Days after two federal court judges granted Judicial Watch discovery into Hillary Clinton Freedom of Information Act issues, the State Department released transcripts of phone calls between then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and various world leaders in the hours and days following the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
The attack left a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans dead.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton wrote, “There are two scandals here. The first is Hillary Clinton was telling different stories to different foreign leaders about the Benghazi attack — including an admission that it was a terrorist attack. The second is the State Department’s cover-up of these documents. The State Department is forcing Judicial Watch to play ‘whack-a-mole’ with Clinton and Benghazi documents. It is no wonder that two frustrated federal court judges granted Judicial Watch discovery into the Clinton FOIA issues.”
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Under court order, the State Department released 11 documents in response to the Judicial Watch request with large blocks of information redacted. Those documents reveal:
- At 6:49 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2012, Clinton spoke with Libyan General National Congress President Mohammed Magariaf and admitted she knew Ansar as-Sharia was claiming responsibility for the “gun battle” and subsequent deaths of U.S. personnel, and asked for his help to “secure our compounds” in Tripoli.
- At 10:08 p.m., Clinton issued a statement putting the blame of the attacks on a supposedly inflammatory internet video in her White House-approved statement:
“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.”
- At 3:04 p.m on Sept. 12, Clinton spoke with Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil (text of the conversation was heavily redacted by the State Department) and admitted to Kandil the attack in Libya “had nothing to do with the film.” Clinton also said the group responsible for the attack, “was affiliated with al Qaeda.”
- At 1:11 p.m., Clinton spoke with Afghan President Hamid Karzai where Clinton expressed her gratitude for Karzai making a statement against the anti-Islam internet video and the “fringe group” reportedly responsible for the attack.
- At 5:05 p.m. on Sept. 14, Clinton spoke with Tunisian Prime Minister Jebali and implied the terrorist attacks against U.S. personnel in Libya were the “actions of a mob” to which Jebali responded the actions were “terrorist actions.”
- At 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 15, Clinton allowed the anti-Islam video narrative to be the justification for the attacks while speaking with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
While the heavily redacted transcripts fall short of full disclosure, what can be concluded from the above transcripts is the same conclusion reached by Judicial Watch: Two different narratives were issued.
The one given to the American people (not believed by many) was the attacks were not a commemoration of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and were simply the result of an inflammatory internet video which agitated a Libyan mob to attack and kill Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. personnel.
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The other narrative, told by Clinton, was the actual truth that the attacks were a coordinated “gun battle” by an al-Qaeda linked group.
It seems Clinton had one false narrative she told over and over again, and allowed others to believe, while she selectively shared the other narrative with world leaders aware of the truth.