WASHINGTON – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that she believes “to this day” that the debunked YouTube video talking point was partly responsible for the Benghazi attack, despite all evidence to the contrary.
The Obama administration’s “YouTube video” talking point was, for all intents and purposes, laid to rest Thursday at the House Benghazi hearing on Capitol Hill.
South Carolina’s Trey Gowdy delivered a final eulogy for the talking point, even as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put forth a lackluster attempt to resuscitate the dead excuse. The talking point was three-years-old. It is survived by Clinton, Obama White House speechwriter Ben Rhodes, and national security adviser Susan Rice. (RELATED: Obama Staffers Party On Anniversary of 9/11, Benghazi Attacks).
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan delivered a moving farewell to the talking point.
“You just gave a long answer, Madam Secretary, to Ms. Sanchez about what you heard that night, what you’re doing. But nowhere in there did you mention a video. You didn’t mention a video because there was never a video-inspired protest in Benghazi. There was in Cairo but not in Benghazi,” Jordan told Clinton.
“One hour before the attack in Benghazi, Chris Stevens walks a diplomat to the front gate. The ambassador didn’t report a demonstration. He didn’t report it because it never happened. An eyewitness in the command center that night on the ground said no protest, no demonstration; two intelligence reports that day, no protest, no demonstration,” Jordan continued.
“So if there’s no evidence for a video-inspired protest, then where did the false narrative start? It started with you, Madam Secretary,” Jordan said. “At 10:08, on the night of the attack, you released this statement, “Some have sought to justify the vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”
This reporter first uncovered that the YouTube talking point originated in Hillary Clinton’s State Department courtesy of Clinton’s unofficial Libya adviser Sidney Blumenthal, who sent Clinton some left-wing articles on September 12 by his son Max Blumenthal about the film Innocence of Muslims.
But Clinton did not even believe the talking point herself. House investigators Thursday cited email evidence to point to three different examples of Clinton telling people that the video did not cause the violence. Clinton told the Egyptian prime minister, the Libyan president, and her own family that the video talking point was not true.
Indeed, Clinton even received an intelligence memo written by Blumenthal’s source — and presumably sent to her by Blumenthal — on September 12 notifying her that the Ansar Al Sharia terrorist brigade was using YouTube video-inspired “protests” as cover for their terrorist plots. Clinton helped give those terrorists the cover they needed. White House speechwriter Ben Rhodes changed the administration’s talking points to focus on the YouTube video in advance of Susan Rice’s Sunday talk show appearances. And a false narrative was born.
Clinton’s final sputtering defense Thursday for using the talking point fell flat.
“I needed to be talking about the video because I needed to put other governments on notice that they were not going to get away with attacking us,” Clinton said, noting that anti-video protests were cropping up in other countries.
But Clinton maintained that “We were not making up the intelligence. We were trying to get it, to make sense of it, and to share it” and that “We did the best that we could with the information that we had at the time…I’m sorry it doesn’t fit your narrative, Congressman.”
Clinton, 67, also said that it’s very hard to get good intelligence because “You have to monitor social media for goodness sakes. That’s where the Ansar al Sharia claim was placed.”
Breitbart News reported Wednesday that the Obama White House initially sought to blame a different YouTube video, a “Pastor Jon” spiritual video, for inciting spontaneous violence at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. The White House contacted YouTube three hours after the attack to inquire about the “Pastor Jon” video before eventually settling on a movie called Innocence of Muslims by an obscure filmmaker named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who was later arrested on a vaguely related probation violation.
Innocence of Muslims, which featured subpar acting performances and low production values, failed to generate widespread box-office success. Variety has yet to report any news of an upcoming sequel.