Monday afternoon’s proceedings began with a solemn moment of silence to honor the four valiant Americans who tragically lost their lives in Benghazi.
Vice Adm. John G. Hannink stood leering down at a shackled Hillary Clinton, who noticeably averted her soulless eyes to avoid digital whiteboards that displayed photographs of Ambassador Chris Stephens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
Their deaths, Vice Adm. Hannink told the three-officer tribunal, were preventable, but Clinton wanted to nurture amenable relations with Libya’s provisional government and the anti-American Islamic militant groups that rose to prominence after the killing of Muammar Gaddafi.
“Detainee Clinton was more interested in making friends with terrorists than she was protecting American lives. For many people it’s easy to forget what happened 7 years ago, but we cannot forget. We cannot forget that thanks to the detainee’s callous disregard for American lives, four Americans went home to their families in a wooden box draped with an American flag,” Vice Adm. Hannink told the tribunal.
He asked the two men and one woman on the tribunal to imagine, vicariously if they could, the terror Ambassador Stephens must have felt as he choked on black smoke and burned alive after Jihadists set fire to the American diplomatic compound. Or the exhaustion Woods and Doherty endured as they, propelled by sheer adrenaline, defended the CIA annex for 13 hours against swarms of encroaching members of Ansar al-Sharia.
“Clinton’s role no longer needs to be ascertained; it’s well-known. Yes, she has said she had no knowledge of the incursion until it was over, but that’s a provable lie. When personnel at the CIA annex saw the diplomatic compound, less than a mile away, ablaze, they immediately notified Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, Clinton’s #2 man, and he telephoned Clinton, asleep in her bed at 3:00 a.m., we can’t begrudge her that, and told her the CIA contractors, knowing the annex would be next to fall, wanted to defend. But Clinton refused, and here’s how we know this,” Vice Adm. Hannink said.
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