“Our military did everything they could. They turned over every rock. They tried to deploy as best they could to try to get to Benghazi. It was beyond the geographic range. They didn’t have assets nearby because we don’t have a lot of installations and military personnel that are in that immediate region.” — Hillary Clinton, testifying before the House Select Committee on Benghazi
This, it turns out, was the Second Great Benghazi Lie. The second of many.
First, the administration told us the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous reaction to an offensive YouTube video, a claim that collapsed quickly under mounting evidence that proved the attacks were coordinated and pre-planned by terrorists — and had nothing to do with a YouTube video.
Now, thanks to a federal Freedom of Information Act lawsuit launched by Judicial Watch, an email has just been released that belies the administration’s claim that U.S. forces were unavailable or unable to mount a rescue operation in time to save our people in Benghazi, Libya.
The email in question was sent the night of the attack, Sept. 11, 2012, at 7:19 p.m. EST by then-Department of Defense Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash to Clinton’s closest aides, including Jacob Sullivan, her deputy chief of staff at the time, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, and Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides. It reads:
“I just tried you on the phone but you were all in with (Secretary Clinton).
“After consulting with General Dempsey, General Ham and the Joint Staff, we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak. They include a (REDACTED).
“Assuming Principals agree to deploy these elements, we will ask State to procure the approval from host nation. Please advise how you wish to convey that approval to us (REDACTED).”
Clearly, when former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta — Bash’s boss at the time — told the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2013 that “time, distance, the lack of an adequate warning, events that moved very quickly on the ground prevented a more immediate response,” he was lying.
When the State Department Accountability Review Board concluded that “the interagency response was timely and appropriate, but there simply was not enough time for armed U.S. military assets to have made a difference,” it was lying.
The email proves that U.S. forces were mobilized and ready to go hours before the second assault on the CIA annex.
When Clinton told the House Select Committee on Benghazi that U.S. installations in Benghazi were “beyond the geographic range” of the military and that “they didn’t have assets nearby,” she was lying.
While admittedly the military may not have been able to respond to the first assault that ended in the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, the email proves that U.S. forces were mobilized and ready to go hours before the second assault on the CIA annex that claimed the lives of Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and two CIA operatives, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former Navy SEALs.
This shocking revelation reveals not only a gross dereliction of duty in the upper echelons of the Obama administration, but sadly also a gross dereliction of duty among the media. There was a time not so long ago when, regardless of political ideology, most journalists pursued the truth — the one and only thing to which they were completely loyal — at all costs.
The facts of Benghazi have instead been uncovered by a House committee and non-mainstream media outlets like Judicial Watch with a dedication to holding the administration accountable.
As U.S. forces were “spinning up” for an operation that would never be green-lighted, Clinton and company were likely discussing how they would spin the truth surrounding the events unfolding that night, no doubt thanking their lucky stars that even the most respected journalists at the most respected publications are now apparently content to take whatever “truth” government officials provide at face value.