Scandal: Documents from Judicial Watch show that Hillary Clinton's closest advisers knew from the onset, before she launched an inflammatory video lie, that Benghazi was a terrorist attack for which Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility.
'Mrs. Clinton, name an accomplishment," Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO and prospective 2016 GOP presidential candidate, asked Thursday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
Last year, when ABC's Diane Sawyer asked the former secretary of state that question, Mrs. Clinton changed the subject, not even bothering to mention dodging sniper fire in Bosnia.
Nor is she likely to mention Benghazi, a place now synonymous with the failure of the foreign policy she helped orchestrate. Benghazi has become yet another example of why our friends don't trust us and our enemies don't fear us.
As we have noted, at 10:07 p.m. Washington, D.C., time on Sept. 11, 2012, Clinton's State Department issued a statement that read: "Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to an inflammatory material posted on the Internet. ... Let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind."
This was the origin of the lie that the Benghazi terrorist attack was caused by an Internet video offensive to Muslims.
It would be a lie Hillary Clinton would repeat to the parents of the Benghazi dead in front of their sons' caskets when they arrived at Andrews AFB.
It would be repeated by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on the Sunday talk show circuit and by President Obama no fewer than six times before the United Nations.
This was an all-too-quick and curious assignment of blame that flew in the face of information flowing to the State Department confirming a terrorist attack.
Last Thursday, Judicial Watch issued a press release announcing that on Feb. 11 it had "uncovered documents from the U.S. Department of State revealing that top aides for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, including her then-chief of staff Cheryl Mills, knew from the onset that the Benghazi mission compound was under attack by armed assailants tied to a terrorist group."
The documents, obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, make no mention of a reaction to an Internet video.
But they do contain references to an attack for which the al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia had taken credit, information available to the State Department before it released the statement implicating a video.
On Sept. 11, 2012, at 4:07 p.m. Eastern time, Maria Sand, then-special assistant to Mrs. Clinton, forwarded an email from the State Department's Operation Center entitled "U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi is Under Attack" to Mills and other State Department officials, including Joseph McManus, then Clinton's special assistant.
That email read, in part: "The Regional Security Officer reports the diplomatic mission is under attack. Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well."
There was no mention of any spontaneous protest beforehand.
Another email, sent at 6:06 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2012, to Mills and McManus with the subject line "Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility For Benghazi Attack (SBU)," said "(SBU) Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and call for attack on Embassy Tripoli."
Congressional and eyewitness testimony since has confirmed that while there was much information and knowledge from the outset that it was a terrorist attack, there was none — not even in any emails to and from Clinton's State Department — that a video played any part.
Hillary Clinton wrote a book called "Hard Choices" in which she could have come clean about the Benghazi tragedy. Instead, the choice she made was to protect her political future.
Meanwhile, we're still waiting, along with Carly Fiorina, for a list of Hillary Clinton's accomplishments.
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