Monday, November 2, 2015

Latest emails put the lie to Hillary's excuse for ignoring pleas for Benghazi security - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

There is a lot of competition, but this is one of the more nauseating aspects of the scandalous behavior of Hillary Clinton in the wake of the Benghazi attack.

One of the more nauseating aspects (and there is a lot of competition) of the scandalous behavior of Hillary Clinton in the wake of the Benghazi attack was the manner in which she affected a close relationship with “Chris” Stevens, the ambassador sent to do her bidding who was brutally tortured and murdered because she didn’t have any interest in his pleas for extra security.  She maintained in her testimony to the Gowdy Committee that such matters don’t reach her desk.

Yet the latest batch of emails released in a Friday-afternoon document dump reveals that that is not true.  Nick Gass, Josh Gerstein, and Rachel Bade write in Politico:
[An] email shows Clinton getting briefed on embassy security issues, despite her contention at last week's House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing that she did not directly deal with security matters.
When Republicans tried to buttonhole Clinton because State declined numerous requests for additional security at the Benghazi compound that was later over-run, Clinton largely waved them off. Those requests for more protection, she argued several times that day, went to people who deal with security — not her, personally.
One email from April 23, 2009, however, shows top State aide Huma Abedin updating Clinton on a few embassy security issues. In a series of bullet points sent to “H2” at 8:34 a.m., Abedin listed steps State was taking to secure Afghanistan and Pakistan embassies, including “increasing the number of hooches, and doubling up staff in lodging.”
“[W]e need to improve the security perimeter — acquiring property adjacent to our current facilities in Kabul, which is now difficult to secure,” one bullet reads. “Long-term, we need embassies in these countries adequate to serve the mission. It's not so long ago our Embassy in Islamabad was torched; we need a facility which is structurally sound. In Kabul, we need facilities adequate to size the mission needed.”
It was not clear, though, if Clinton responded to the email or followed up in any other way.
Another newly released Libya email forwarded to Clinton and her top policy staffer Jake Sullivan, dated about a year before the Benghazi attack, warned of Islamist threats in Libya that could turn eventually pose a serious danger. State Department policy planning official Andrew Miller sent Sullivan a memo warning that once Qaddafi was ousted, Islamist groups that had focused their energy on canning the brutal dictator could turn their attention elsewhere and become violent.
"Once operations against Qadhafi and the regime are wrapped up, this force for unity is likely to dissipate,” Miller wrote. Sullivan forwarded the memo to Clinton, who asked her staff to “pls print.” “It is at this point that militias, including the Islamists, will probably abandon caution and pursue a more aggressive campaign for power, perhaps including violence.”
These exchanges show that she did consider security issues, even in Libya, making her cold shoulder to Stevens all the more egregious.

Other emails released show that while Stevens did not have access to her private email account, Ben Affleck did.  Bradford Richardson reports in The Hill:
The “Good Will Hunting” and “Argo” star emailed the former secretary of State on April 16, 2012, about an initiative he was starting to provide security sector reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Clinton acknowledged in a hearing last week that former U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, did not have her personal email address.
Too bad for Stevens that he wasn’t a celebrity.  Hillary even had time to consider lobbying for composer Marvin Hamlisch.  The Politico piece reports:
In another email chain, Clinton expressed hesitance about the protocol of helping out a famous friend. She received at least three emails from chief of staff Cheryl Mills pertaining to a request from a former ambassador asking the secretary of state to lobby for composer Marvin Hamlisch to receive Kennedy Center honors. Clinton, noted Fay Hartog Levin, was a friend and fan of the musician.
After the ambassador followed up again to see about a letter or a call, Mills asked Clinton her thoughts.
"Sure. I'll do, but didn't know that was appropriate. Can you ask Ann Stock. I'd like to support him in best way possible," she wrote.
Too bad for “Chris” Stevens he wasn’t important enough.

Thomas Lifson


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