Patterico's Pontifications

6/22/2013

Evidence Supports Inference that Hillary Clinton Was Directly Responsible for the Benghazi Security Failures

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:54 am

Evidence suggests that the security failures at Benghazi likely went straight to the top — meaning, very possibly, Hillary Clinton herself:

The decision to keep U.S. personnel in Benghazi with substandard security was made at the highest levels of the State Department by officials who have so far escaped blame over the Sept. 11 attack, according to a review of recent congressional testimony and internal State Department memos by Fox News.

Nine months before the assault that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others, State Department Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy signed off on an internal memo that green-lighted the Benghazi operation.

The December 2011 memo from Jeffrey Feltman — then-Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) — pledged “to rapidly implement a series of corrective security measures.” However, no substantial improvements were made, according to congressional testimony to the House oversight committee from Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom.

The essence of the story is that Hillary had a goal of establishing a permanent presence in Benghazi — something completely unknown to Thomas Pickering of the inappropriately named “Accountability Review Board,” which held nobody accountable, conducted an insufficient review (not even interviewing Clinton), and which I suspect may not have even been a “board.” (What with the dishonesty of the first two words of this thing’s title, why would we believe the third is truthful?!)

You see, a permanent consulate is required by law to have certain security standards. Posterior-covering talking points in panicked emails after the slaughter warned not to refer to Benghazi as a “consultate,” presumably so that nobody would point out the inconvenient discrepancy between legal security requirements for consulates and the lack of security for this, er, “mission” or “diplomatic post.”

But the lack of security deeply troubled one State Department official:

Nordstrom repeatedly expressed his deep security concerns and noted Benghazi was still “undefined” in emails with his superiors seven months before the attacks.

In February 2012, he wrote that “while the status of Benghazi remains undefined, DS (Diplomatic Security) is hesitant to dev[ote] resources and as I indicated previously, this has severely hampered operations in Benghazi.”

He said that he “only had two DS agents on the ground. … and been advised that DS isn’t going to provide more than 3 DS agents over the long term.”

The connection to Hillary lies not merely in her ambitions to make Benghazi a Consulate that Shall Not Be Called a Consulate, but also in the level of approval that would have been needed to maintain the consulate without sufficient security. The Mustache himself says Hillary’s involvement was likely:

While other media reports have made passing references to the action memo signed by Kennedy and Feltman in the context of ongoing security issues, former State Department officials tell Fox News that the document is significant because Kennedy would not set policy on his own. Kennedy was ultimately responsible for overseas building operations deals with building leases and security, which should have followed strict OSPB standards.

“I find it very hard to believe that he (Kennedy) would sign this memo without having talked to Secretary Clinton or at least Deputy Secretary (William) Burns,” former ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton told Fox News after examining the December 2011 memo.

“Keeping this position open in Benghazi is a policy decision. It’s a policy decision that overrides normal security considerations. And I think that’s significant enough that a careerist like Undersecretary Kennedy would not do it on his own.”

Cue the Outrage Trump Card.

WHAT DIFFERENCE, AT THIS POINT, DOES IT MAKE?!?!?!

31 Responses to “Evidence Supports Inference that Hillary Clinton Was Directly Responsible for the Benghazi Security Failures”

  1. Hillary knows nozink. Hillary sees nozink. Hillary hears nozink.

    Fact of the matter is that Hillary is like Gertrude Stein’s Oakland. There’s no there there.

    Her self image is that of a panzer in a pants suit. And with a pandering press she may be able to present that image to the public.

    But there’s no there there.

    Comanche Voter (f4c7d5)

  2. About 40% of us are absolutely scandalized by this. Another 30% simply won’t believe anything bad about Hillary Clinton. And sadly, the remaining 30% can’t be bothered to care one way or the other.

