Benghazi Lies Began With Obama and Hillary?
When the complete history is written of the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, the dishonesty and duplicity of the Obama White House will be an inescapable fact. As we celebrate Independence Day, Americans ought to be disturbed about the ethical quality of the men and women in high office. The signers of the Declaration of Independence would surely be aghast at the unethical, lawless leadership in Washington, D.C.
However, I’d like to think the Founders would be happy with the vigilance and persistence of Judicial Watch in holding our government leaders accountable for their misdeeds.
To that end, this week we released new State Department documents showing that Hillary Clinton and the State Department’s response to the Benghazi attack was immediately determined by top Obama White House officials, particularly Ben Rhodes, then-White House deputy strategic communications adviser, and Bernadette Meehan, a spokesperson for the National Security Council. The new documents were forced from the State Department under court order in aJudicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.
A September 11, 2012, email sent at 6:21 p.m. by State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland to Meehan, Under Secretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, and Clinton’s personal aide Jacob Sullivan, shows that the State Department deferred to the White House on the official response to the Benghazi attack. Referencing pending press statements by Barack Obama and Clinton, Nuland wrote: “We are holding for Rhodes clearance. BMM, pls advise asap.”
Meehan responded three minutes later, at 6:24 p.m.: “Ben is good with these and is on with Jake now too.”
Rhodes sent an email at 9:48 p.m. to senior White House and State officials on the issue: “We should let the State Department statement be our comment for the night.”
An email from Meehan, sent at 10:15 p.m. on September 11 to Rhodes, Nuland, Sullivan, Kennedy and Clinton aide Philippe Reines, further confirms the White House approval of Hillary Clinton’s statement tying the Benghazi terrorist attack to an Internet video: “All, the Department of State just released the following statement. Per Ben [Rhodes’] email below, this should be the USG comment for the night.”
The “USG comment” turned out to be Clinton’s notorious public statement, made hours after the initial terrorist attack, falsely suggesting that the Benghazi assault was a “response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”
Rhodes emailed Meehan, Sullivan and Reines at 11:45 p.m. on September 11, writing, “Fyi – we are considering releasing this tonight.” The next line is redacted. The email also included a “Readout of President’s Call to Secretary Clinton,” the contents of which are also completely redacted.
On September 12, the day after the attack, Meehan sent an email to Obama administration officials announcing that “to ensure we are all in sync on messaging for the rest of the day, Ben Rhodes will host a conference call for USG communicators on this chain at 9:15AM ET today.”
Think about this timeline. Obama and Hillary Clinton talk. The White House along with State then composes and issues Hillary Clinton’s statement falsely tying the Internet video to the attack. We can’t find any other government documents other than Hillary’s statement that September 11, 2012, night tying the attack to the video. This all leads me to conclude that Hillary Clinton originated the video lie in partnership with the Obama White House. And I’m willing to bet that the phone call earlier between Clinton and Obama set the whole lie in motion. As I told Fox News this week, if the details of the call were helpful, the details would be released. As they’re being kept secret, one can assume the details of the Obama-Clinton call are damning.
As if the new White House bombshells weren’t enough, the new documents show that the Obama administration engaged domestic and foreign Islamist groups and foreign nationals to push the Internet video narrative.
