WASHINGTON – State Department emails released through a lawsuit by Judicial Watch show then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew while the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi was under way that it was being carried out by terrorists.
Clinton blamed the attack on “rage and violence over an awful Internet video” when she spoke at a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base on Sept. 14, 2014, as the remains of the four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were returned to the United States.
The emails were made public Thursday by the Washington, D.C., legal watchdog group.
"These emails leave no doubt that Hillary Clinton’s closest advisers knew the truth about the Benghazi attack from almost the moment it happened,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“And it is inescapable that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knowingly lied when she planted the false story about 'inflammatory' material being posted on the Internet,'" Fitton said.
He said the "contempt for the public’s right to know is evidenced not only in these documents, but also in the fact that we had to file a lawsuit in federal court to obtain them."
“The Obama gang’s cover-up continues to unravel, despite its unlawful secrecy and continued slow-rolling of information,” Fitton said. "Congress, if it ever decides to do its job, cannot act soon enough to put Hillary Clinton, Cheryl Mills and every other official in these emails under oath.”
Fitton criticized the current House Select Committee investigation on Benghazi headed by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R- S.C.
"Never once has Gowdy or the House Select Committee asked Judicial Watch to turn over the many bombshell documents Judicial Watch has obtained from the Obama administration by FOIA request, “ Fitton told WND.
"I would have thought a serious congressional investigation into Benghazi would have started with the documents we had, since Judicial Watch has led in exposing the White House cover-up," he said.
On Sept. 11, 2012, at 4:07 p.m. EST, as the Benghazi attack was going on, Maria Sand, then a special assistant to Clinton, forwarded an email from the State Department’s Operations Center titled, “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi is Under Attack,” to Cheryl Mills, then chief-of staff to Secretary Clinton, as well as Jacob Sullivan, then-deputy chief-of-staff for policy, Joseph McManus, then-Hillary Clinton’s executive assistant, and other special assistants in Clinton’s office.
The email read:
The Regional Security Officer reports the diplomatic mission is under attack. Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well. Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four COM [Chief of Mission] personnel are in the compound safe haven. The 17th of February militia is providing security support.
Then, at 4:38 p.m. Eastern, State Department Foreign Service Officer Lawrence Randolph forwarded Mills, Sullivan and McManus an email from Scott Bultrowicz, the former director of the Diplomatic Security Service, one of four senior State Department officials who was ousted in December 2012 after the publication of the State Department’s Advisor Review Board final report of the Benghazi attack.
DSCC [Diplomatic Security Command Center] received a phone call from [REDACTED] in Benghazi, Libya initially stating that 15 armed individuals were attacking the compound and trying to gain entrance. The Ambassador is present in Benghazi and currently is barricaded within the compound. There are no injuries at this time and it is unknown what the intent of the attackers is. At approximately 1600 DSCC received word from Benghazi that individuals had entered the compound. At 1614 RSO advised the Libyans had set fire to various buildings in the area, possibly the building that houses the Ambassador [REDACTED] is responding and taking fire.
Nearly seven hours later, at 12:04 a.m. on Sept. 12, Randolph sent an email with the subject line “FW: Update 3: Benghazi Shelter Location “Also Under Attack,” to Mills, Sullivan and McManus that had several updates about the Benghazi attack:
I just called Ops and they said the DS command center is reporting that the compound is under attack again. I am about to reach out to the DS Command Center.
The email also contains a chain of earlier email updates:
Sept. 11, 2012, at 11:57 p.m. EST. Email: “(SBU) DS Command reports the current shelter location for COM personnel in Benghazi is under mortar fire. There are reports of injuries to COM staff.”
Sept. 11, 2012, 6:06 p.m. EST. (Subject: “Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack (SBU): “(SBU) Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and call for an attack on Embassy Tripoli”
Sept. 11, 2012, 4:54 p.m. EST: “Embassy Tripoli reports the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi has stopped and the compound has been cleared. A response team is on site to locate COM personnel.”
The State Department emails released Thursday by Judicial Watch reveal the first official confirmation of the death of Ambassador Stevens.
On Sept. 12, 2012, at 3:22 a.m. EST, Senior Watch Officer Andrew Veprek forwarded an email to numerous State Department officials, which was later forwarded to Mills and McManus, with the subject line “Death of Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi."
Embassy Tripoli confirms the death of Ambassador John C. (Chris) Stevens in Benghazi. His body has been recovered and is at the airport in Benghazi.
Two hours later, McManus forwarded the news of Ambassador Stevens’ death to officials in the State Department Legislative Affairs office with instructions not to “forward to anyone at this point.”
Despite her three top staff members being informed that a terrorist group had claimed credit for the attack, Clinton, issued an official statement, also produced to Judicial Watch, claiming the attack may have been “a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”