answered all of these questions." (ABC'S "This Week" , 12/6/15)
But The Family Members Of The Victims Have Been Adamant That Clinton Blamed An Internet Video For The Death Of Their Loved Ones At A Ceremony When Their Bodies Returned To The Country In Flag-Draped Coffins Days After The Attack
Patricia Smith, The Mother Of Victim Sean Smith, Said "Hillary Is a Liar" When Ask Whether The Movie Played A Role. FOX NEW'S MEGYN KELLY: "My heart goes out to you as a mother. I know how difficult this must have been for you and you were not able to stay throughout the whole movie." PATRICIA SMITH: "I left as soon as Sean came on screen, or the person who portrayed him. I couldn't handle it. Hillary is a liar! I know what she told me." KELLY: "Awe Pat, I know it must be so hard. So many people want to put this behind them and say Hillary sat there and testified, she testified for her own thirteen hours. They say it's done and that there is no story for Benghazi. And that she did everything that she could do through the fog of war and she came right out and said she is not lying, suggesting that you are the one that lying about what happened at that air force base." SMITH: "Bull feathers! That's just plain ole bull. I know what she said, and not only did she say it but Obama said the same thing to me, and Panetta, and Biden, and Susan Rice. I went up to all of them begging them to tell me what happened, and they all said that it was a video, every one of them." ( Fox News "The Kelly File", 01/14/16)
Charles Woods, The Father Of Victim Tyrone Woods, Revealed A Journal Entry Documenting Meeting With Clinton Where She Promised To Arrest The Filmmaker She Said "Was Responsible For The Death Of Your Son." FOX NEW'S MEGYN KELLY: "Why do you think she said what she said about when they said somebody is lying. She said, 'it's not me." CHARLES WOODS "First of all we have some honorable people here. The members of the three other families they are honorable people. And I don't want to be political. To politicize the death of my son, would be dishonoring to Tye. All I can do, and I did bring my notebook that I carry every year, I have carried these for years. And I'll just read what I said, and I will let people whether you are Democrat, Republican, or Independent. I'll let you draw your own conclusions." KELLY: "You wrote this down right after." WOODS: "This is what I wrote down. I gave Hillary a hug, and shook her hand. And she said: 'we are going to have the film maker arrested who was responsible for the death of your son.'"…KELLY: "They believed that if they had been allowed to go when the calls came in, when they said we are all going to die unless somebody gets over here. That they could have saved the lives of Ambassador Stevens and your son. What kind of accountability do you want to see?" PATRICIA SMITH: "I wanna see Hillary in jail. It was her department and she's been lying." ( Fox News "The Kelly File", 01/13/16)
BUT TO THIS DAY, LIKELY FOR POLITICAL REASONS, CLINTON CLINGS TO THE DEBUNKED CLAIM THAT THE VIDEO WAS "A FACTOR"
In Hard Choices, Clinton Blamed An Anti-Islamic Video For Playing A Role In Benghazi, Arguing It Was "Indeed A Factor" And Calling It A "Common Sense" Assumption. CLINTON: "I myself went back and forth on what likely happened, who did it, and what mix of factors- like the video- played a part. But it was unquestionably inciting the region and triggering protests all over, so it would have been strange not to consider, as days of protests unfolded, that it might have had the same effect here, too. That's just common sense. Later investigation and reporting confirmed that the video was indeed a factor. All we knew at that time with complete certainty was that Americans had been killed and others were still in danger." (Hillary Clinton, Hard Choices, 2014)
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