Hillary Clinton apparently believes that the U.S. “didn’t lose a single person” in Libya.
The Democrat frontrunner made this statement during a recent town hall that was hosted by and televised on the MSNBC network.
In the heat of the moment perhaps, Clinton forgot about the terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy compound in Benghazi in which four Americans were murdered on September 11, 2012: Ambassador Christopher Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALS Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.
Many critics on both sides of the aisle have criticized the U.S. intervention/regime change in Libya while Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state which toppled dictator Muammar Qaddafi but turned the country into an ISIS enclave.
“Now, is Libya perfect? It isn’t…Libya was a different kind of calculation. And we didn’t lose a single person. We didn’t have a problem in supporting our European and Arab allies in working with NATO…” Clinton told MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews.
“But her comments ignore the 2012 attacks at the U.S. mission and CIA outpost in Benghazi, which killed four people including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens,” Politico noted.
U.S. officials originally blamed the terrorist attack on protests over an obscure anti-Islam YouTube video rather than a terrorist attack, a claim that has since been discredited. One of Hillary Clinton’s released emails apparently indicates that she knew that the Benghazi attack was unrelated to the video, even though she and other government officials allegedly told the families at the September 14, 2012, funeral ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base otherwise.
Critics have also argued that the attack was downplayed to avoid impacting the Obama reelection effort.
A 2014 House Intelligence Committee report indicated that the CIA and the military acted properly in Benghazi, although a further investigation headed by U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy is ongoing.
On October 22, 2015, Hillary Clinton testified at length before Congress about Benghazi, prompting most of the news media to deem the matter closed. It remains to be seen if the Benghazi victim families will ever get closure.
Earlier this month during the CNN Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton claimed that Pat Smith was “absolutely wrong” in her criticism of what was said at the time. Clinton has previously attributed the confusion to the fog of war.
In a recent appearance on the Fox Business Channel, Mrs. Smith again addressed the Benghazi matter as it relates to Hillary Clinton and categorically denied that politics has anything to do with it.
Mrs. Smith has repeatedly insisted on national TV that she has been unsuccessful in obtaining a straight answer from the Obama administration as to exactly what occurred at the Benghazi outpost or why the administration never deployed a military rescue team.
“I was there. We were nose to nose at the coffin ceremony. She lied to me. She told me it was a fault of the video. I said ‘are you sure?’ And she said ‘yes, that’s what it was. It was a video.’ And she knew full well it wasn’t at that time. And then she says, she was going to check, and if it’s any different, she would call me back. She would let me know. She has never once spoken to me, or her office. The only thing I ever got out of them is that I am not a member of the immediate family, and I don’t need to know.”
Smith claims she spoke with her son on the day of the attack, and he expressed concern about the lack of security for the American personnel there.
In a callback to Madeline Albright’s controversial statement (for which she subsequently apologized) about women failing to support other women in connection with the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, Smith concluded the interview as follows.
“I want to speak to [Hillary Clinton] personally, and I want to be able to ask her what happened, and I want her to be able to tell me what happened. I don’t believe she’s got the guts to do that. As Madeleine Albright said, there’s special place in hell for people like her, and I hope she enjoys it there.”
Hillary Clinton also got into some difficulties by asserting in another town hall that “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” Her campaign subsequently walked back that declaration.
[Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP)