The Conversation

The Obama/Clinton 10:00 Phone Call

Andrew McCarthy has a must read post up at National Review about the 10:00 pm phone call between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the night of the Benghazi attack. 

If the fact that a 10:00 pm phone call took place between the Commander in Chief and his Secretary of State that night comes as a surprise to you, it's because even the conservative media has paid scant attention to this key piece of information, preferring to assume that Obama simply went to bed and let his underlings handle the crisis as it unfolded. 

But as McCarthy notes, "fraud flows from the top down, not the mid-level up."

Mid-level officials in the White House and the State Department do not call the shots — they carry out orders. They also were not running for reelection in 2012 or positioning themselves for a campaign in 2016. The people doing that were, respectively, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton.

Last February, CNS News managed to pry the disclosure out of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “At about 10 p.m., the president called Secretary Clinton to get an update on the situation,” he said.

On Fox News Sunday, yesterday, Chris Wallace went there. He asked White House Senior Advisor, Dan Pfeiffer, where Obama was and what he was doing, on the night of the attack. “He was talking to his national security staff,” was Pfeiffer's response.


Asked about whether the president entered the Situation Room, Pfeiffer said, “I don’t remember what room the president was in on that night, and that’s a largely irrelevant fact.”

Pfeiffer then argued that Wallace’s questions about the president’s handling of the Benghazi terror attack were “offensive.”

“The premise of your question”, he huffed, “is that somehow, there was something that could have been done, differently”….

It turns out, there indeed were things that could have and should have been done differently. An administration official who was part of the Benghazi response told  CBS News, last week,  that he wished they'd sent the  Foreign Emergency Support Team. 
The list of mea culpas by Obama administration officials involved in the Benghazi response and aftermath include: standing down the counterterrorism Foreign Emergency Support Team, failing to convene the Counterterrorism Security Group, failing to release the disputed Benghazi “talking points” when Congress asked for them, and using the word “spontaneous” while avoiding the word “terrorism.”

The Foreign Emergency Support Team known as “FEST” is described as “the US Government’s only interagency, on-call, short-notice team poised to respond to terrorist incidents worldwide.” It even boasts hostage-negotiating expertise. With U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens reported missing shortly after the Benghazi attacks began, Washington officials were operating under a possible hostage scenario at the outset. Yet deployment of the counterterrorism experts on the FEST was ruled out from the start. That decision became a source of great internal dissent and the cause of puzzlement to some outsiders.

Thursday, an administration official who was part of the Benghazi response told CBS News: “I wish we’d sent it.”

So what did the President and Secretary of State actually do that night?

We do not have a recording of this call, and neither Clinton nor the White House has described it beyond noting that it happened. But we do know that, just a few minutes after Obama called Clinton, the Washington press began reporting that the State Department had issued a statement by Clinton regarding the Benghazi attack. In it, she asserted:

Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.

Gee, what do you suppose Obama and Clinton talked about in that 10 p.m. call?

As McCarthy notes, "they thought they could play fast and loose with reality. Why? They had done it before.  So they would do it again."

Their efforts, coupled with a compliant media, helped them stagger past the finish line in the 2012 election. But now the Regime has a problem on its hands because even the most sycophantic members of the media are starting to turn on them. 

Richard Fernandez at The Belmont Club sums up: 

Unlike the earlier challenges mounted at him the Benghazi scandal did not go away.  Maybe he had made too many any enemies. Perhaps there were too many in the know to shut up entirely. But in the end the conservatives kept coming in their own clunky way, almost like the torpedo squadrons at Midway.  Perhaps the best thing that can be said about the Benghazi hearings is they never gave up, even when none of the hearings or stories in the conservative media seemed to strike a direct hit.  But they held the public’s attention until a seemingly endless serial of scandals materialized out of the sky to fall on Obama’s narrative.

Now, polls are finally showing that the American people distrust what this White House has been telling them,  and Pfeiffer's appearances on the Sunday talk shows, yesterday, did little to mitigate that fact.

Representative Jason Chaffetz has been saying that Obama could face impeachment over his administration’s response to the Benghazi attack.


“They purposefully and willfully misled the American people, and that’s unacceptable,” Chaffetz told NRO's Robert Costa. “It’s part of a pattern of deception.”

That's why that 10:00 phone call is so important. 

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