Clinton emails show concern about image after Benghazi

23 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A closer look at Clinton email censored prior to its release.

The State Department released close to 900 pages of emails from Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary on Friday, providing a detailed looked at how an embattled agency responded to terrorist attacks in Benghazi and how Clinton, the frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president, deals with her inner circle of advisers and well-wishers. WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – Top aides to former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fretted over how she would be portrayed after the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, e-mails released on Friday showed.WASHINGTON (AP) — Among the several hundred Hillary Rodham Clinton emails released Friday is a message, sent to the then-secretary of state, that the FBI asked be redacted before it was made public. In a April 4, 2012 email sent by Clinton’s then-deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan, the message to staff made it known that Clinton was the leading figure on issues relating to Libya. (RELATED: HILLARY EMAILS: State Dept.

In a September 2012 email to Clinton, top aide Jake Sullivan told her another Obama administration official, Susan Rice, stumbled in an appearance on ABC’s Sunday news show “This Week.” Rice was criticized for insisting the Benghazi attack was spurred by Libyan street protests over an anti-Muslim video and not planned by al-Qaida-inspired militants. US officials’ exact wording of the attackers’ motivation had become important because the Obama administration initially said the assaults were a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islamic film posted on the Internet. Officials In Benghazi One Year Before Attacks) “HRC [Clinton’s initials] has been a critical voice on Libya in administration deliberations, at NATO, and in contact group meetings — as well as the public face of the U.S. effort in Libya,” Sullivan wrote. “She was instrumental in securing the authorization, building the coalition, and tightening the noose around Qadhafi and his regime,” the statement reads. And there are political moments, with glimpses of top officials’ concerns about how the attack on the Libyan compound would affect the 2012 elections.

While there doesn’t seem to be the kind of “smoking gun” that many Republicans imagined, the exchanges provide plenty of one-liners that will surely be used against Clinton when she testifies before a House panel later this year. Clinton or her aides have deleted another 30,000 e-mails which she has termed as personal from the same private account, causing Republicans in Congress to accuse her of picking and choosing what she wants to make public. In December 2012, Clinton was scheduled to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Benghazi, but her appearance was scuttled after she fainted and suffered from a concussion. Me too.” In one email, Clinton aide Philippe Reines noted that a reporter for The Wall Street Journal went “knee to knee” with Clinton during an interview. “Amazed she didn’t try knee in-between knee,” Reines joked about the reporter, Monica Langley. He said he was shocked Langley would “invade” Clinton’s personal space, comparing it to “a dental hygienist rolling around the floor to get the best access to your mouth.” Reines called Langley’s behavior “unacceptable.” Even so, Reines, a famously prickly critic of the news media, told a senior State Department official he thought the interview was “wonderful.

Smith’s death was confirmed by the Libyans, Clinton wrote in an email to top advisers, where she mistakenly called him “Chris Smith.” At 5:50 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2012 — hours before news reports would first show footage from the compound attack — Clinton was emailing about Libya. I apologize, both for my language and for my tone.” Hastings thanked Reines for the note and added, “in the interest of diplomacy and extending an olive branch: we should get a drink sometime, off the record.”

The batch of emails also contains numerous memos from Sidney Blumenthal — a former White House adviser to Bill Clinton — who served as a de facto intelligence source for Hillary Clinton. Here are concerns from a Sept. 14, 2011, email forwarded to Clinton written by Elizabeth Dibble, the then-principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. “State of Embassy Tripoli facility:…..the facility is not salvageable – the condition is “shocking and photos don’t do it justice.” Floor have collapsed, the ballistic glass and metal support beams have melted, and it has been totally trashed.” On June 10, 2011, the U.S. team in Benghazi was staying in a hotel that received “a credible threat” against it. It’s clear from the emails that Clinton — the top U.S. diplomat at the time — was concerned in the weeks that followed about her comments on the attacks’ cause. The ever-loyal Sullivan assured her on Sept. 30, 2012, that she had not attributed the attack to demonstrators. “Attached is full compilation,” he wrote to her, attaching copies of all her public statements in the immediate aftermath. “You never said spontaneous or characterized the motives, in fact you were careful in your first statement to say we were assessing motive and method. A Nov. 26, 2012, email included in the release detailed Clinton’s day from 7:30 a.m. (a phone call with an Egyptian foreign minister) to her arrival back at her Washington D.C. home at 6:10 p.m.

Highlights of that day include a White House meeting in the Situation Room with Assistant Secretary Patrick Kennedy, a 5-minute “drop by” for press handler Philippe Reines’ birthday and two quick photo ops.

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