Hillary Couldn't Remember Benghazi Ambassador's Name
Former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, an Obama appointee whose name popped up on the target list of Vladimir Putin in response to the meaningless Mueller indictment of 12 Russian spies, has tweeted out a "thank you" to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton for her "defense" of him. He is luckier than Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was unavailable for comment, since Hillary Clinton abandoned him in Benghazi along with Ty Woods, Sean Smith, and Glen Dougherty, and who was murdered in a terrorist attack Hillary and the entire Obama administration blamed on a video.
Putin had suggested that President Trump make McFaul available to Russian investigators, a suggestion the White House did not immediately or adequately respond to, opening the door to Hillary Clinton's breathtaking example of gruesome hypocrisy:
Hillary Clinton on Thursday condemned the Trump administration for considering Russian President Vladimir Putin's offer to allow U.S. law enforcement to observe questioning of indicted Russians in exchange for allowing Russian authorities to question American citizens.
"Ambassador @McFaul is a patriot who has spent his career standing up for America," Clinton tweeted. "To see the White House even hesitate to defend a diplomat is deeply troubling."
This is the secretary of state who provided Ambassador Stevens with woefully inadequate physical security in a terrorist-rich environment, failed to defend or attempt to rescue Stevens and his group, and then lied about it both to Congress and to the families of the dead in front of their sons' caskets. But then, what difference at this point does it make?
At least Hillary Clinton got McFaul's name right. On the night of the Benghazi attack, an email that Hillary forget to delete showed she couldn't even remember her murdered ambassador's name:
As U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other personnel lay dead and America's diplomatic outpost there lay in smoldering ruins, Clinton asked her three closest aides for advice about how to announce the death of 'Chris Smith.'
That name – the wrong one – was the subject line of the email Clinton sent them as night turned to day in Libya and the full extent of the Islamist terror attack was becoming apparent.
'Cheryl told me the Libyans confirmed his death,' Clinton, then the secretary of state, wrote. 'Should we announce tonight or wait until morning?'
Cheryl Mills, then Clinton's chief of staff, replied to her and others on the chain – deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan and agency spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
'We are awaiting formal confirmation from our team,' she wrote. 'We are drafting a statement while we wait.'
A total of eight emails in the chain crisscrossed the Internet. None of Clinton's deputies corrected her or clarified whose death they were discussing.
Not amused was Kris Paronto, who fought with two of his colleagues on the roof of the CIA annex in Benghazi to save their lives and those of the other Americans under assault that night. Paronto tweeted in response:
Are you f'n kidding me @HillaryClinton ?!!! You left Ambassador Stevens and us to die in Benghazi then spewed lie after lie to the family members of my dead teammates and to the world to cover it up and now you have the nerve to talk about defending diplomats?! You are disgusting!
Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith. would agree with that assessment. Investor's Business Daily reported the gripping 2013 testimony of Patricia Smith before Rep. Darrell Issa's House Oversight Committee:
Phony scandals don't produce body bags. Mrs. Smith testified how President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary Clinton, among other top administration officials, approached her at the casket ceremony when her son's body was returned to the U.S.
"Every one of them came up to me, gave me a big hug, and I asked them, 'What happened, please tell me?' And every one of them said it was the video. And we all know that it wasn't the video. Even at that time they knew it wasn't the video. So they all lied to me."
As IBD also noted, Charles Woods's recollection of Hillary's statements was quite clear:
Clinton expressed no regrets for repeating the video lie to Woods in front of his son's casket as it arrived at Dover Air Force Base:
"Her countenance was not good, and she made this statement to me... she said we will make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted," he told radio host Glenn Beck, adding that he "could tell that she was not telling me the truth."
The movie 13 Hours is based on the book in which three CIA contractors, Kris Paronto, John Tiegen, and Mark Geist, tell the tale of the battle they fought with Ty Woods, Sean Smith, and Glen Doherty in the terrorist attack which claimed the life of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, whose name Hillary could not remember.
It confirms that Benghazi was not a spontaneous demonstration gone bad due a video, despite Susan Rice repeating that lie on five Sunday talk shows and President Obama repeating it six times before the United Nations. Hillary Clinton knew that it was a lie, telling the truth to daughter Chelsea and an Egyptian diplomat before she lied to the parents of the Benghazi dead. It confirms that rescuers were told to stand down.
13 Hours should be the life expectancy of Hillary's candidacy after the film's release. It confirms that Hillary Clinton is a liar who should never again see the inside of the White House unless she has a ticket for the next tour.
Gregory Hicks, a 25-year Foreign Service Office veteran and former chief of station in Libya at the time of the Benghazi attack, gave riveting and damning testimony before Congress on Hillary's lies and criminal negligence in the matter. The last man to speak to Ambassador Stevens, he has exposed the video lie, documented how he told Hillary's State Department what was happening in real time that fateful night, and documented how her State Department ignored warnings from Stevens and others about the gathering terrorist storm and the woeful lack of security.
