WASHINGTON, DC – We all remember September 11, 2012. Only eleven years after the worst terrorist attack on American soil, four brave Americans were killed at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.
You might recall that was the case where then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others in the Obama administration blamed the release of an “inflammatory film” for the attack. That was their story and they were sticking to it.
On Wednesday, Judicial Watch announced that it had obtained new State Department documents from the evening of Sept. 12, 2012, in which Clinton told the Egyptian Prime Minister at the time, Hisham Kandil, that the attack “had nothing to do with the film.”
Judicial Watch said that the documents included “previously unreleased telephone transcripts with world leaders about the Benghazi attack.”
In fact, Clinton’s conversation with the prime minister was actually first produced to the Select Committee on Benghazi on October 13, 2015 and was publicized on the day of Clinton’s testimony on October 22 of that same year.
However, court filings in Judicial Watch litigation indicated that two federal judges had ordered the State Department to produce more Benghazi-related records to Judicial Watch.
Along with that, Judicial Watch litigation also compelled the release of a Clinton email dated September 11, 2012 in which she notified her daughter Chelsea that the attack had in fact been pulled off by an “Al Qaeda-like group,” once again dismissing the narrative that it was the result of “inflammatory material posted on the Internet” as Clinton had asserted in her public statement only one hour earlier.
“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 other.
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.”
In Clinton’s conversation the next day with Kandil, Clinton told him, “We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack—not a protest.”
“You’re not kidding. Based on the information we saw today we believe that group that claimed responsibility for this is affiliated with al-Qaeda.”
Still, Clinton had her story and she was sticking to it. Two days later, when the bodies of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the other three Americans killed at the compound arrived in the U.S., she basically doubled down on her lie that it was due to the video:
“This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men.
We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.”
Judicial Watch obtained the information last month from the State Department. According to the State Department, the records were found along with thousands of new Clinton State Department records which were allegedly found in December 2015, which was two months after the Kandil document was produced to the Benghazi Committee.
Judicial Watch was able to obtain 11 documents from the State Department that were released under court order, which had large portions redacted. Among the documents were phone conversations between Clinton and foreign dignitaries and heads of state during the attack period on the consulate.
A September 15, 2012 call with then-Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr had Clinton speaking to the “stupid, very offensive film” as the cause of the violence at the consulate. Clinton told Amr:
“I have repeatedly, as has the President and other officials in our government, deplored not only the content of this stupid, very offensive film…
But we have to exercise more self-discipline…otherwise we’ll be in a vicious downward circle against everyone who has ever felt offended, particularly on the internet…”
Of course, there wouldn’t be anything involving Clinton that wouldn’t also have some type of tie-in to the Clinton Foundation. Judicial watch found that in her call with Amr, there was what they called a “curious reference” to what Clinton called a “very successful investment visit let by my deputy Tom Nides,” noting that on the “very day they left this series of incidents began to unfold.”
The Washington Post noted that Nides, deputy secretary for management and resources at the State Department, was also responsible at the same time with “communicating with donors” to…the Clinton Foundation.
Nides also had ties into a scandal where Clinton was trying to “provide special access to State Department officials for hedge fund clients of her son-in-law, Marc Mezinsky.”
September 15, 2012 had then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice making the round on the Sunday morning talking head shows, where she also blamed the video. She told Jake Tapper then of ABC:
“But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous—not a premeditated—response to what transpired in Cairo.
In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.”
Judicial Watch noted that there were a couple of issues which they found to be problematic, according to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“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,” Fitton said.
“The second,” he concluded, “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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