Mrs. Clinton’s Benghazi Chapter

Here is a brief excerpt from my Benghazi chapter in Stonewalled.


…In a June 18, 2014, interview with Greta Van Susteren of FOX News, Clinton said that her own assessment of the Benghazi attacks “careened from the video had something to do with it, the video had nothing to do with it . . . I was trying to make sense of it.” She also spoke of being confused in the “fog of war,” a phrase that Obama of officials first evoked in the weeks after the attacks—and often re- peated—to help explain why it didn’t mount an outside military rescue of the trapped Americans that night.

The thing is, there’s little sense of “careening” assessments or the “fog of war” in the documentary evidence recorded at the time.

It was the night of September 11, 2012, and at 5:55 p.m. Eastern time, while the attacks were still under way, a State Department email included a report that “the extremist group Ansar Al Sharia ha[d] taken credit” and U.S. officials had asked Libyan officials to pursue the faction. A few minutes later, an alert from Clinton’s State Department Operations Center stated that the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli also reported the Islamic military group Ansar al-Sharia had claimed responsibility and called for an attack on the embassy in Tripoli.

But four hours later, in her first public statement on the attacks at 10:07 p.m., Clinton spoke of none of that. She did, for the first time, introduce the connection to the video.

“Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” Clinton’s statement reported. “The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.”

If Clinton weren’t part of an effort to steer the narrative, then why didn’t she report that terrorists might be involved, as many behind the scenes had already concluded? Or at least say what the administration has so vigorously claimed since: that there was wild uncertainty? Or that assessments were—foggy? And if they were so foggy, then why was she careful not to evoke terrorism—yet quick to finger the video? (Continued below)

We later discovered that President Obama telephoned Clinton during the attacks about the time that she issued the statement. White House spokesman Carney had, in the past, declined to answer whether that call came before or after. The obvious question is: did the president and Clinton consult over her statement blaming the video?

Twenty-one months later, in an interview with FOX News anchor Bret Baier, Clinton was fuzzy on details and, apparently, hadn’t bothered to refresh herself on them even though she had just authored a new book that included a whole chapter about Benghazi—which is why she was now giving interviews.

Baier found Clinton vague when he asked about the timing of her statement and the president’s call.

“The statement went out, you know, I don’t know the exact time, it, my recollection is it went out before [the call with the president],” Clinton said. And she wouldn’t give a yes or no when asked whether they discussed the video: a fact she surely should know considering the controversy over that very issue.

“I don’t know that I talked about it with him at that conversation,” Clinton said.

Documents revealed in spring of 2014 cast further doubt on Clin- ton’s description of fogginess. In a State Department email the morning after the attack, her then-assistant secretary of state Beth Jones told Libya’s ambassador that “the group that conducted the attacks— Ansar Al Sharia—is af liated with Islamic extremists.” Period.

In a September 20, 2012, appearance on Univision, with Congress and the media chipping away at the video narrative, President Obama seemed to take a stab at blending ideas: retaining the video story but merging it with one that matched more closely with the terrorism reality.

“What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests,” Mr. Obama said.

The same day, there was a new spin from Carney who told the press that there was no reason to say there was a terrorist attack because everyone knew that, silly!

Presidential candidate, Democrat Hillary Clinton
Former Secretary of State and Current Presidential Candidate, Democrat Hillary Clinton

“It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. Our embassy was attacked violently, and the result was four deaths of American of cials. So, again, that’s self-evident,” said Carney.

Except, perhaps, to Clinton, who says she was careening.

Carney’s remark reminds me of a comment Morell made in April of 2014 when he finally admitted to Congress that he removed the word Islamic from the phrase Islamic extremists. He did it not to obfuscate, he told Congress, but because, “what other kind of extremists are there in Libya?” Everyone knows that. We don’t have to say it.

And on September 25, a full two weeks after the attacks, the pres- ident addressed the U.N. General Assembly and continued to refer to “killers” rather than “terrorists,” evoking the “crude and disgusting video” that “sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.”

Why was the conversation with the American public so starkly different than the one taking place behind the scenes—the accurate one—unless the narrative was being seriously manipulated?

Clinton now freely embraces in her book what she and the White House so carefully avoided saying in those early days. In fact, she’s decided to own it, if one can glean anything from the first sentence in her Benghazi chapter: the American victims, she writes, “were killed in a terrorist attack.” It’s almost as if she wants to convince us that she said so all along.

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10 thoughts on “Mrs. Clinton’s Benghazi Chapter”

  1. Gary A. Anderson

    Happily, look forward to reading “STONEWALLED.” Whatever the topic the Clinton ‘narrative’ is to attempt to manipulate the facts & the public. From Benghazi to Clinton Emails to transferring a portion of U.S. uranium assets to Russia, the ‘narrative’ is to hoodwink, bamboozle & snooker the gullible. Dare I suggest the Clintons fondness & propensity to lie is unmatched? In short, Bill was & Hillary is “temperamentally unfit” to be president!

  2. It’s obvious that this regime is filled with muslims or muslim sympathizers. This is a fact more solidified by what we’ve learned from Trey Gowdy’s Benghazi report: That marines were made to change in and out of uniform four times due to concerns those uniforms might OFFEND MUSLIMS! Americans can die, but don’t offend the fellow muslims! These are some sorry turncoat SOB’s! The only thing worse are the racist and PC republicans that won’t bring impeachment proceedings against them!

  3. I have read your excellent book “Stonewalled” and it is now going through my children and the adult grandchildren. I may have to buy a 2nd one to keep for my own reference. Nobody wants to give it back to me. I’m a very old lady and have never seen the evilness of our politicians as I have with the Clintons and Obamas.

  4. Johnathan Birks

    Keep up the good work Sharyl. It’s a shame yours is one of the few voices out there calling BS on Hillary.

  5. Armed F-16s on alert status at Aviano AB would have made a huge difference! You may be amazed at how close it is at .9 Mach !

  6. Melinda Ireland

    CBS 60 Minutes aired on 22 May concerning the Backlash to the Army Largest Criminal Investigation of the Army’s Referral Assisant Program. Not only has it cost the tax payer millions for this investigation, the investigation is corrupt using techniques to find many (100’s) innocent guilty, the soldiers are at the brink of suicide and their family are suffering hard ships for months to years. The training guide pushing soldiers to refer applicants specifically takes using the Docupak Contracted Referral program “has no bearing on you in any capacity”. However, the Soldiers are victims of a corrupt investigation while the heads and organizers of the program go free. There about 60 changes to the program from the start and the investigators using whatever unknown change to find a fall guy. Complete injustice to so many who would sacrifice their lives for this country based on the memory of an applicant as exceeding over the statute of limitations. I can provide you more documents to verify this. I have to remain anonymous to avoid more reprisal.

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