Yet another Benghazi lie has unraveled with the release of documents obtained as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch. The newly obtained emails shared with People’s Pundit Daily contradict statements made by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta under oath before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2013, as well as multiple statements on multiple occasions by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
An email from then-Department of Defense Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash to State Department leadership shows the Pentagon immediately offered “forces that could move to Benghazi” during the initial wave of the terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. The email, which was sent to top Department of State officials, at 7:19 p.m. ET, came only hours after the attack had begun and leaves plenty of time to prevent the second wave on the annex.
“I just tried you on the phone but you were all in with S [reference to “Secretary” Clinton],” Bash wrote. “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.”
Unfortunately, the documents show Clinton never responded to the offer from the Pentagon, and four Americans tragically lost their lives that night. The timing and content of the email is significant because 1) it contradicts the story top Obama administration officials told in the wake of the attack and, 2) because of the congressional testimony by Gregory Hicks, then-Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. embassy in Tripoli and highest ranking State Department official on the ground at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attack.
“If we had been able to scramble a fighter or aircraft or two over Benghazi as quickly as possible after the attack commenced, I believe there would not have been a mortar attack on the annex in the morning because I believe the Libyans would have split,” Hicks told members of Congress. “They would have been scared to death that we would have gotten a laser on them and killed them.”
Hicks’ assertion during his testimony before Congress was also backed up CIA-contracted operators that came forward in the years following the attack, all of which claimed they were given a “stand down” order during the early stages of the eight-hour siege. It is undoubtedly the consensus that a show of force by the U.S. military during that time would have prevented casualties after the initial wave of the attack, which eventually claimed the lives of Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith and two former Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
Three operators who fought side-by-side with Woods and Doherty went so far as to claim that Ambassador Chris Stevens would likely have lived if the weren’t given the order.
In the end, they disobeyed the order after roughly 30 minutes and traveled from Tripoli to Benghazi to provide support to U.S. personnel, but it was too late.
“The Obama administration and Clinton officials hid this compelling Benghazi email for years,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The email makes readily apparent that the military was prepared to launch immediate assistance that could have made a difference, at least at the CIA Annex. The fact that the Obama Administration withheld this email for so long only worsens the scandal of Benghazi.”
Matt Wolking, spokesman for the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said Wednesday that lawmakers investigating the terror attack obtained the email and will address it in the final report.
“The Select Committee has obtained and reviewed tens of thousands of documents in the course of its thorough, fact-centered investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attacks, and this information will be detailed in the final report the Committee hopes to release within the next few months,” Wolking said in a statement. “While the Committee does not rush to release or comment on every document it uncovers, I can confirm that we obtained the unredacted version of this email last year, in addition to Jake Sullivan’s response.”
Meanwhile, during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” last Sunday, Clinton, now the Democratic frontrunner for the presidential nomination, said she did not lie to the families of the Benghazi victims when she erroneously blamed the YouTube video for the attack. Clinton claimed instead she was caught up in “the fog of war.”
However, as PPD has extensively repeatedly reported (here and here), Clinton and her aides–including Cheryl Mills–knew the YouTube video was a ruse and, in fact, played a central role in manufacturing the story, Yet, Mrs. Clinton conscientiously lied to the Benghazi victims’ families in the wake of the attack, and repeatedly lied to media, lawmakers in Congress and the American people.
George Stephanopoulos, a longtime Clinton ally now posing as a journalist, asked about another separate email uncovered by the select committee showing Hillary had told the Egyptian prime minister “we know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film,” prior to telling the victims’ families and America it was a YouTube video that caused the attack.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, hit Hillary Clinton with the smoking gun at the House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing in October. Jordan introduced e-mails that show the former secretary of state calling the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya terrorism to family and the Egyptian prime minister.
Worth noting, recently uncovered emails shared with PPD also showed that Clinton slept through efforts to hold a high-level security meeting the morning after the Benghazi terror attack.