Internal Emails: State Dept. Immediately Attributed Benghazi Attacks to Terrorist Group
Excuse me while I emphasize that headline:
Internal Emails: State Dept. Immediately
Attributed Benghazi Attacks to Terrorist Group
A newly-released government email indicates that within hours of the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya; the State Department had already concluded with certainty that the Islamic militia terrorist group Ansar al Sharia was to blame.
The private, internal communication directly contradicts the message that President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and White House press secretary Jay Carney repeated publicly over the course of the next several weeks.
They often maintained that an anti-Islamic YouTube video inspired a spontaneous demonstration that escalated into violence.
The email is entitled “Libya update from Beth Jones. ” Jones was then-Assistant Secretary of State to Hillary Clinton. According to the email, Jones spoke to Libya’s Ambassador at9:45am on Sept. 12, 2012 following the attacks.
“When [the Libyan Ambassador] said his government suspected that former Qaddafi regimeelements carried out the attacks, I told him the group that conducted the attacks—AnsarAl Sharia—is affiliated with Islamic extremists,” Jones reports in the email.
There is no uncertainty assigned to the assessment, which does not mention a video or a protest. The State Department provided the email to Congress in Aug. of 2013 under special conditions that it not be publicly released at that time. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sought and received permission to release it Thursday.
“If the video was a cause, why did Beth Jones of the State Department tell the Libyan Ambassador that Ansar Al Sharia was responsible for the attack?” said Chaffetz.
Geez, since when does the Executive Branch get to dictate conditions not tied to immediate national security interests under which the information it releases can be made public?
We all know what should be done next, and we all know what won’t be done next.