Judicial Watch: New Benghazi Documents Reveal September 11, 2012, Hillary Clinton ‘Call Sheet’ Describes Benghazi Assault as Attack by ‘Armed Extremists’
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released new State Department Hillary Clinton documents that contain a “call sheet” background document for Clinton that called the Benghazi attackers “armed extremists.” The documents also include a copy of Hillary Clinton’s schedule that shows she met with then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice and attended a meeting in the White House situation room before the arrival ceremony for the remains of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty.
The documents also detail for the first time that Turkish officials provided intelligence on the attack and offered to “shelter” Americans in the Benghazi residence of the Turkish Consul General. The documents confirm earlier reports that the Obama administration relied upon Turkey to be the “protecting power,” safeguarding the lives of Americans in Libya after the closure of the American embassy in 2011.
- All records related to notes, updates, or reports created in response to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. special mission compound in Benghazi, Libya. This request includes, but is not limited to, notes taken by then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or employees of the Office of the Secretary of State during the attack and its immediate aftermath.
A September 11, 2012, call sheet states: “Armed extremists attacked U.S. [special mission compound in] Benghazi on September 11, setting fire to the Principal Officer’s Residence and killing at least one American mission staff, Information Management Officer Sean Smith, on TDY from The Hague.” Unlike other call sheets, the agency withholds the identity of the foreign leader for whom the Benghazi background information was prepared. The State Department cites three exemptions for the block of text that includes the name of the person she called: E.O. 13526, Sec. 1.4(d), which allows for the classification of information related to foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources; FOIA Exemption b(1), which allows for the withholding of properly classified material; and FOIA Exemption b(5), which protects inter- or intra-agency communication that is deliberative/pre-decisional in nature.
A copy of Hillary Clinton’s schedule for September 14, 2012, shows she met with then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice in the morning and attended a meeting in the White House situation room in the afternoon just before attending the arrival ceremony for the remains of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty. The families of those killed at Benghazi claim that at the memorial service Clinton blamed an internet video for the attack. She is alleged to have promised the father of Tyrone Woods to “have the filmmaker arrested who was responsible for the death of your son.”
Days after her weekly meeting with Clinton, Rice appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News and CNN still claiming the assaults occurred “spontaneously” in response to the “hateful video.” On Sunday, September 16 Rice told CBS’s “Face the Nation:”
But based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy–sparked by this hateful video.
In 2014, Judicial Watch famously uncovered that Rice’s talking points originated with the Obama White House, which directly led to the creation of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
The latest documents also include a September 15 “Secretary’s Call Sheet for Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu,” in which State Department Near Eastern Affairs Acting Assistant Secretary Beth Jones informed Clinton:
Background: Given Turkey’s presence in Benghazi [Redacted] reached out to U/S Sinirlioglu September 11 to ask for Turkey’s assistance in obtaining details of the breaking situation at the U.S. Consulate General Benghazi. Both the Turkish Ambassador to Libya and the Turkish Consul General in Benghazi quickly engaged Libyan officials and provided details of the attack, and the Consul offered to shelter any American at his residence in Benghazi.
This is the second production of documents from a records cache of thousands of new Clinton State Department records supposedly only discovered in December 2015. The first batch of records, released earlier this month by Judicial Watch, include documents from the Department of State containing the telephone transcripts from the evening of September 11, 2012, in which then-Secretary of State Clinton informs then-Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil that the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi “had nothing to do with the film.” Those documents include previously unreleased telephone transcripts with world leaders about the Benghazi attack. As The Washington Free Beacon first noted, the State Department admitted in a court filing in an related case that the records were removed from the secretary of state’s office in April 2015, despite pending congressional subpoenas and Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.
The State Department documents also confirm U.S. personnel in Libya had been forced by the Obama administration to rely upon Turkey as the “protecting power” overseeing their safety. According to the September 15 Secretary’s Call Sheet given to Clinton:
Turkey served as our protecting power in Libya after we closed our Embassy in Libya in 2011. The-Turkish Ambassador to Libya, Salim Levent Sahinkaya, was instrumental in securing the release and safe departure of several Americans being held in Libya by Qadhafi forces in March 2011. You presented him with an award during your June 7 trip to Istanbul.
“No wonder the Obama administration hid these documents for nearly four years. These new Benghazi documents show again that Hillary Clinton was told ‘extremists’ – the Obama administration’s term for terrorists – were behind the Benghazi attack,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Her curiously-timed meetings with Rice and the White House just before she personally lied to the Benghazi victims’ families again bring the Obama White House into the center of the continuing scandal.”
In December 2015, Judicial Watch released documents obtained in the same FOIA lawsuit then-Department of Defense Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash to State Department leadership immediately offering “forces that could move to Benghazi” during the terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. In an email sent to top Department of State officials, at 7:19 p.m. ET, only hours after the attack had begun, Bash says, “we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.”
At 10:08 p.m. on September 11, Mrs. Clinton issued an official State Department press statement, which Judicial Watch uncovered was approved by the White House, placing the blame for the attack on an Internet video:
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. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.
And on September 20, 2012, Clinton appeared with Obama in a commercial made for Pakistani television in which she once again blamed the video. According to an ABC News report at the time, “The television ads in Pakistan feature clips of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during press appearances in Washington in which they condemned the video. Their words were subtitled in Urdu. A caption on the ad reads: ‘Paid Content.’” Less than one week later, Obama gave a lengthy speech at the United Nations claiming that “a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.”