The day after the attack, Rashad Hussain, the Obama administration’s special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), sent an email to Ambassador Ufuk Gokcen, the OIC’s ambassador to the United Nations, and Cenk Uraz, an official with the OIC, pushing the video as the cause of the Benghazi attack. The OIC is supported by 57 nations and purports to be “the collective voice of the Muslim world.” The OIC is no friend of freedom and is anapologist for terrorism, to put it charitably. So this pernicious international body is, of course, a key ally for the Obama Benghazi disinformation campaign. The Obama envoy’s email has the subject line: “Urgent: Anti-Islamic Film and Violence” and reads in part:
I am sure you are considering putting a statement on the film and the related violence. In addition to the condemnation of the disgusting depictions, it will be important to emphasize the need to respond in a way that is consistent with Islamic principles, i.e. not engaging in violence and taking innocent life …
The resulting OIC statement, sent to Hussain by the OIC’s Uraz, linked the film, as requested by the Obama administration, to the Benghazi attack and suggested that the United States restrict free speech in response. The official OIC statement called the film “incitement” and stated that the attack in Benghazi and a demonstration in Cairo “emanated from emotions aroused by a production of a film had hurt [sic] the religious sentiments of Muslims. The two incidents demonstrated serious repercussions of abuse of freedom of expression.” The OIC’s statement referenced its own efforts to criminalize criticism of Islam. Hussain sent the OIC statement immediately to other Obama administration officials, including then-Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills, who thanks Hussain for the email.
The State Department withheld communications on September 12, 2012, between Hillary Clinton’s senior aide Huma Abedin and Rashad Hussain about an article passed by him about how “American Muslim leaders” were tying the video to the Benghazi attack. At the time of the Benghazi attack, Abedin had been double-dipping, working as a consultant to outside clients while continuing as a top adviser at State. Abedin’s outside clients included Teneo, a strategic consulting firm co-founded by former Bill Clinton counselor Doug Band. According to Fox News, Abedin earned $355,000 as a consultant for Teneo, in addition to her $135,000 “special government employee” compensation.
The State Department also disclosed a document, dated September 13, 2012, entitled “USG Outreach and Engagement Post Benghazi Attack.” This record details how the Obama administration reached out to domestic groups, foreign groups and governments in a full-court press to tie the video to the Benghazi attack. The document “captures USG efforts to engage outside voices to encourage public statements that denounce the attack make it clear that the anti-Muslim film does not reflect American [sic].” The document highlights the use of Hillary Clinton’s statement tying the terrorist attack to an Internet video. The “outreach” document also highlights “Special Envoy’s engagement” with the OIC and the “Saudi Ambassador.”
The documents show that the Internet video was raised in a September 15 discussion between Hillary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The “eyes only” “secret” document was partially declassified. Davutoglu “called the controversial anti-Islam video a ‘clear provocation,’ but added that wise people should not be provoked by it.” The next line is blacked out and the markings show that it will not be declassified until 2027, more than 12 years from now.
Another email, evidently from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), sent to Meehan and other top White House and administration officials, shows that the administration took no action to deploy military assets almost five hours after the attack begun:
OSD has received queries asking if military assets are being sent to either location [Libya and Egypt]. Have responded “not to our knowledge.”
The State Department referred Judicial Watch to documents in the batch of 55,000 emails allegedly turned over by Hillary Clinton and searched in response to the court order in this lawsuit. These emails were published on the State Department’s web site, but are also available here. In addition, the State Department produced new documents containing Hillary Clinton emails. In one such email (September 11, 2012, at 11:40 p.m.) from Clinton to Nuland, Sullivan and top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills, with the subject line “Chris Smith,” Clinton writes: “Cheryl told me the Libyans confirmed his death. Should we announce tonight or wait until morning?”
Nuland responds: “We need to ck family’s druthers. If they are OK, we should put something out from you tonight.” Mills then replies to Nuland, “Taking S [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] off.” (Sean Smith, not “Chris Smith” was one of four Americans killed at Benghazi.)
On September 13, 2012, Politico’s Mike Allen sent then-National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor an Independent.co.uk news article entitled “America was warned of embassy attack but did nothing.” The story reported that “senior officials are increasingly convinced” the Benghazi attack was “not the result of spontaneous anger.” Vietor forwarded the story to other top White House and State Department officials, but Vietor’s accompanying comments and the comments of other top Obama appointees are completely redacted. The administration also redacted several emails of top State officials discussing a statement by a Romney campaign spokesman criticizing the “security situation in Libya.”
Read more: judicialwatch.org