Hillary Clinton was not being honest when she told the House Benghazi Committee that she was not responsible for embassy security decisions, according to newly released emails.
Clinton defended herself to the Committee about the numerous unfulfilled security requests that Ambassador Chris Stevens made to the State Department before he was killed in the Benghazi attack. Clinton said that she was not responsible for security decisions and said she was not briefed on security at the Benghazi, Libya consulate.
But in fact Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin briefed Clinton on embassy security. In one instance in April 2009, Abedin gave Clinton a full briefing on embassy security measures over email.
“In the short-term, we are doubling the number of employees at the embassies in Afghanistan and Pakistan — these are accommodations and office space not just for STATE but for other agencies like USAID, USDA, DOD,” Abedin wrote.
“We are working fast in the short run,: we’re talking about increasing the number of hooches, and doubling up staff in lodging. It looks a lot like what you’d see at Bagram or other military facilities in Afghanistan,” Abedin continued. “In the medium term, we need to improve the security perimeter — acquiring property adjacent to our current facilities in Kabul, which is now difficult to secure.”
“Long-term, we need embassies in these countries adequate to serve the mission. It’s not so long ago our Embassy in Islamabad was torched, we need a facility which is structurally sound. In Kabul,•we need facilities adequate to size the mission needed,” Abedin added.
Clinton told House Benghazi Committee questioner Rep. Lynn Westmoreland that she was not in the loop on security decisions.
“I was responsible for sending Chris Stevens to Benghazi as an envoy. I was responsible for supporting a temporary mission that we were constantly evaluating to determine whether it should be become permanent in Benghazi,” Clinton said. “I was responsible for recommending Chris Stevens to be the ambassador. I was responsible for working on the policy, both before and after the end of the Gadhafi regime. I was responsible for quite a bit, Congressman. I was not responsible for specific security requests and decisions. That is not something I was responsible for.”
“As I said with respect to security requests in Benghazi back when I testified in January 2013, those requests and issues related to security were rightly handled by the security professionals in the department,” Clinton said at another point in the hearing. “I did not see them. I did not approve them. I did not deny them.”