May 23, 2015

BYRON YORK: Clinton emails silent on deadly danger facing Americans in Benghazi.

The newly released Hillary Clinton Benghazi emails do not contain any communications relating to security from the critical last month before the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. facility in Libya. During that period, Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who along with three other Americans would die in the attack, warned Clinton and other State Department officials of a growing danger, indeed a security emergency, in Libya. Stevens specifically noted that the possibility of an attack on Americans was growing, and, if such an attack occurred, the U.S. contingent did not have the strength to repel it. But to judge from the emails made public Friday, Clinton gave not a thought to the matter.

Go back to August 2012. On the 15th of that month, U.S. security officers in Libya held an “emergency” meeting to address the very real possibility that growing violence in the area could soon target Americans. The next day, Aug. 16, Stevens sent a cable to Clinton concluding that the Americans in Libya could not defend U.S. facilities “in the event of a coordinated attack, due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support, and the overall size of the compound.”

It was a clear call for help, one that, judging by the newly-public emails, went entirely unheard at the highest level of the State Department. Apart from some hugger-mugger analyses of Libyan politics by Clinton’s friend Sidney Blumenthal, there is nothing at all in the emails concerning Benghazi from the month before the attack. . . .

The period leading up to the Benghazi attacks is the most critical time in the entire tragic episode. What did Clinton know about the danger to American officials there, and what did she do about it? That is the key question of Benghazi. What happened afterward — the blame-the-video spin — can be interpreted as an attempt to cover up Clinton’s inaction before the attack. Yes, the spin campaign was dishonest. But the more serious offense was allowing the conditions that led to the deaths of Stevens and three other Americans. The crime is worse than the cover-up. And if Republicans thought they would receive any new information in the Clinton-edited version of the emails released Friday, they will surely be disappointed.

Contrast Hillary’s earlier “We came, we saw, he died.”

Related: Pew: Hillary’s ‘favorability’ plummets 17 points, lowest in 7 years.

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