The State Dept. Is Still Covering for Clinton and Obama’s Benghazi Lies

In March, the State Department quietly released records relevant to the Obama administration’s response to the September 11, 2012, Benghazi terrorist attack. Included were transcripts of the telephone call then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had on September 12 -- only hours after the attack ended -- with then-Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil.

As explained by Judicial Watch, whose Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the “most transparent administration in history” forced the belated disclosure, Mrs. Clinton flatly told Mr. Kandil:

We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack -- not a protest.

Kandil responded:

You’re not kidding. Based on the information we saw today, we believe the group that claimed responsibility for this is affiliated with al-Qaeda.

Of course, “the film” Clinton was referring to is Innocence of Muslims, an obscure anti-Islamic video trailer that she, President Obama, and the administration tirelessly blamed for the attacks despite -- let’s quote Clinton again -- “know[ing] the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film.”

The al-Qaeda-affiliated group to which the Egyptian prime minister referred as having claimed responsibility was Ansar al-Sharia. (On ties between Ansar al-Sharia and al-Qaeda, and between al-Qaeda affiliates and Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the only suspect charged in the Benghazi attack, read Tom Joscelyn’s Long War Journal reports: here and here.)

The fact that a jihadist organization tied to al-Qaeda had carried out the attack, in which jihadists killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans working at U.S. government facilities (the purpose of those facilities has still not been adequately explained), was also well-known to Clinton from the earliest hours of the siege.

While she and the Obama administration were publicly blaming the video.

The documents finally released to Judicial Watch by the State Department confirm that even as the attack was still raging, Clinton told Mohammed Magariaf, then-president of Libya’s stand-in government:

[T]here is a gun battle ongoing, which I understand Ansar as-Sharia is claiming responsibility for.

(See here: scroll to the transcript of the Clinton-Magariaf 9/11/12 call, finally disclosed by the State Department to Judicial Watch on March 7, 2016. In the transcript, Ansar al-Sharia is spelled “Ansar as-Sharia,” a common English rendering of the transliterated Arabic.)

Moreover, in the hours after the siege, Clinton told her daughter Chelsea that the attack had been staged by “an al-Qaeda-like group.” We know this fact only because the Judicial Watch lawsuit finally forced the administration to release Clinton’s email to her daughter.

Keep in mind the sequence of events here, which Judicial Watch rehearses in its press release and which I have previously recounted. The White House and the State Department knew from the beginning that the Benghazi siege was a pre-planned terrorist attack. But the president was then in the stretch-run of the 2012 election campaign, during which he was claiming to have both defeated al-Qaeda and liberated Libya. The latter claim was an intervention vigorously endorsed by Secretary Clinton, who was already planning her campaign to succeed Obama in the Oval Office.

Consequently, the last thing either the president or his secretary of State could afford was a graphic demonstration that al-Qaeda was alive and well and killing Americans in Libya, a country that had become a failed state and jihadist haven thanks to the Obama/Clinton policy.

So at 10 p.m., Clinton and Obama had a brief telephone conversation, the contents of which have never been disclosed. Minutes later, the State Department released a statement by Clinton that framed the attack as a protest gone awry triggered by an anti-Muslim internet video:

Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.

We now know that while Clinton was telling this to the American people, she was concurrently telling foreign officials that the attack was not a protest but a planned terrorist attack with which the “inflammatory material posted on the Internet” had nothing to do.