The September 11, 2012 attack on the Benghazi mission is an indictment of Hillary Clinton’s capacity to serve as Commander in Chief.
The Senate Select Committee’s Benghazi Report (The Report) makes clear that the deaths of Amb. Christopher Stevens, State Information Officer Sean Smith, and Navy Seals Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods could have been prevented on the day of the attack. Above all, their deaths would not have occurred but for Obama and Clinton’s dangerous, Islamist-friendly, and unconstitutional military action against Qadhafi. Even worse, it is clear that Hillary put political “optics” above the security of American lives on the eve of a Presidential election. In that sense it’s a bigger cover-up than Watergate.
Yet former conservative and now infamous Clinton sycophant David Brock, founder of the George Soros-funded front group Media Matters, would have the public believe that Hillary’s deadly failures in Benghazi are non-existent and any criticisms of her, even taken directly out of the bi-partisan, year-long investigation Senate Report, are simply smears. Along with David Kirkpatrick’s shameful New York Times story, which was thoroughly debunked a day later by Fox News from witnesses “who were on the ground” the night of the Islamist attack, it is clear that the Clintonistas are in cahoots to protect Clinton from facing any scrutiny during her 2016 White House bid.
The Report is prima facie evidence that Hillary failed to answer the 3:00 PM call she faced on September 11, 2012 once the attack started on the Mission. Finding #1 of The Report makes clear that Clinton ignored the “ample strategic warning that [the] security situation in eastern Libya was deteriorating and that U.S. facilities and personnel were at risk in Benghazi.” On September 5th, six days before the attack, AFRICOM produced a report stating, on page 11, “disarray in Libya and a likely focus by authorities on pursuit of Qadhafi loyalists is likely allowing jihadists in Libya freedom to recruit, train, and facilitate the movement of fighters and weapons. The threat to Western and U.S. interests and individuals remains high, particularly in northeast-Libya.” Benghazi is the largest city in northeast Libya.
The Report also makes clear that a top Clinton lieutenant denied Amb. Stevens’s requests for greater security at the Benghazi Mission. Finding #2 of The Report states that “(t)he State Department should have increased its security posture more significantly in Benghazi based on the deteriorating security situation… including two incidents at the Temporary Mission Facility on April 6 and June 6, 2012.” Both of these attacks included IEDs being directed by Islamists at the Mission.
The Report explains that Amb. Stevens and other State Department officials outlined “concerns via cables to State Department headquarters about the security of the Mission compound and made several requests for additional resources.” [p. 14] Yet Clinton’s State Department was filled with “confusion over who, ultimately, was responsible and empowered to make decisions on both policy and security concerns.” [p. 16] Simply stated, Clinton was too incompetent to run a proper Department whose bureaucracy could prioritize the safety of her subordinates.
Not only did Hillary’s incompetence bungle the Mission’s security, but direct evidence exists which proves that top State Department officials under Clinton denied the Mission proper safety protocols. Internal State Department memos unearthed by Fox News show that Clinton’s Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy signed off on an action memo “that green-lighted the Benghazi operation” with the caveat that the Mission be “exempted… from mandatory physical security standards” of a Consulate.
It strains credulity to believe that Hillary was not aware of the action memo, especially since Clinton misled the public on a “diplomatic victory” in Libya as early as November 2011 when she “was quick to announce that the U.S. committed $40 million to help Libya secure and recover its weapons stockpiles.” This would be the same month when The Telegraph reported that the Al Qaeda flag was pictured “flying above the Benghazi courthouse building… alongside the Libyan national flag.”
Hillary would have the public believe that her Benghazi incompetence could be washed away in her “bias for action,” as the carefully crafted introduction of Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes’s HRC quotes an unnamed source. Yet the same introduction quotes Hillary telling Kennedy, “the undersecretary who oversaw diplomatic operations,” that “she want(s) to see” to brief “her team” on the April 5, 2010 assault on an American compound in Peshawar. That would be twenty months before Kennedy signed the deadly Benghazi action memo.
The Report also makes clear that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence “found no evidence that significant actions were taken by the State Department between August 15, 2012, and September 11, 2012, to increase security at the Mission(.)” [p. 16] Yet The Report redacts eleven security upgrades “quickly” made by the CIA in its Annex “due to the threat of continued attacks against Western personnel in Benghazi(.)” [pp. 19-20] The CIA Annex would repel an attack with loss of US lives the same night our mission was stormed in a precise, military-style attack and four Americans died.
Clinton’s Benghazi Mission did not even install additional surveillance cameras it had received “because the State Department has not yet sent out the technical team necessary to install them.” Further, the camera monitor in the guard force booth “was inoperable on the day of the attacks due to a needed repair by a technical team.” The Report makes clear that “the lack of security enhancements contributed to the security breakdown at the Temporary Mission Facility the night of the attacks.”
While it is no surprise that Hillary or her husband would have any qualms on lying to the American public about the cause of Benghazi attack, or anything else for that matter, it is disconcerting that someone who believes she is capable of serving as Commander in Chief would lie directly to the father of the fallen Navy Seal Tyrone S. Woods on the cause of his son’s unnecessary death. Yet in a memorial service days after the Islamist attack, Hillary approached Tyrone’s father Charles and assured him that the Obama administration was going to “arrest and prosecute” the man that made the scapegoated YouTube video critical of Islam.
The Report does not mention the video once. The Report makes clear in FINDING #9 that any report of a “protest at the Mission facility” was “erroneous” and “caused confusion and influenced the public statements of policymakers.” [p. 34] In fact, “there were no protests outside the Temporary Mission Facility prior to the attacks(.)”
The attack was a multi-pronged, sophisticated assault which was coordinated by Ahmad Abu Khattallah, who is a leading member of the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia. A Fox News source who was on the ground describes the Khattallah’ s operation as a “direct action planned attack” with “(o)ne guy… shooting, one guy… running. There (were) guys watching the gates… The bosses on the ground were pointing, commanding and coordinating.”
450 days after the attack, Khattallah walks freely around Benghazi. The final recommendation of The Report demands that “the U.S. Government must swiftly bring the attackers to justice, in spite of the unwillingness or lack of capacity of the Libyan government to assist in this effort.” [p. 43] The government which Obama and Clinton installed is prohibiting the FBI from operating in Libya. Fifteen Libyans who were cooperating with the FBI have been assassinated. And the FBI’s $10 million reward was not even publicized the first eleven months after it was issued. Clearly, the Obama administration does not consider the attackers a high priority.
One last question remains open from The Report: was the attack on the Benghazi Mission carried out with U.S. weapons? The Intelligence Committee’s press release states that “the U.S. government cannot rely on local security in areas where the United States has facilities under high threat or where the host nation is not capable of providing adequate security.” We know that Amb. Stevens was forced to hire local security militias for protection due to Hillary’s denials of his security requests. The Report explains that Amb. Stevens believed that the local Libyan militia members would provide the “least bad option.”
This is a question on which the American public deserves to know the truth. And yes, Hillary, it does matter!