Fox’s Megyn Kelly has raised the visibility of a dispute between the families of those slain at Benghazi and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton concerning what Clinton told those families on September 14, 2012. According to four different relatives of those slain, including those who attended the Joint Base Andrews’ Transfer of Remains Ceremony for the return of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other slain Benghazi embassy employees, Secretary Clinton assured the families that she would have the “filmmaker responsible for the deaths arrested,” feeding into a narrative Hillary Clinton knew then to be false: that the Benghazi attacks were the result of a spontaneous uprising in response to an anti-Muslim video rather than a terrorist attack on the embassy compound. The father of Ty Woods, slain at Benghazi, kept a contemporaneous journal in which he quoted Clinton’s statement: “We are going to have the filmmaker arrested who was responsible for the death of your son.”
Assembling all of the facts, it now appears clear that Secretary Clinton endeavored to misdirect the public to avoid accountability for her own dereliction of duty and engaged in an extensive cover-up which persists to this day. She failed to call on Secretary Panetta to dispatch the military in an immediate defense of the besieged embassy compound, and she failed to heed the repeated calls weeks before from Ambassador Stevens to reinforce the compound in light of a clear and present threat to the compound posed by Ansar al-Sharia terrorists. Instead of admitting the derelictions and taking responsibility for them, she propounded a false narrative, callously, indeed heartlessly, communicating that falsehood even to the families of the brave men who died on September 11, 2012, in Benghazi.
The film 13 Hours adds more to this picture, as Megyn Kelly adduced directly from the heroic American soldiers whose story is told in that film. Those soldiers were stationed at The Annex, a CIA facility a mile and a half away from the embassy compound. In The Kelly File interview with three of the five surviving soldiers who were stationed at The Annex, Mark “Oz” Geist (former Marine), John “Tig” Tiegen (former Marine), and Kris “Tanto” Paronto (ex-Army Ranger), each stated that they had received a “stand down” order from their superior, the CIA Chief in the region, that delayed their intervention for thirty minutes despite desperate calls from the compound for help. In the end, the three soldiers say they violated the stand down order and proceeded with a counteroffensive, but it was too late for Ambassador Stevens and the other Americans slain in the embassy compound. The CIA Chief, whose identity has not been released, is adamant that he never gave the “stand down” order.
It is beyond doubt, however, that the claim that the attack was a spontaneous uprising to an anti-Muslim video is a complete fabrication, one that deflected attention away from the real source of the attack, Ansar al-Sharia terrorists fulfilling threats repeatedly made that they would kill Americans in Libya (a fact well known to Ambassador Stevens who called for greater security for weeks prior to the attack). There can be but one motive for the fabrication, to avoid scrutiny of the handling of the affair by government officials and, in particular, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
It is beyond doubt that Hillary Clinton emailed her daughter Chelsea the very night of the attack on the Benghazi compound, Tuesday, September 11, 2012, stating that the attacks were undertaken by an “Al Queda-type group.” That same night the State Department issued a public statement, under Secretary Clinton’s own name, wherein it identified as the source not the Al-Qaeda group Clinton mentioned to Chelsea, but a spontaneous uprising to an anti-Muslim video. The State Department’s schedule reveals that three days later, on the morning of September 14, 2012 (the very same day Hillary Clinton met with the families of the slain at Andrews), Clinton met with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice preceding Rice’s media tour on Clinton’s behalf that coming Sunday. Two days thereafter, Rice appeared on the Sunday talk shows, restating Clinton’s official statement that the attack was the result of a spontaneous uprising to an anti-Muslim video, leading the media away from the view that the event was a terrorist attack.
It is beyond doubt that within an hour of the start of the attack, U.S. military, the U.S. intelligence community, and the Libyan government knew the attack to be from a hostile, well-armed force, involving heavy munitions. Retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell, who was at the time in command in the region, confirmed in testimony before Trey Gowdy’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that “we did know early on . . . that this was a hostile action” against the embassy compound and that “this was no demonstration gone terribly awry.” The demonstration idea was thus a fabrication, a story concocted to direct attention away from the true source of the attack.
It is beyond doubt that the military had a drone overhead in the immediate vicinity of Benghazi, receiving active intelligence. In his testimony General Lovell confirmed that the military did not respond immediately because they had not received a request for assistance from the State Department, a request that was never timely given. Perhaps because of the absence of that request or a failure of Secretary Clinton to coordinate with then Defense Secretary Panetta, tactical response teams were not dispatched expeditiously. The military could have scrambled F-16s from Aviano Air Base in Northern Italy to Benghazi, but the order for that dispatch did not timely come. F-16s can fly from Aviano to Benghazi (a distance of 3,609 km) within 1.5 hours. Had they been scrambled from Aviano at the start of the attack, they could have fired upon the attackers and driven them off, perhaps sparing the lives of some embassy personnel and certainly former Navy Seals Ty Woods and Glen Doherty who were dispatched from Tripoli to Benghazi. Bogged down at the Benghazi airport, Woods and Doherty were unable to make it to the compound until hours after Ambassador Stevens had been killed and his body removed to a hospital. Shortly after Woods and Doherty arrived at the compound they were killed by mortar fire from the terrorists.
The sum of this evidence is a damning indictment of Secretary Clinton, the Clinton State Department, and the Obama White House. The evidence points to Hillary Clinton as the primary promoter of the anti-Muslim video explanation, despite the fact that she knew at the time she promoted that narrative that it was false and misleading. We know that on the very day of the attack, she met with Ambassador Rice after which Rice recommunicated the false narrative to the media on the Sunday talk shows. On the very day that Clinton met with Rice, she met with the four families and, at that time, it was the State Department narrative, under her own name, that the attack was a response to an anti-Muslim video. It thus comes as no surprise, then, that the families would be told that narrative by Secretary Clinton. Indeed, had she not told them the narrative, it was nevertheless her position vis-à-vis the State Department official statement that the source of the attack was an anti-Muslim video. Thus, it would have been extraordinary for her to deviate from that narrative when speaking to the families, and, in any event, she lied to them, as she did to the public, through the official statement.
Why would Clinton lie to the public and even to the families of the slain Americans on the very day they and the nation received the coffins of those families’ deceased loved ones? Why would she condone the statement by Ambassador Rice on the Sunday talk shows reiterating the false narrative? The answer appears unmistakable at this point. She must have feared that revelation of the fact that this was a terrorist attack would invariably lead to greater inquiry into why the State Department did not authorize the reinforcement of the Benghazi compound and why she had not acted promptly to request military assistance at the start of the attack. No doubt fearing blame for the derelictions of duty that left Ambassador Stevens and the embassy staff virtually defenseless against an attack, Secretary of State Clinton agreed to the false narrative.
Although there are many reasons why Hillary Clinton is unfit to be President of the United States, not least of which involves her unlawful mishandling of classified information and her comingling of Clinton Foundation and State Department functions, the failure to secure the lives of Americans under her watch despite repeated calls for help and despite urgent demands for intervention the night of September 11, constitute proof positive that she cannot be trusted with the awesome responsibility of protecting Americans lives as Commander-in-Chief.
We have a right to expect public officials not to lie to us. We have a right to expect that those given power that affects the lives of Americans will use that power judiciously to protect those lives. We have a right to expect leaders of this country to be held responsible for gross negligence and derelictions of duty that result in the loss of life. Hillary Clinton has escaped all of this so far, but I doubt she will escape the ultimate wrath of the American people. If she achieves the extraordinary by escaping a federal indictment for mishandling classified information and for public corruption, the misdeeds of her past will come home to roost in the general election if not sooner.
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