A batch of Clinton emails that were released Wednesday may cast some light on the source of the infamous “YouTube video” explanation for the attack on the U.S. foreign mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Did the story originate in the State Department? The Pentagon? The intelligence community?
No, no and no.
It may have been a story concocted by a former Clinton aide and confidante, someone who, at that time, was outside of government — from Sidney Blumenthal, a former journalist who served in the Clinton White House, according to The Hill.
In the days following the Sept. 11, 2012 attack, Blumenthal sent then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about two dozen memos suggesting that the anti-Muslim video led to a spontaneous demonstration that got out of control.
The Hill reported.
Blumenthal initially sent Clinton an email one day after the 2012 attacks that blamed them on “demonstrators … inspired by what many devout Libyans viewed as a sacrilegious Internet video on the prophet Muhammad.” Clinton forwarded that email to [Jake] Sullivan, her top foreign policy aide, calling it “more info.”
He sent a new memo the next day that told the secretary that “sensitive sources” believed it was actually a terrorist attack.
Clinton forwarded the second email to Sullivan, telling him, “we should get this around asap.
But apparently the “terrorist attack” version didn’t have the same attraction to the White House as did the “spontaneous demonstration” version.
After all, the former explanation implies the administration was ill-prepared and asleep at the switch; the latter casts blame on some poor chucklehead who produced a video that was critical of Islam.
On the Sunday following the attack, the White House sent then-Ambassador Susan Rice to advance the YouTube story on all three networks, plus CNN and Fox News. Critics excoriated the administration for advancing that theory.
“Clinton sought to separate herself from Blumenthal’s emails during a brief media availability on Tuesday in Iowa,” The Hill reported.
“I have many, many old friends, and I always think that it’s important when you get into politics to have friends you had before you were in politics and to understand what’s on their minds,” Clinton said.
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