Wow. Blatantly misleading people from the beginning, even while we had a chance to still save people’s lives.
On the night of Sept. 11, 2012 — before former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed by a terrorist mortar strike — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a public statement linking the attack against the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, with an anti-Muslim video, which she referred to as “inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”
Clinton’s statement, still posted on State’s website, is dated Sept. 11, 2012, and headlined: “Statement on the Attack in Benghazi.” [...]
The statement first notes that a State Department officer had been killed in Benghazi — an apparent reference to Information Management Officer Sean Smith, whose body had been recovered at the U.S. mission in Benghazi by U.S. security officers by about 5:30 p.m. Washington, D.C., time on Sept. 11 — or 11:30 p.m. Benghazi time. The statement then talks about Clinton’s communications that night with Libya’s president and refers to what Clinton calls “inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”
On Jan. 8, I contacted the State Department press office three times by telephone and once by email to ask when exactly on Sept. 11, 2012, the department released this statement by Clinton.
“I just want to know at what time on Sept. 11, 2012, this statement was released,” I asked in an email that I sent at 2:20 p.m. Eastern time after my second phone inquiry.
I was later told that a group that answers questions on Benghazi for the State Department was working on an answer for me.
However, the Associated Press first published a story quoting Clinton’s statement at 10:58 p.m. Eastern time on Sept. 11.
The AP released a story that night datelined Cairo, written by Maggie Michael and Sarah El Deeb, and carrying the headline, “American killed in Libya protest over film.” The story noted that Clinton had confirmed that “one State Department officer had been killed in the protest at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.” It also quoted directly from Clinton’s statement: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”
The Associated Press’ Media Relations office confirmed to me that the AP first published its version of this story quoting Clinton’s statement at 10:58 p.m. Eastern time on Sept. 11.
A CIA timeline of the Benghazi events provided by a senior U.S. intelligence official, the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s report on Benghazi and the State Department’s own Accountability Review Board Report all indicate that Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed at the U.S. “Annex” in Benghazi sometime between about 5:14 a.m. and 5:26 a.m. Benghazi time on Sept. 12. That would be between 11:14 p.m. and 11:26 p.m. on Sept. 11 in Washington, D.C. — or at least 16 minutes after the AP reported Clinton’s statement.