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HomeNewsPoliticsEXCLUSIVE: Benghazi Email Probe Shows Panetta, Clinton Lied About Rescue Efforts

EXCLUSIVE: Benghazi Email Probe Shows Panetta, Clinton Lied About Rescue Efforts


Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta laughs alongside former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prior to presenting her with the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service during a ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. on February 14, 2013. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was called to testify behind closed doors on Friday by the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking Democrat on the committee, told reporters that lawmakers have learned nothing new from the meetings this week.

Gen. David Petraeus, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, testified ahead of Panetta on Wednesday to discuss the circumstances surrounding the lack of military response to the attacks that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. The committee probed Petraeus about the rescue assets available that night and the contents of the CIA instant messaging program called Sametime, which has never been reviewed by prior investigators, not excluding the Benghazi select committee.

Yet, Rep. Cummings and committee Democrats insist Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and House Republicans are wasting taxpayer money by prolonging the investigation in an effort to damage former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just in time for the presidential election. However, according to emails obtained by PPD and Judicial Watch, as well as sources close to the investigation, the evidence shows both Panetta and Clinton lied to the public and Congress.

Sources tell PPD that the evidence in total contradicts statements made by Panetta under oath before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2013, as well as multiple statements on multiple occasions by 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 first wave of the attack had begun.

“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.”

From: Bash, Jeremy CIV SD [REDACTED]
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 7:19 PM
To: Sullivan, Jacob J; Sherman, Wendy R; Nides, Thomas R
Cc: Miller, James HON OSD POLICY; Wienefeld, James A ADM JSC VCJCS; Kelly, John LtGen SD; martin, dempsey [REDACTED]
Subject: Libya

State colleagues:

I just tried you on the phone but you were all in with S [apparent reference to then-Secretary of State Hillary 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].


That leaves plenty of time on the established timeline of attack to at least make the argument for assets preventing–or, at least blunting–the second wave on the CIA annex. The first assault occurred at the main compound at about 9:40 pm local time–3:40 p.m. ET in Washington, DC. The second attack on a CIA annex 1.2 miles away began three hours later, at about 12 am local time the following morning–6 p.m. ET.

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.

Matt Wolking, spokesman for the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said in December when approached with the emails obtained by PPD that lawmakers also obtained the email and would address it in the final report. Chairman Gowdy, a former prosecutor, no doubt called Panetta to testify behind closed doors after Gen. Petraeus and, before Bash, for a reason. Mr. Wolking’s comment also came before the committee announced the updated schedule of witness testimony, which also shows Bash is slated to testify on Wednesday, January 13.

Panetta, a longtime Clinton confident and ally, was the only cabinet official known to have personally met with the president the night of the attack. The mainstream media must be forced to cover the indisputable evidence. And, even when they do, there is certainly no assurance that they will cover the facts honestly. In fact, during her 11-hour testimony in October, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, hit Mrs. Clinton with the smoking gun email related to the fabricated YouTube video narrative.

Media headline: “Hillary Emerges Unscathed!”

Sure, that may sound true if you first, ignore the fact Mrs. Clinton said it was a YouTube video that caused the attack in Benghazi, not terrorism. Then, forget the story was changed to suggest it was a YouTube video that contributed to what might appear to be something that resembles terrorism.

Now, with the evidence out there for anyone to Google, the narrative has transformed yet again into an unfortunate act of terrorism that had nothing to do with a failure of leadership but everything to do with GOP-pushed spending cuts. According to a recent interview, Mrs. Clinton now says the families of the Benghazi victims are lying about her telling them a video was the catalyst for the attack.

PPD has already thoroughly exposed the YouTube video scandal in detail, but the greater scandal is lying about why the Obama administration abandoned four Americans serving their country to die. Immediately after the attack, both Panetta and Clinton maintained that there were no military assets that could have arrived at the mission in time to save American lives. Mr. Panetta repeated as much during a television interview Thursday night, while Mrs. Clinton insisted “responsible” investigations concluded this was true during the December interview with the Conway Daily Sun Editorial Board.

“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.”

Stevens is the first U.S. ambassador killed in an attack since Adolph Dubs was killed in 1979. Sadly, Democrats, including one that referred to him as her friend, left him and three other Americans to their deaths and, now, they are all too happy to sweep them and the true causes they died for under the rug.

Written by

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

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