Saturday, May 18, 2013


 if I were investigating Benghazi, I’d be homing in on that 10 p.m. phone call. That’s the one between President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — the one that’s gotten close to zero attention. 
Benghazi is not a scandal because of Ambassador Susan Rice, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, and “talking points.” The scandal is about Rice and Nuland’s principals, and about what the talking points were intended to accomplish. 
Benghazi is about derelictions of duty by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton before and during the massacre of our ambassador and three other American officials, as well as Obama and Clinton’s fraud on the public afterward. 
A good deal of media attention has quite appropriately been lavished on e-mail traffic between mid-level administration officials in the days leading up to Sunday, September 16. That is the day when Ms. Rice, a close Obama confidant, made her appalling appearances on the Sunday-morning political shows. Those performances were transparently designed to mislead the American people, during the presidential campaign stretch run, into believing that an anti-Islamic Internet video — rather than a coordinated terrorist attack orchestrated by al-Qaeda affiliates, coupled with the Obama administration’s gross failure to secure and defend American personnel in Benghazi — was responsible for the killings.  
 ... I am puzzled why so little attention has been paid to the Obama-Clinton phone call at 10 p.m. on the night of September 11.... We have heard almost nothing about what Obama was doing that night. Back in February, though, CNS News did manage to pry one grudging disclosure out of White House mendacity mogul Jay Carney: “At about 10 p.m., the president called Secretary Clinton to get an update on the situation.” 
... Carney’s hand was forced by then-secretary Clinton. 
Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January, she recounted first learning at about 4 p.m. on September 11 that the State Department facility in Benghazi was under attack. That was very shortly after the siege started. 
Over the hours that followed, Clinton stated, “we were in continuous meetings and conversations, both within the department, with our team in Tripoli, with the interagency and internationally.” It was in the course of this “constant ongoing discussion and sets of meetings” that Clinton then recalled: “I spoke with President Obama later in the evening to, you know, bring him up to date, to hear his perspective.” 
Yes, the 10 p.m. phone call. 
... We also know that at 8 p.m. Washington time, Hicks spoke directly with Clinton and some of her top advisers by telephone. Not only was it apparent that a terrorist attack involving al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Sharia was underway, but Hicks’s two most profound fears at the time he briefed Clinton centered on those terrorists: First, there were reports that Ambassador Stevens might be in the clutches of the terrorists at a hospital they controlled; second, there were rumblings that a similar attack on the embassy in Tripoli could be imminent, convincing Hicks that State Department personnel should evacuate. He naturally conveyed these developments to his boss, the secretary of state. Clinton, he recalled, agreed that evacuation was the right course. 
At about 9 p.m. Washington time, Hicks learned from the Libyan prime minister that Stevens was dead. Hicks said he relayed all significant developments on to Washington as the evening progressed — although he did not speak directly to Secretary Clinton again after the 8 p.m. briefing. 
That is the context of the 10 p.m. phone call between the president and the secretary of state. 
We do not have a recording of this call, and neither Clinton nor the White House has described it beyond noting that it happened. But we do know that, just a few minutes after Obama called Clinton, the Washington press began reporting that the State Department had issued a statement by Clinton regarding the Benghazi attack. In it, she asserted: 
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 others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. 
Gee, what do you suppose Obama and Clinton talked about in that 10 p.m. call?




  1. And wasn't the timing of the revelation of the Petraeus scandal interesting, too? Just sayin'.

    With all the snakiness going on, I'm starting to question a lot of things. Know what I mean?