On Sept. 11, 2012, four Americans died in Benghazi, Libya, from a terrorist attack. This tragedy was compounded by the obsession of the White House and the State Department, under then-secretary Hillary Clinton, with preserving a political narrative. They placed politics over American lives.
It is clear the Obama administration was deeply committed to its Libya strategy. National security was a major component of the president’s re-election campaign, Secretary Clinton’s legacy, and her own potential presidential campaign.
The fact that Benghazi was a dangerous city, and that security at the State Department’s facility there was inadequate, was an open secret. A diplomatic security agent formerly stationed there referred to it as a “suicide mission,” and another said that “everybody back here in DC knows that people are going to die in Benghazi, and nobody cares and nobody is going to care until somebody does die.”
When the first wave of the assault in Benghazi started at 9:42 p.m. on Sept. 11, State Department officials in Washington. and Tripoli knew almost immediately that it was a sophisticated and coordinated terrorist attack. Despite this knowledge, no armed military assets were launched to help our fellow Americans before the fighting was over.
What did launch before the fighting ended, however, was the political spin.
At 10:08 p.m., while Tyrone Woods was still fighting from the roof of the CIA Annex, the State Department released a statement attempting to define Benghazi as a video-inspired protest gone bad.
Shortly after that statement was released, Secretary Clinton told her daughter the truth in a private email. The next day she said in a private phone call with the Egyptian prime minister “we know” it was a planned attack, and not a video-inspired protest as her own public statement suggested.
The false video narrative was further disseminated over the next few days by the White House and others — even after the truth was well known.
Reps. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, are members of the Benghazi Select Committee.