A newly released email from Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State shows that the United States embassy in Tripoli, Libya, begged the State Department to stop falsely claiming an inflammatory video played a role in the attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.
In the days immediately after the Benghazi attack, Clinton and other Obama administration officials frequently claimed that protests over an inflammatory video led to the deaths of four Americans. While Clinton was privately communicating to family members and foreign officials that the compound had been attacked by Al Qaeda-linked elements, her public statements focused on the video. In the hours after the attack, she said:
“Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” Clinton said. “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. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”
A few days later, at a “Transfer of Remains Ceremony to Honor Those Lost in Attacks in Benghazi, Libya,” she said:
This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable.
During this time, talking points were rewritten by Obama Administration officials to give the impression that spontaneous protests over a video — and not a sophisticated pre-planned attack at an under-secured American facility — were to blame.
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