A loyal subordinate of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent her an email just days after the Benghazi terrorist attack, assuring her that some of the attack’s consequences were a win for her and the dead ambassador Chris Stevens.
The Libyans’ ragged pro-American rallies, blog comments, and Twitter comments were “exactly what we hoped for” when the U.S. invaded Libya, said then-State Department policy official Anne-Marie Slaughter in an email on September 22, 2012. That email was sent 11 days after four Americans were killed in Benghazi.
“Amid all the criticism, I think that what happened actually vindicates your policies and practice at the macroscopic and microscopic levels,” Slaughter gushed. “You’ve been very much in my thoughts all week. I know how deeply and personally you must feel the loss of lives on your watch — not in the abstract but as husbands, fathers, dedicated public servants, people you knew and cared about,” she wrote.
The praise continued:
In terms of overall policy towards the Arab revolutions, although we have seen brutal attacks by al Qaeda on our embassies often before — most notably in Kenya and Tanzania with far greater loss of life — we have never seen locals from those countries demonstrating on our behalf in the streets, as we have seen in Libya all week long. The hatred is familiar, and no worse now than before — indeed al Qaeda is much reduced. The support is brand new. To have Libyans carrying placards saying “We are sorry America; this does not represent Islam,” is exactly what we hoped for when we supported the Libyan intervention. Many Libyan bloggers/tweeters have taken the same stance.
Slaughter also took it upon herself to speak for fallen ambassador Chris Stevens about how positive the whole thing was. “I didn’t know Chris Stephens, but I suspect he would write you very much the same thing if he could,” Slaughter said.
It is a change that had to happen, and if the reaction to his killing among the Libyans is any guide, it is one that is bearing fruit. Perhaps in your farewell speeches you can talk about the way we honor our troops and talk about Chris and [agency employee] Sean [Smith] in ways that make them emblems of a new generation of diplomats. Their loss is tragic and painful, but to me it makes a real difference to see their deaths not as our failure to “keep them safe,” but as a sacrifice in the service of a new way of engaging the world, a way that over the long term will help make us all safer and more effective.
Since 2011, when Clinton helped remove the country’s American-allied dictator, Libya has gradually lost any semblance of government while rival tribal armies and jihad groups consolidate their control over rival towns in the poverty-stricken Muslim country.