    JVW (23867e)

  3. The GOP War on Women continues apace.

    JD (4ae67b)

  4. Maybe Hillary was like Eric Holder and never read anything that came across her desk.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  5. Theoretically, if the security failures went to Hillary Clinton, shouldn’t that be “straight to second from the top”, since she technically works for Obama? Granted, that’s a bit less punchy, but still…

    I look forward to seeing campaign commercials that are just soundbites of Democrat politicians complaining about problems they want to fix, followed immediately by the clip of Hillary asking, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”.

    CayleyGraph (08411d)

  6. What difference does it make?

    Diffus (4a5ca6)

  7. Well it may not have formerly been a ‘consulate’ but it was a US govt facility, operating out in the most treasurous corner of Libya, Cyrenaica province.

    narciso (3fec35)

  8. If the name Bukatef sounds familiar, his group was the security detail for the consulate

    narciso (3fec35)

  9. Was there ever any doubt???

    Colonel Haiku (7248a3)

  10. It doesn’t matter, Patterico. The Right has issues about which it cares passionately, and will attack other Right-leaning politicians for not holding the line. The Right is (and I approve of this) hold its own people responsible for hypocrisy.

    But not the Left. They close ranks. It’s all “D” uber alles. It doesn’t even matter what the “D” person says or does, anymore.

    Heck, you have seen the “Obama in 2007 versus Obama today” videos.

    A good friend of mine had the official DNC position on this. I brought up the deaths at the Embassy, and what a mess that ways.

    “Embassies get overrun,” my friend said. “People die. It happens.”

    Funny how the Left’s point of view changes.

    Which is why whoever the DNC annoints will be President in 2016.

    The Right cannot support it’s own people (or principles). The Left will eat us for lunch.

    Again.

    Sorry, but it is true.

    Simon Jester (e2bd38)

  11. “Which is why whoever the DNC annoints will be President in 2016.”

    Simon – I’m not ready to concede. I don’t think all the shoes have dropped from the scandals of this administration and it remains to be seen who will remain untouched by them.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  12. “People have a nasty habit of getting dead around you!”

    Icy (cc8743)

  13. Well there is that, Simon their goal is power, they will destroy and defame anyone who stands in their way, on our side ‘most lack all conviction’ and they are so eager to sell out our birthright for a pittance,

    narciso (3fec35)

  14. I sold Nordstrom short.

    I think there was a brief period at the opening of the hearings where he was leaning toward towing the government line to save his own ass, but when others came out with the truth, he quickly followed suit.

    And it does look like he was trying to do his job, despite pushback, in advance of the attacks.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  15. Well Patrick Kennedy, certainly looks worse then usual.

    narciso (3fec35)

  16. Benghazi?

    It has been thrown down the memory hole. By 2016 it will never have happened.

    The Ghost of Winston Smith (be0117)

  17. This Hillary person had a lot of nerve to question Barack’s inability to take a 3AM phone call.
    She couldn’t even take a 3PM phone call. And she blames her answering service, in retrospect.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  18. A good friend of mine had the official DNC position on this. I brought up the deaths at the Embassy, and what a mess that ways.

    “Embassies get overrun,” my friend said. “People die. It happens.”

    I’m guessing your friend is of the left. If so, you should have asked him (or her) whether the qualities liberals fancy about themselves and their ideology — of their being supposedly more compassionate, generous, humane, tolerant and sympathetic than the average human — absolves them of idiocy, irresponsibility and, most crucially of all, grotesque disingenuousness. Of their having characteristics that are just the opposite of what they believe about themselves and their philosophy.

    Speaking of grotesque traits, one has to give Bill’s wife credit for her athletic prowess on airport tarmacs when escaping from sniper fire.

    Mark (67e579)

  19. Duh

    joe (93323e)

  20. The mustache tells foxnews that he finds it hard to believe. This is some explosive stuff foxnews.

    mack (eceaf2)

  21. ‘this just gets better and better:

    http://freebeacon.com/a-bad-bad-choice/

    narciso (3fec35)

  22. And cue the clowns to demand that we vote for some suck because of the (R) behind the name to stop Medusa, ’cause they’re singularly electable.

