The progressive activist organization Media Matters for America, known for its close ties to the Clintons, has smeared an upcoming book about the Benghazi attacks that in part exposes Hillary Clinton’s personal role in the scandal.
Media Matters gave no indication it actually obtained or reviewed the book, set for release next Tuesday. Instead, its misinformed claims were based, according to Media Matters’ own report, solely on a four-sentence description regarding the contents of the book published in the Washington Examiner.
The book, by radio host, New York Times bestselling author and WND reporter Aaron Klein is “The REAL Benghazi Story: What the White House and Hillary Don’t Want You to Know.”
The work breaks new ground on events leading to the attack and cites information that contradicts the Obama administration’s version of what took place that ill-fated night.
A posting by Media Matters’ Matt Gertz attacked the book under the headline “Reported Central Contentions Of New Benghazi Book Already Debunked.”
Without quoting from the book, Media Matters cites a report from the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard, who reported Klein argues Hillary Clinton “was unwilling to provide additional security to the diplomatic outpost and even played a role in sending Stevens to his ‘doomed mission.”
Gertz assumes Klein’s contention references what the Media Matters blogger calls “the long-debunked conservative claim that the then-Secretary of State personally signed off on cables rejecting requests for additional security.”
Gertz claimed that contention was debunked because “diplomatic reporters noted that every cable sent to the State Department from overseas facilities is addressed to the secretary … even though the secretary rarely reviews them.”
He further quotes from Clinton’s memoirs, “Hard Choices,” in which the former secretary wrote she never saw the cables requesting additional security.
“That’s not how it works. It shouldn’t. And it didn’t,” Clinton writes.
However, Gertz’s assumption is wrong. Klein’s book was not simply referring to cables requesting more security.
“The REAL Benghazi Story” documents Clinton personally signed waivers that allowed the facility to be legally occupied, since it did not meet the minimum official security standards set by the State Department.
While some of the required waivers technically could have been issued by lower-level State Department officials, several could only have been approved by Clinton herself, including what is known as the “co-location” requirement.
The “co-location” requirement refers to the unusual housing setup in Benghazi in which intelligence and State Department personnel were kept in two separate locations.
Asks Klein in his book: By signing the waivers, “did Clinton know she was approving a woefully unprotected compound?”
“If not then at the very least she is guilty of dereliction of duty and the diplomatic equivalent of criminal negligence.”
Further, Klein shows Clinton’s top deputies, including officials known to be close to her, were responsible for some major denials of security at the compound.
In one example, it was Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy who canceled the use in Tripoli of a DC-3 aircraft that could have aided in the evacuation of the Benghazi victims.
Kennedy also denied permission to build guard towers at the Benghazi mission and approved the withdrawal of a Security Support Team, or SST, a special U.S. force specifically maintained for counter-attacks on U.S. embassies or threats against diplomatic personnel.
Klein contends it defies logic that Clinton was not informed of the general nature of security at the Benghazi facility, especially since she was known to have taken a particular interest in the compound. She reportedly called for the compound to be converted into a permanent mission before a scheduled trip to Libya in December 2012 that eventually was canceled.
Meanwhile, Media Matters wrongly writes the contention that Clinton “played a role in sending Stevens” to the U.S. special mission in Benghazi was also “debunked.”
Gertz quoted the State Department’s Accountability Review Board, which has been criticized as being too soft on the State Department, as reporting Stevens “made the decision to travel to Benghazi independently of Washington, per standard practice.”
Media Matters also selectively quoted Gregory Hicks, the former State Department deputy chief of mission and No. 2 under Stevens, as testifying to Congress that Stevens “chose to go” to Benghazi.
Media Matters missed the fact that in his full testimony, Hicks said Stevens went to the compound that day in part because Clinton wanted to convert the shanty complex into a permanent mission in a symbol of the new Libya.
Hicks said Clinton wanted to announce the establishment of a permanent U.S. State Department facility during her planned visit there in December 2012.
Apparently Stevens was up against a very specific funding deadline to complete an extensive survey of the mission so the compound could be converted.
Hicks explained: “According to [Ambassador] Chris [Stevens], Secretary Clinton wanted Benghazi converted into a permanent constituent post. Timing for this decision was important. Chris needed to report before Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, on the physical and the political and security environment in Benghazi to support an action memo to convert Benghazi from a temporary facility to a permanent facility.”
Hicks revealed the directive to convert the compound came from the State Department Office of Near Eastern Affairs, headed by acting Assistant Secretary Beth Jones. Money was available to be transferred to Benghazi from a State Department fund set aside for Iraq, provided the transfer had been done by Sept. 30.
He further testified that in May 2012, in a meeting with Clinton, Stevens promised he would give priority to making sure the U.S. facility at Benghazi was transformed into a permanent constituent post. Hicks said Stevens himself wanted to make a symbolic gesture to the people of Benghazi that the United States “stood behind their dream of establishing a new democracy.”
Toward the end of the hearing, the chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., asked Hicks to summarize his testimony on why Stevens went to Benghazi.
“At least one of the reasons Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi was to further the secretary’s wish that that post become a permanent constituent post and that he was also there because we understood the secretary intended to visit Tripoli later in the year,” Hicks reiterated.
“We hoped that she would be able to announce to the Libyan people the establishment of a permanent constituent post in Benghazi at that time.”
The Media Matters report continued with a personal attack on Klein.
The progressive group claims Klein is “not a credible author” because “one of his recent books portrayed President Obama as a ‘Manchurian Candidate’ whose autobiography was ghostwritten by Bill Ayers.”
That statement is false. Klein’s book was titled “The Manchurian President” and never referred to Obama as a “Manchurian Candidate.”
The introduction to the book specifically explains the while the title comes from a 1959 spy thriller depicting a brainwashed presidential candidate, the author is by no means arguing Obama “has been brainwashed by anyone or is a sleeper agent.”
The introduction explains the title was chosen for affect due to Obama’s lifelong radical associations as documented in the book, co-written with researcher Brenda J. Elliott.
Further, the “Manchurian President” book itself does not portray Obama’s autobiography as ghostwritten by Ayers. Instead, in a larger chapter on Ayers, Klein notes without judgment that there were public reports making the contention Ayers had ghostwritten the autobiography.
Close Clinton ties
Media Matters is known for its close ties to the Clintons. The group’s founder, David Brock, is a close Hillary Clinton associate. Hillary Clinton reportedly played a central role in helping to secure angel funding for Media Matters.
Last month, it was reported the Clinton machine was gearing up to target Klein’s book.
The Washington Times reported: “Author Aaron Klein’s upcoming book, ‘The REAL Benghazi Story,’ is also reportedly being targeted by the Clinton team and Media Matters.”
Politico quoted a publishing source predicting Klein’s Benghazi book “would appeal to a different audience, the publishing source said, a subset of readers deeply interested in the Benghazi attacks and convinced of an administration coverup.”
Klein’s “The REAL Benghazi Story” advertises itself as “a ground-breaking investigative work that finally exposes some of the most significant issues related to the murderous Sept. 11, 2012, attack –information with current national security implications.”
A sampling of what the publisher says is contained in the book:
- From the secretive activities transpiring inside the doomed facility to shocking new details about the withholding of critical protection at the U.S. special mission.
- Information that raises new questions about what really happened to Ambassador Chris Stevens that fated night.
- The central role Hillary Clinton actually played in the scandal.