Does the Clinton Campaign Really Want to Make Benghazi an Issue?
By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media
The Benghazi scandal should be a significant campaign issue in this year’s presidential race. It goes to the heart of the many questions about Hillary Clinton’s integrity, judgment and values, as it does also for President Barack Obama’s. Together they sit at the center of this grand fiasco of botched decision-making, the refusal to provide adequate security in Libya, and the cover-up blaming the video in the aftermath. Questions still remain, such as how much of this was ideological, as opposed to just bad judgment. Why was the decision made to not send available air power into Benghazi while there was still time to save at least two of the four lives?
As we have reported, the Obama administration and Secretary of State Clinton not onlyswitched sides in the war on terror by pushing for the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and aiding al-Qaeda-linked rebels, but they also betrayed those Americans in Benghazi by leaving them on the ground to fend for themselves while under attack. This was unquestionably a dereliction of duty. Our Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi dealt with all aspects of this scandal at a press conference we held back in June at the National Press Club.
Yet in an effort to undermine the impact of the Benghazi scandal on her campaign, Clinton’s running mate Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) has started stumping on the false claim that she has treated the relatives of the Benghazi victims with compassion. Is this really an issue they want to run on?
“Did you see Hillary interrupt her campaign and start to go after grieving parents who had lost somebody on an attack on one of our embassies?” he asked, referring to Trump’s treatment of the Khan family. “No, because she has the heart of sympathy for people who’ve lost—she’s not going to go after them. She feels for them. I’ve talked to her about it.” But those relatives tell quite a different story.
There is a reason why the public feels that Mrs. Clinton is fundamentally dishonest. Contrary to Sen. Kaine’s assertions, Hillary has claimed that the relatives of the Benghazi victims are lying about what she told them in the aftermath of the terror attacks. Several members of the families of the deceased claim that Hillary said she would go get the filmmaker and bring him to justice, thereby blaming the video for the attacks. She denies that this happened.
“Somebody is lying,” said the Conway (New Hampshire) Daily Sun columnist Tom McLaughlin. “Who is it?”
“Not me, that’s all I can tell you,” Mrs. Clinton replied.
So who is lying, really?
Mrs. Clinton has been caught in a number of lies, including her false claim that FBI “Director Comey said my answers were truthful.” Among the lies that Comey refuted were her claims that she didn’t send or receive classified information on her homebrew server, and that she had turned over all of her work-related emails. She also has lied about what she said shortly after the Benghazi attacks. As we have reported, Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, wrote in his planner contemporaneously that Mrs. Clinton blamed the filmmaker. Yet Mrs. Clinton continues to argue that the families are merely distraught and making mistakes.
Mrs. Clinton also claimed during the Democratic debates that Pat Smith, mother of Sean Smith, was “absolutely wrong” in saying that she had blamed the video. Smith feels she has been mistreated for speaking up.
“Townhall cites not two, but four, family members claiming that Mrs. Clinton is an outright liar,” we reported.
“But has Clinton attacked the families of the Benghazi victims? Of course not, Kaine said Wednesday,” reports The Washington Examiner. “Hillary’s classier than that. Hillary’s smarter than that. Hillary’s more compassionate than that. Hillary has better judgment than that.”
Hillary’s statements have created animosity between her and the families of the victims, contrary to Kaine’s claims. Charles Woods and Pat Smith are suing Hillary Clinton for defamation for publicly calling them liars, as well as jeopardizing the security of those in Benghazi through her use of a private email server. The lawsuit states that “During her campaign for President, Defendant Clinton has negligently, recklessly, and/or maliciously defamed Plaintiffs by either directly calling them liars, or by strongly implying that they are liars, in order to protect and enhance her public image and intimidate and emotionally harm and silence them to not speak up about the Benghazi attack on at least four separate occasions.” These include appearances with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, the Conway Daily Sun, a Democratic presidential debate, and an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
Making Benghazi a campaign issue might be the Clinton campaign’s biggest blunder yet. But don’t look to the mainstream media to make them pay a price for it.
Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.