Hillary Clinton timed her public acceptance of creating the perfect situation which resulted in the murder of US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens at a rented villa in Benghazi, leased by the US State Department to the second presidential debate between President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
David Axelrod, member of Obama’s cabinet, said that the Romney camp was “working hard to exploit the issue” for political gain.
Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte are decrying Obama “bears the full responsibility” for the failure of proper security at Benghazi.
Clinton said, in an interview with Margaret Brennan, that she takes “responsibility” for the events on September 11th “to avoid some kind of political gotcha.” She explained that she was confused after the attack and the initial demonstrations which appeared to be an unraveling of Obama’s foreign policy, and that “the president and the vice president wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals.”
She has admitted that the executive branch of government is not involved in security decisions. Clinton continues: “Nobody wants to get answers more than I do. These were people who I care deeply about. I knew Chris Stevens. I asked him personally to be in Benghazi during the revolution. I personally nominated him to be ambassador because I couldn’t think of a better person to represent the United States: Somebody who understood what was at stake for Libya what was at stake for U.S. I saw how these revolutions could be so positive or hijacked. He understood that. He was instrumental in working with Libyans. I care deeply about what happened that night.”
Initially, when confronted with being called to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee by House Representative Darrell Issa, Clinton asked for more time before speaking to the Committee about her involvement in Benghazi. Clinton suggested that Issa’s investigation be held off until after the November presidential elections or even pushed back into the early part of 2013 because witnesses were being questioned at the State Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs.
Last week, Clinton said that the US State Department was working with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in an internal investigation that would analyze the details of the attack in Benghazi.
One month after the planned attack at Benghazi, Clinton sent Patrick Kennedy, Under Secretary for the US State Department to speak at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee meeting. Kennedy, reading from a prepared written statement, asserted that it was the stance of the US State Department that the Obama administration was at fault for Stevens’ death.
Regarding Clinton’s denial of more security for Stevens after he formally made the request, Kennedy said: “The Department of State regularly assesses risk and allocation of resources for security; a process which involves the considered judgments of experienced professionals on the ground and in Washington, using the best information available. The assault that occurred on the evening of September 11, however, was an unprecedented attack by dozens of heavily armed men.”
Less than a week after the attack, Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN, made publicly stated that there was no US intelligence warning of the pending attack in Benghazi.
However, at the Committee hearing, Official Eric A. Nordstrom, regional security officer who served in Libya for 6 weeks from September 2011 to July 2012, explained that Benghazi security was weak and there was an increased concern. In fact, when Stevens requested that the State Department provide more security for him in Libya, he was denied. Since Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, is ultimately responsible for providing diplomatic security, she would have had to refuse that request.
In fact, hundreds of millions of dollars were cut from US Embassy security over recent years, which was a perfect reason Clinton could claim as to why Stevens could not have the security needed to protect him in Benghazi.
Speaking to Brennan, Clinton claimed that Rice received “the same information that everyone got and I think she very clearly said here’s what we know now but this is going to change. I have to say I know there’s been a lot of attention paid to who said what when but I think what happened is more important. We were attacked and four brave Americans were killed. … Everybody in the administration has tried to say what we knew at the time with the caveat that we would learn more and that’s what’s happened. … I think its part of what the fog of war causes.”
Clinton admitted that she was aware of extremist militant groups in the area that were operating in Libya, yet she failed to say that her direct knowledge of the Salafis who were tied to the Muslim Brotherhood were employed by the National Transitional Council (NTC) and Saudi Arabian government to enact the “hit” on Stevens.
In Benghazi, Stevens was working with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) gathering information on militia groups who were employed by the NTC to fill in the gaps of the defacto governmental military. The NTC became aware of Stevens work with the CIA and threatened that he stop monitoring operations in Libya where known terrorists groups have aligned with state-sponsored extremist governments for the benefits of US interests.
Stevens “diplomatic missions involved arms deals with the NTC who support the Salafi militants in Saudi Arabia, as well as selling arms to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Creating a political agenda for re-election around the death of Stevens is part of the theatrical distraction from the real issue. When the facts before, during and after the attack at Benghazi are reviewed, it becomes clear that Stevens became involved in dangerous dealings with known radical terrorists. When he asked the US State Department for protection, he was denied. This decision made by Clinton, set the stage for his death.
The real issue is why Clinton allowed the NTC to use Salafi and Muslim Brotherhood militants to murder Stevens?