Human Events Blog

No, Hillary did not blame “the video” for the Benghazi attack while standing next to the coffins

Since Hillary Clinton has claimed responsibility for the security of the Benghazi consulate, a number of critics have asserted that she peddled the “spontaneous video protest” lie while standing next to the caskets containing the four murdered Americans.  That’s not true.  She did mention That Damned Video, but she did not explicitly blame it for the Benghazi assault – and unlike Obama and the rest of the White House team, Clinton has been fairly consistent in describing it as a terrorist assault.

Here is the relevant passage from Clinton’s remarks at the transfer of remains ceremony for the victims of the consulate attack:

This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country.  We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men.  We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.  It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable.

The people of Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob. Reasonable people and responsible leaders in these countries need to do everything they can to restore security and hold accountable those behind these violent acts. And we will, under the President’s leadership, keep taking steps to protect our personnel around the world.

(Emphasis mine.)  At this point in her remarks, she had moved on from discussing Ambassador Stevens and the other Americans killed in Benghazi, and was talking about the broader situation in the Middle East.  She can be criticized for mentioning the “awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with,” but she didn’t say or imply anything about a video protest outside the consulate in Benghazi.

The “video protest” lies are all Obama’s, promulgated by the President himself and his agents – prominently including U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who had been subcontracted from the State Department to the White House, to serve as a malarkey distributor.  Obama’s people were peddling this nonsense over a week after the attack, long after any “fog of war” had dissipated.

Hillary Clinton deserves criticism for her clumsy efforts to protect Obama with such excuses (or, alternately, her Machiavellian brilliance in setting him up to look weak and untrustworthy) and she’s got no business keeping her job if she’s serious about taking responsibility for the appalling lack of security at the Benghazi consulate.  But let’s not blame her for something she didn’t actually say.

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