    “The most important election of your lifetimes”.

    Drop ‘effin dead.

    gary gulrud (318429)

  23. Knowing what we know now, the working group at the WH was probably spending more time listening to Romney’s phone calls that night instead of what was going on in Benghazi. They did seem pretty quick on issuing a statement right before Romney did, then having a chorus of “tsk tsk” going right afterwards.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  24. It has been my stated opinion that the lovely Mrs Clinton will not be a candidate in 2016. Oh, I believe that she’d like to be President, and thinks that, damn it, she should be President — and should have been already — but tempus is fugiting for her: she will be 69 on election day of 2016, already looks every bit, if not more, of her 65 years so far, and just flat doesn’t look all that healthy to me. If she were elected, she’d be the second oldest person inaugurated as President, only eight months younger than President Reagan at his inauguration.

    The prescient Dana (af9ec3)

  25. First, always click on narciso’s links. Second, the information reveals two apparently contradictory pictures of the events leading up to the attack in Benghazi and the deaths of the 4 Americans we know about and the injuries to others we don’t know about because the Obama Administration is actively hiding them from Congress and from the interested media.

    In November of 2011 quickly following Muammar Qaddafi’s fall from power the previous month SecState Hillary Clinton announced a $40 Million effort to round-up Libyan weapons, especially US MANPADS and Russian SA-7s. Next, State sets up the diplomatic post in Benghazi in addition to the already established US Consulate in Tripoli, and CIA establishes a separate facility in Benghazi, an annex.

    (The State Department’s involvement in collecting war weapons seems well outside their traditional diplomatic role, and could easily be considered an unwelcome encroachment into the clandestine affairs of the CIA, which is an issue crying out for examination, one which the abrupt departure of CIA Director David Petraeus all but ensured could be conveniently sidestepped.)

    Very quickly deep concerns arise over security at State’s diplomatic post in Benghazi and come to the attention of top administrators. As early at December 2011 Assistant SecState for Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) Jeffery Feltman pledges, “…to rapidly implement a series of corrective security measures.”

    However, according to Regional Security Officer, Eric Nordstrom, no substantial improvemnts were made. By February 2012 Nordstrom complained that since the status of the Benghazi post remained undefined State’s Diplomatic Security office was hesitant to devote resources to improve security which had the effect of hampering operations in Benghazi.

    Yet, in his Congressional testimony May 8, 2013 Greg Hicks, Assistant to Ambassador Chris Stevens, recalled a conversation with Stevens who revealed that it was a personal goal of SecState Hillary Clinton to establish a permanent presence in Benghazi. In fact, Stevens was instructed to report before the end of September on the physical, political, and security environment in Benghazi as the basis for an action memo converting the temporary post into a permanent facility.

    So, we find near universal acknowledgement that inadequate security arrangements in Benghazi are hampering operations and endangering personel yet they’re allowed to persist and even to deteriorate further, while at the same time the number 2 State Department official in Tripoli is being told that one of SecState Hillary Clinton’s personal goals is converting the Benghazi post into a permanent facility.

    Given Hillary’s well know reputation for demanding slavish compliance with her dictates, there’s no way the department’s petty bureaucrats would have ignored security arrangements in Benghazi if it was one of her personal goals. She wouldn’t have put up with it for a nanosecond.

    ropelight (4f329e)

  26. Hillary’s advantage is she’ll be running against an R selected by the same people what gave us Meghan’s coward daddy and the weirdo freakboy who invented obamacare

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  27. I don’t think she’ll be in any condition to run. But we’ll see.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  28. if she wins she’ll be inheriting a godawful mess from her predecessor

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  29. “if she wins she’ll be inheriting a godawful mess from her predecessor”

    No, Bush caused that.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)


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