Before I begin, I don’t think Hillary Clinton does not care about the people who suffered in Benghazi. More so, I am deeply concerned about her priorities which, I believe, are an important revelation into her core beliefs and character.
With Americans dead at the Diplomatic Mission compound in Benghazi and more awaiting rescue, Hillary Clinton and President Obama’s team spent over two hours in a meeting trying to decide what clothes the rescue team should wear. This may read like fiction or political spin, but this actually happened and is, tragically, very real. All of this is well documented in the .
Three times over the long meeting, Secretary Clinton and her team ordered the Marines to change from their uniforms to civilian clothes or the reverse – all while these Marines patiently sat on a plane waiting to head to the aid of the struggling Americans in Benghazi. Trying to withstand attack after attack, these people were fighting desperately to stay alive long enough for our government to send help…and they did hold out for close to eight hours. Help, however, never came from our government.
Again, this is not hearsay or rumor, but the official testimony from 81 people involved in many different levels of this event, plus email conversations of the major officials in Washington. This all makes up the that details the no-response from Washington that left our ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, State Department Information Officer Sean Smith and two agents, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, dead.
Why would Clinton and her team be so concerned about clothes that a small group of Marines wore on a rescue mission? Testimony and emails revealed it was due to concerns about political aesthetics. Secretary Clinton and members of her team were worried that uniformed Marines showing up in Benghazi might look to others like an invasion. She knew Americans were under assault and it would only be a small team of Marines being sent to help, yet she still put the clothing question ahead of the immediacy of saving lives. There certainly would have been plenty of time after saving people from the carnage to explain what happened to anyone concerned about an invasion. We all need to decide if the clothing concern is more important than speed in rescuing people. I certainly know how Clinton ranks these priorities…and I know how I rank them.
For seven hours after learning the ambassador’s compound was under attack, the Clinton and Obama teams had not moved a single asset to aid Ambassador Steven’s or the agents under fire. Clinton has since stated that there was not enough time. We now know that there was more than enough time. In fact, in far less time, four soldiers ignored the fact that there was no deploy order from Washington and, without Washington knowing, convinced a private charter plane owner to fly them from Tripoli to Benghazi, then made many phone calls from the Benghazi airport to friendly Libyan’s hoping to find a ride to the hospital where Ambassador Stevens was thought to be. When they were unable to get a ride to the hospital, they found a Libyan militia that would only transport them to a CIA annex about a mile away from the besieged diplomatic compound.
There was plenty of time for Clinton and her team to save people in Benghazi…they simply thought other concerns were more important.
As I wrote at the beginning, I in no way think Hillary Clinton did not want to save Ambassador Stevens and Diplomatic Officer Sean Smith. They both worked for her and she knew Stevens well. One of her most revealing errors of judgement comes in her apparent apathy towards the Security Agents in Benghazi. These people were definitely abandoned by Clinton and our government. Once Clinton and her team found out that Stevens and Smith were dead, they completely shifted the rescue team to Tripoli and left the Americans still fighting for their lives to find their own way out of Libya or die trying. Two people did die trying. These two people were two that came on their own initiative to save other’s lives: Tyrone Woods and Gen Doherty. Hillary Clinton and her State Department knew they were people were there still under attack, but she decided not to help them. This awful fact is . She knew the ambassador and seemed interested in saving him if she could. The other Americans appear not to be worth the effort to Hillary Clinton. Those people were important to their families. For this, no amount of outrage is enough.
Also published on Medium.