Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan took issue with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s comment that protests had erupted in both Cairo, Egypt and Benghazi, Libya, citing evidence from the House Select Committee’s investigation stating that no protest of any kind had occurred in Benghazi. He then went on to quote from various State Department spokespersons who, in the weeks following the Sept. 11, 2012 attack, claimed that the incident in Benghazi was linked to the Cairo-based protest, which was a reaction to an offensive online video.
“I wrote a whole chapter about this in my book, ‘Hard Choices’. I’d be glad to send it to you, congressman.”
— Hillary Clinton, in condescending answer to Jim Jordan’s question
“Where’d the false narrative start? It started with you, Madame Secretary,” said Jordan, adding that a statement released by Clinton the night of the attack suggests as much. “At 10:08, with no evidence. At 10:08, before the attack is over.
Clinton proceeded to emphasize her official statement’s use of the phrase “some have sought,” which described the efforts of a small group to use the video as a means of inciting anti-American sentiments in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere in the region. “I used those words deliberately. Not to ascribe a motive to every attacker, but as a warning to those across the region that there was no justification for further attacks.” Read the rest of this entry »
The mother of Sean Smith, one of the four Americans killed at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, exploded in response to a clip of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s prior testimony on the matter.
CNN Newsroom host Carol Costello was taken aback when Patricia Smith revealed in conversation that she actually didn’t know much about what happened to her son — despite the fact that the Benghazi attack occurred three years ago.
Smith responded in kind, claiming that although Clinton promised to “get back to” her following her son’s funeral ceremony in Washington, D.C., no one had since contacted her on the matter.
“We will make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted”
— Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Father of SEAL killed in Benghazi
Court documents filed by the U.S. Justice Department in the criminal case against Benghazi attack suspect Ahmed Abu Khatallah provide unprecedented details about the evolution of the assault and further shatter the Obama administration’s initial claim that it sprouted from protests over an anti-Islam film.
The narrative that the video played a role continues to live on, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying recently that some of the attackers may indeed have been influenced by the online video.
But the Justice Department’s court filings make clear that at least those spearheading the attack were part of a “conspiracy,” one that involved several members of the Ansar al-Sharia “Islamic extremist militia.”
A government motion filed Tuesday seeking Khatallah’s detention provides some of the greatest detail to date on the suspect’s alleged role.
The motion says that in the days preceding the attack, the defendant “voiced concern and opposition to the presence of an American facility in Benghazi.” According to the motion, a group of 20 or more “armed men,” including militia members, assembled outside the U.S. compound at 9:45 p.m. the night of Sept. 11, 2012, and “aggressively breached” the gate.
They carried rifles, handguns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
After breaching the gate, they stole a U.S. vehicle, “forcibly entered” buildings and stole U.S. property.
“During this initial attack, buildings within the Mission were set on fire,” the court document says, noting that the fires “ultimately led to the deaths” of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and Information Management Officer Sean Smith. Read the rest of this entry »
Catherine Herridge writes: The 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya was an “Al Qaeda-led event” according to multiple on-the-record interviews with the head of the House Intelligence Committee who receives regular classified briefings and has access to the raw intelligence to make independent assessments.
“I will tell you this, by witness testimony and a year and a half of interviewing everyone that was in the ground by the way, either by an FBI investigator or the committee: It was very clear to the individuals on the ground that this was an Al Qaeda-led event. And they had pretty fairly descriptive events early on that lead those folks on the ground, doing the fighting, to the conclusion that this was a pre-planned, organized terrorist event,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., told Fox News in a November interview.
“Not a video, that whole part was debunked time and time again,” Rogers added of the attack which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, “which just leads to questions of why the administration hung with that narrative for so long when all the folks who participated on the ground saw something different.”
The comments challenged the findings of a New York Times “investigation” which pointed instead to local militias and claimed an anti-Islam video played a role in inciting the attackers.
Asked in November what might explain the initial narrative that an anti-Islam film triggered the attack, Rogers did not answer directly but said all evidence points to the State Department, whose leadership skirted the security requirements for the Benghazi mission. “We think we can fairly sense what was going on here and I will tell you, the answers, I think, are going to lie within the State Department and the decision-making in the State Department,” he said. “Lots of questions to be answered there.”
Was Obama in Charge—or Not?
by Gary Schmitt
Much has been made of President Obama’s considerable use of the pronoun “I” on the night he announced to the nation the killing of Osama bin Laden. As Mark Bowden notes in his recently published account of the killing and the decision-making that led up to the operation, The Finish, the president was not shy about putting himself front and center when it came to the decision to proceed with the operation: “I directed Leon Panetta … I was briefed … I met repeatedly with my national security team … I determined … and authorized … Today at my direction.”
While a bit over the top when it comes to the “me” factor, nevertheless, the president is indeed commander in chief and, under the Constitution, with its unitary executive, he is, as the text of that document asserts, the sole holder of “the executive power.” Unlike many of the state constitutions of the time, the national executive authority was not divided among various state office holders nor as under the Articles of Confederation—the country’s first federal constitution—was it in the hands of the national assembly. So, whether critics of the president liked his rhetoric or not, whether they felt it was unseemly or not, it wasn’t out of bounds from a constitutional perspective.
On meeting Obama: “Could not look me in the eye … like shaking hands with a dead fish.”
Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, who was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, reveals details of meeting Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at the publically broadcast memorial service for the slain Americans at Andrews Air Force Base only days after the attack. And, in a recent radio appearance, Woods publicly questions who made the call not to send in back-up forces to possibly save his son’s life, as well as the three other Americans killed in Benghazi (which includes the American ambassador to Libya).
“When [Obama] came over to our little area” at Andrew Air Force Base, says Woods, “he kind of just mumbled, you know, ‘I’m sorry.’ His face was looking at me, but his eyes were looking over my shoulder like he could not look me in the eye. And it was not a sincere, ‘I’m really sorry, you know, that your son died,’ but it was totally insincere, more of whining type, ‘I’m sorry.’”
Woods says that shaking President Obama’s hands at his son’s memorial service was “like shaking hands with a dead fish.”