I have been reading a lot about the state department putting Hillary's emails online as a result of FOIA request. I thought “hey – wouldn't it be fun to see what was in there?” I thus decided to go and take a peek. It was very enlightening! I also had to give my eyeballs a full DECON as there was much in there that you wouldn't want to see or even think about.. Read on to see what I found.
First off some general observations about the emails and their presentation. In the State Department website (found here). The documents, as has been reported elsewhere, are not in chronological order as one would expect. Instead I surmise they are in whatever order they were in when they were extracted from the email server. This means that if you start scrolling through them, you will see globs of emails that kind of look chronological, but then they will skip. At the top of the list you will see tabs that appear to sort them by date (Don't click on that!) It will sort them, but the State Department didn't index all the documents by date. That means that if you hit that button and look at a particular date to see what emails were being sent back and forth, you won't see all the applicable emails. For example, if you sort and look at say September 11, 2012 (when the Benghazi attack took place), you won't find any emails relating to the attack.
Secondly, the way the Hillary used this email account was both a little funny and sad. My guess is that her eye sight, like many of us older people, is probably not good enough to read the tiny little screen her phone. Because of this, whenever she found the contents of a email interesting, she would direct her assistant to “Print this”, presumably in a large font she could read at a later time at her leisure. This is of course just speculation on my part, but in scanning through the emails, it happened enough that it got me to thinking that's what was going on. This is not very flattering and just a little hypocritical for the tree huggers.. just think how many trees had to die in a sacrifice to Hillary's eyesight! The good thing is since many of the emails were classified, the paper was hopefully shredded in an approved government shredder to render then unable to be reassembled and easily composted. Unless they were really highly classified, in which case the shredded paper would have to be burned too – what's the carbon offset for that?
After discovering the indexing problem noted above, and sampling enough of the documents that I began to understand how the flow of them worked, I resorted to scrolling through all of the pages of documents, looking for emails on or around September 11, 2012. As I found really interesting ones, I made a note of the page, date, and subject (if there was one). What follows is what I found for what was going on before, during, and after the attacks. It's not a clean list of all of the documents for that time, but it's what I had the patience to wade through. I downloaded the documents and have links to my copy of them. You can find the documents by searching the State Department link for the document number I provide with the link to my copy.
I went about this search with the now very established notion that the attack on Benghazi was not started as some protest to a video, but a concentrated attack, planned and executed by a military force. Given that, the administration and the State Department conspired to fool the American public into believing the attack was spontaneous. As Hillary said in the hearings, “What difference does it make?” Here's why: With the presidential election coming in 2012, it was imperative that Obama look competent on handling Libya. After all, they had just killed Qaddafi and were touting the 'Arab Spring' as a their brilliant foreign policy coup. I decided to try to find out what role Hillary played in this deception. To wit: what did she know, when did she know it, and what did she do about it.
First is the question of what she knew and when she knew it. I found this rather chilling email (C05739901) where on the night of the attack, Hillary's aide, Cheryl Mills forwards her a memo from the State Department Comm Center stating that the Embassy in Benghazi is under attack from mortar fire and more comm center personnel have been injured. Beyond the implication that there were previous emails indicating injuries and an attack; the mention of the use of mortars in the attack indicates to most reasonable people that this just wasn't a gang of angry people jumping the gates and swinging swords and chopping heads, but a real fighting force engaged in a military action.
There are two emails that are somewhat in conflict that establishes what she knew and when she knew it. First there is this one (C05447452) from a 'C&O Report' which was forwarded to Hillary on September 16th, 2012 that indicates the attack was
“carried out by an al-Oa'ida affiliated group which planned the attack for the 9/11 anniversary in retaliation for the death of Abu Yahya al Libi, al-Qa'ida's deputy commander.”
C&O refers to C&O Resources, an “International Consulting and Resources Group” according to their website. Apparently they are a private intelligence group which provide their customers info on an as needed basis. That means someone, apparently either on Hillary's staff or an outside benefactor (Sid Blumenthal), paid them to generate this report. What follows is that if this private group could obtain this information, then surely the vast intelligence gathering network of the US Government could too. In any case, this email establishes that as of September 16th, she knew the full truth. So let's look at the timeline on this. The attacks happened Tuesday – Wednesday on 9/11/2015. We know that Hillary got this open source collected email Sunday morning on the 16th. That's the same day that Susan Rice went on TV exposing that the attacks were all due to a video. Yet the above report indicates that these attacks had been planed.
So where did the idea of the video being the spontaneous trigger come from? Probably this memo (C05795493) which appears in numerous emails and is dated 12 September 2012. It's a fairly dense intelligence report produced the day after the attack that indicates interim Libyan President Magariaf has been told by his security people that the attacks could have been as a result of a video. It also notes that Magariaf was worried about possibly being cast as an tool of the Americans based on papers that were seized by his opposition when Qaddafi was killed. He (Magariaf) indicates that he thinks this campaign by his opposition is as much to blame as the video. There are two things to take away from this email. First, we can see where the idea to blame the video originated – from Magariaf's security staff. Secondly, it is notable that this report was generated not to establish the basis of the attack, but to give the State Department a window into what was going on with the leadership of Libya in the aftermath of the attack. As the previous emails established, the US intelligence machine probably knew it was a military attack, and knew where it came from.
The next question is what role did Hillary play in the cover up and deception? The Susan Rice appearance on “This Week” is the initial lynchpin in establishing the video as a reason for the attacks. This email (C05794431) indicates that the Rice interview went exactly as planned. That doesn't mean that they weren't, even at this point, trying to cover their posteriors in case the deception went south. In this email (C05739754) sent to Hillary from Jake Sullivan, he notes that Rice wasn't asked if they had intelligence before the attack, then goes on to note that she did make a troubling statement about how the investigation might turn up some other cause for the attack. Why was this such a concern that he felt compelled to preface the transcript of the interview with that statement? I think it was because everyone involved knew the video was a red herring.
There were numerous other emails where the staffers indicated that Hillary's team were deeply involved in the coverup. In this one (C05796991) her aides are working the angles of why the video are a plausible story. In this one, (C05793287), they discuss how to keep pushing it and the parts of the narrative that need shoring up. That doesn't mean that Hillary wasn't aware that the video deception might come back to bite her. In this email (C05739610) from September 24th, Jake Sullivan has apparently been asked to compile a list of all the utterances that Hillary has made about the video and the attack. He notes “You never said spontaneous or characterized the motives”. It makes one start to wonder 'what the meaning of is is', and why Hillary felt she might need to deny something she and her staff had orchestrated.
So why did they do it? One theory is that it was a callous move before an election to throw off criticism of Obama's foreign policy weakness. Another clue as to why lies in this email (C05796495). In that one, Jake Sullivan, in discussing a conservative hit piece on the 'Satanic Video' by Ben Keller, notes that by blaming the video on the protest, and denouncing it, they were able to get help shaky governments say 'look – the American government doesn't like disrespecting Mohammad'. Thus they can quell the radical's attempting to take over those governments. He goes on to cite Tunisia as an example. Of course, in hindsight, this assertion is so much fluff, given this attack and this one, not to mention to morass that currently is Syria.
That brings us back to Hillary's question of “What difference does it make?” While Hillary may escape going to jail and will possibly go on the be the Democrat's great white hope for the current election, I would hope that the electorate not let her or Obama forget that the responsibility for Benghazi lies squarely on her and Obama's head, and vote accordingly. That's what difference it should make.