Escalation: Hillary contradicts Benghazi families, denies blaming attacks on video at private meeting; Update: New email shows Pentagon offered to deploy rescue forces during attack?

posted at 10:01 pm on December 8, 2015 by Guy Benson

Before we circle back to Hillary’s statement on ABC News’ This Week, let’s lay some groundwork first. During her sworn testimony before the Benghazi Select Committee in October, Hillary Clinton was confronted with evidence that she had a clear-eyed understanding of the nature of those attacks within hours of their occurrence. On the night of the attack, she sent an email to her daughter lamenting that several American “officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Queda-like group.” The next morning, she sent the following assessment to a top Egyptian diplomat:

We know that the lack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attacknot a protest.”  That assessment was accurate.  It reflected the terrible reality that US officials were able to ascertain “almost immediately,” according to the CIA director at the time.  As I wrote last month, “State Department documents [also] confirm this. And Amb. Chris Stevens’ second-in-command testified that the obscure online film was a ‘non event‘ on the ground in Libya.” Yet by the time the murdered Americans’ flag-draped coffins arrived home several days later, the Obama administration was in full-blown election season spin mode, which entailed muddying the waters on whether the deadly raid was, in fact, a premeditated terrorist attack.  At the now-infamous Andrews Air Force base ceremony on September 14, 2012, Hillary Clinton told grieving family members that their loved ones had been murdered by a bloodthirsty mob incited by an online anti-Islam video.  Four different relatives of three separate victims have publicly shared that recollection, including one who jotted down notes shortly after the meeting:

“I gave Hillary a hug and shook her hand. And she said ‘we are going to have the film maker arrested who was responsible for the death of your son,'” recalls Tyrone Woods’ father, reading directly from his written record from that day. Sean Smith’s mother and uncle remember the same thing, as does Glen Doherty’s sister.  Now watch Hillary’s performance from this past Sunday.  Note how anchor George Stephanopoulos, to his credit, asks a very specific question, preceded by clips of statements from several of the aforementioned family members:


STEPHANOPOULOS: Did you tell them it was about the film? And what’s your response?

CLINTON: No. You know, look I understand the continuing grief at the loss that parents experienced with the loss of these four brave Americans. And I did testify, as you know, for 11 hours. And I answered all of these questions. Now, I can’t — I can’t help it the people think there has to be something else there. I said very clearly there had been a terrorist group, uh, that had taken responsibility on Facebook, um, between the time that, uh, I – you know, when I talked to my daughter, that was the latest information; we were, uh, giving it credibility. And then we learned the next day it wasn’t true. In fact, they retracted it. This was a fast-moving series of events in the fog of war and I think most Americans understand that.

Did you tell the families that the attack was about the film?  Answer: No.  My Townhall colleague Justin Holcomb has addressed her subsequent “fog of war” dissembling, which is belied by the fact that she consistently managed to get it right in private discussions, while peddling a very different tale in public.  But let’s ignore that part of her answer for the moment.  She was asked a direct question: Did she, or did she not, tell those family members that the Internet film was responsible for their loved ones’ deaths?  She says she did not.  This is a direct contradiction of very explicit memories shared on the record by multiple people who have far less incentive to lie than, say, a truth-challenged politician seeking power.  This should be a serious problem for Hillary Clinton.  The media spent an enormous amount of time fact-checking Donald Trump’s false claim about watching “thousands” of Muslims dancing in the streets of New Jersey on live television after 9/11.  Here we have the presumptive Democratic nominee essentially arguing that Benghazi victims’ relatives are either forgetful simpletons, or liars.  How mysterious that they all “forgot” in exactly the same way, and that their “lies” all match up.  Is this another one of those conspiracies Hillary sees around every corner when her political ambitions are threatened?  Stephanopoulos didn’t follow-up on this point during the interview.  Other journalists should, relentlessly.  She’s sure she didn’t blame the video in those discussions?  If so, why are the families saying she did?  And if they’re inventing a collective memory out of whole cloth, is it just a coincidence that Hillary happened to invoke the same video during her public remarks that day?  And that another administration spokesperson made the same untrue connection on national television the next day?  C’mon.

UPDATEHmm, didn’t top Obama administration and Pentagon officials testify that there was no viable opportunity to send reinforcements to save our people under siege that night? So what “forces” are being referenced in this just-uncovered email sent from the Defense Department to the State Department during the attack, and why weren’t they deployed?

Newly released emails show that a senior Defense Department official offered the State Department “forces that could move to Benghazi” immediately during the deadly 2012 attack there on the American consulate. Jeremy Bash, the former Pentagon chief of staff, offered to provide forces at 7:19 p.m. on the evening of the attack, “only hours after they had begun,” according to Judicial Watch, which disclosed the email on Tuesday. “We have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak,” Bash wrote. Portions of the email remain redacted by the Obama administration…The newly disclosed email contradicts testimony to Congress by Obama administration officials who cited the inability to immediately provide forces in response to the attack.

Editor’s note: A version of this item is cross-posted at

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Bmore on December 9, 2015 at 10:47 PM

GWB on December 9, 2015 at 1:47 PM

Stupid to waste a plane to save an ambassador? A couple strafing runs would drive off the attackers and kill a bunch also. That would provide more time for other support to arrive. I think that’s a smart move.

blink, stop it. We had forces close enough to get there in time. The pentagon though it was practical and they were told not to go DURING the attack.

dogsoldier on December 10, 2015 at 8:55 AM

Blink, you’re an idiot and are definitely not a shooter. That is evident from your posts. I trained for NEO’s which you have ever done. I don’t know what you supposedly did in the military, but I would guess it was most likely some sort of support role, like a supply guy or something.

You need to know when EXACTLY any force coming to help will be there? Seriously? That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. The people on the ground do not care when they get there, just that they do.

Also, part of the SF force there were stopped also from going because they were told they were needed in Tripoli.

As for the F-14 question, I already said that if it is alert 30, it is up in 30. That is the point of having it called alert 30. On the aircraft we had alert 5 with pilots in the bird with engines on. And no, systems like that do not just “go down” like that. That just tells me you have never worked on aircraft before.

Patriot Vet on December 10, 2015 at 2:55 PM

The one piece of factual proof that has raised the anger of most American citizens is this,..Amb. Steven’s made multiple request’s to both Hillary Clinton and President Obama for two things. He wanted an aircraft based at the Benghazi Airport, for a quick retreat in case of an attack, and a group of military soldiers, preferably Marines, fully armed to provide full protection in case of attack. Both the President and Hillary Clinton denied these back up requests. Their abysmal behavior and the total failure of their overseas policies speak for themselve’s

Bugdust172 on December 14, 2015 at 8:08 PM