According to documents revealed as part of the ongoing Congressional hearings on Benghazi, then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told then-Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil in a phone call the day after the attack on the U.S. consulate, "We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack—not a protest."
The film Clinton refers to is the 10 minute Youtube trailer for the ultra-low budget anti-Islam movie "Innocence of Muslims," which she and other senior Obama administration officials, including President Obama himself, almost immediately began casting as a scapegoat for the attacks. Those attacks, however, were already understood by senior administration officials to be a planned and coordinated attack, and very much not what then-ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice called a "a spontaneous reaction to a video."
Clinton also reportedly emailed her daughter Chelsea, who used the pseudonym Diane Reynolds when communicating with her mother via her private email account, on the night of the attacks, telling her that the consulate had been attacked by an "Al Queda-like group." (sic)
That same night, in her first statement following the attacks on 9/11/12, Clinton wrote:
"Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted to the Internet."
When challenged about that characterization at today's hearings by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Clinton refused to admit that the administration blamed the video for the attacks, saying:
And if you look at what I said, I referred to the video that night in a very specific way. I said, some have sought to justify the attack because of the video.
I used those words deliberately, not to ascribe a motive to every attacker but as a warning to those across the region that there was no justification for further attacks.
My colleague Matt Welch wrote up this helpful and infuriating roundup of the administration officials and distinguished members of the intelligentsia who advocated for everything from imprisonment for the filmmaker (who would be imprisoned for a parole violation committed when he uploaded the video) to calls for "free speech to yield to other values."
In 2013, Reason TV produced "3 Reasons Why Benghazi Still Matters," and today's revelations prove that even now, it still does:
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