Now retired, private citizen Hicks goes farther, telling Fox News Hillary Clinton broke laws while condemning four Americans to death at the hands of terrorists:
Just as the Constitution makes national security the President's highest priority, U.S. law mandates the secretary of state to develop and implement policies and programs "to provide for the security ... of all United States personnel on official duty abroad."
This includes not only the State Department employees, but also the CIA officers in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012. And the Benghazi record is clear: Secretary Clinton failed to provide adequate security for U.S. government personnel assigned to Benghazi and Tripoli.
The Benghazi Committee's report graphically illustrates the magnitude of her failure. It states that during August 2012, the State Department reduced the number of U.S. security personnel assigned to the Embassy in Tripoli from 34 (1.5 security officers per diplomat) to 6 (1 security officer per 4.5 diplomats), despite a rapidly deteriorating security situation in both Tripoli and Benghazi. Thus, according to the Report, "there were no surplus security agents" to travel to Benghazi with Amb. Stevens "without leaving the Embassy in Tripoli at severe risk."
Had Ambassador Stevens' July 2012 request for 13 additional American security personnel (either military or State Department) been approved rather than rejected by Clinton appointee Under Secretary of State for Management Pat Kennedy, they would have traveled to Benghazi with the ambassador, and the Sept. 11 attack might have been thwarted.
Hicks also addressed the claim by Hillary that security at Benghazi was not her responsibility and that she had delegated that task to "experts":
U.S. law also requires the secretary of state to ensure that all U.S. government personnel assigned to a diplomatic post abroad be located at one site. If not, the secretary – and only the secretary – with the concurrence of the agency head whose personnel will be located at a different location, must issue a waiver. The law, which states specifically that the waiver decision cannot be delegated, was passed after the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa, when deficient security was blamed for that debacle under Bill Clinton's presidency.
When asked about security at Benghazi on Sept. 11, Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly asserted her lack of responsibility. Initially, she said that she never read any of the reporting on security conditions or any of the requests for additional security, claiming that "she delegated security to the professionals." More recently, she stated that "[I]t was not my ball to carry." But the law says otherwise. Sound familiar?
It was Hillary's responsibility to guarantee the security of U.S. diplomatic personnel abroad, a responsibility that cannot be delegated. She failed miserably on both counts and has lied about it ever since. Hillary Clinton that night knew that the video in question had nothing to do with Benghazi. Gregory Hicks told the truth before Congress and was rewarded with a demotion:
We have the testimony of Gregory Hicks, deputy chief of mission in Libya and a foreign service officer for 22 years. He was demoted to desk officer for telling the truth that those in Libya knew it was a terrorist attack from the "get-go," that there was no "protest" or mention of one from anyone on the ground, and that the infamous YouTube video was "a non-event" in Libya.
Yet that is what she told the Benghazi parents on the tarmac. Hillary and her State Department had warnings, including from Ambassador Stevens himself, that Benghazi was an unsecure trap in the face of a growing terrorist threat. As Investor's Business Daily editorialized on documents unearthed by Judicial Watch:
The documents describe Libya as hardly the poster child for the Arab Spring, and echo warnings sent to State by Stevens himself. He was aware of an attack on a convoy carrying the British ambassador to Libya and a June 2012 attack where an improvised explosive device blew a hole in the Benghazi consulate wall. Nowhere in the 486 pages is mention of or concern for the effects of a video.
On Aug. 8, 2012, Stevens sent a two-page cable to the State Department entitled "The Guns of August: Security in Eastern Libya" and noted a dangerous "security vacuum" in and around Benghazi, as well as the presence of terrorist training camps. He was ignored.
The documents reveal that, early on the day after the attack, the Pentagon received intelligence briefing slides detailing that the June 6, 2012, attack was tied to al-Qaida-linked terrorists seeking an Islamic state in Libya and who threatened to attack U.S. interests there. It also said the June 6 attack "came in response to the 5 June (2012) drone strike on senior al-Qaida leader Abu Yahya al-libi."
That Sept. 11 was a terrorist attack was known before, during and after it took place.
"I personally... think the (U.S. Africa Command) very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack," Gen. Carter Ham, head of the Command, testified behind closed doors in June 2013 before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
And that, Ham said, was the "nature of the conversation" he had with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey moments before a 30-minute meeting with Obama prior to the president resting up for his fundraising Las Vegas trip.
Hillary Clinton ignored the pleas for added security at Benghazi, ignored the terrorist threat that was building, and then let pleas for a rescue fall on deaf ears. And she couldn't even remember Christopher Stevens's name.
Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor's Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.