Just as outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton erupted at a Senate panel when pressed about the reason four Americans were killed in Benghazi — replying, “What difference does it make?” — a special report was released that raises additional questions.
For example, why were drones dispatched to observe the attack on the U.S. facility but no air support was sent to rescue the besieged Americans ?
And was were the Americans attacked because the administration was “involved in transporting weapons from Libya to Syrian opposition forces?”
The report, “The Benghazi Attack of September 11, 2012: Analysis and Further questions from a Diplomatic Security Service Regional Security Officer and Special Agent,” features the analysis of former State Department Agent Raymond Fournier.
It reviews the time leading up to the fatal attack in Benghazi when multiple requests for heightened security were ignored by top State Department officials. And it examines the false claim by the Obama administration that the attack was sparked by “an obscure Internet video.”
The report cites the report of the independent Accountability Review Board, which concluded the attack “resulted from a wide range of strategic and tactical failures by State Department officials.”
“Chief among them,” the Judicial Watch report says, “was the fateful decision to circumvent established security regulations by designating the diplomatic post in Benghazi a ‘Special Mission Compound,’ ignoring repeated requests for additional security resources by diplomatic security personnel on the ground, and entrusting the security of the SMC [Special Mission Compound] to a local militia group with suspected ties to radical Islamists.”
Clinton appeared before congressional committees this week to answer questions about the attack and her department’s actions and responses.
Questioned by Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Wis., about the administration’s initial claim that the attack arose from a protest, Clinton responded angrily.
“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” she said. ‘Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”
WND columnist Craige McMillan responded to Clinton’s question.
“Mrs. Clinton’s Benghazi testimony bears out author Theodore Dalrymple’s assertion that the West ends ‘not with a bang but a whimper.’ A terrorist mob overruns a U.S. mission, murders the ambassador and guards, and a teary-eyed secretary of state asks the senators months later, “What difference does it make?’”
He continued: “Does it matter that a usurping president and grossly incompetent secretary of state lied to the nation throughout the presidential election regarding the cause of the attacks? And what difference does it make that U.S. foreign policy is conducted by Mrs. Clinton’s personal attaché and a practicing Muslim, Huma Abedin?”
Judicial Watch said questions raised by its analysis include:
- “Who at the State Department was responsible for opening up and continuing the operation of the ‘Special Mission Compound’ in the unstable environment of Benghazi, overriding physical security standards for diplomatic facilities?” Fournier said the department’s “unexplained decision to create a new category of diplomatic structure, i.e., the ‘Special Mission Compound,’” for the purpose of “skirting the established physical security standards” for embassies and consulates was the “critical error.”
- Did the director of diplomatic security or his immediate subordinates have authority to countermand the department’s desire to open “SMC Benghazi?” Fournier said frequently, security policy and standards “are set aside as inconvenient, restraining, time consuming or simply less important relative to loftier goals foreign policy goals prosecuted by the department’s elite.” He said one need go “no further than Benghazi to see an example of the aforementioned managerial arrogance with the department.”
- Why did Ambassador Stevens travel to Benghazi so close to the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks? The Judicial Watch Special Report presents State Department warnings in July, August and September advising against travel to the Mideast in general and Benghazi in particular.
- “Why were two unmanned aerial vehicles requested to record the deadly events as they unfolded in Benghazi while more lethal air support options were not on station?”
“Our special report shows that the State Department has conspicuously avoided many issues about the Benghazi attack,” stated Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton.
“Our concern is that security has taken a back seat to politics at the State Department. The willingness of the State Department and the White House to lie about the Benghazi attack does not inspire confidence that the Benghazi security failures will be seriously addressed,” Fitton said.
“In the meantime,” he continued, “our diplomatic personnel may remain at risk as politicians and bureaucrats avoid accountability.”
Judicial Watch said Clinton “was instrumental in advancing the false narrative that the Internet video sparked the attacks.”
“Some experts believe that the ambassador’s work in Benghazi may have been related to administration efforts to transfer arms to Syrian opposition groups,” the report adds.