By Ben Barrack
Problems continue to be mounting for the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. When the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes identified former State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland as being involved in the altering of Benghazi talking points, the mouthpiece for Hillary was implicated. Now that the White House has released more emails, it appears Hillary’s former Deputy Chief of Staff has been further implicated in changing those talking points as well and with a high level White House official.
Let’s go back to Hillary’s written testimony / opening statement on January 23rd at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. In it, she said, in part:
First, let’s start on the night of September 11 itself and those difficult early days. I directed our response from the State Department and stayed in close contact with officials from across our government and the Libyan government. So I saw first-hand what Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen called “timely” and “exceptional” coordination. No delays in decision-making.
Apparently, ‘no delays in decision-making’ appears to have also been applied to altering Susan Rice’s talking points.
The testimony continued…
…after Benghazi, we accelerated a diplomatic campaign to increase pressure on al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other terrorist groups across the region.
In the first hours and days, I conferred with the President of Libya and the Foreign Ministers of Tunisia and Morocco.
Uh, if Hillary conferred with the President of Libya in “the first hours and days” after the attack, why did U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and the Libyan President directly contradict each other on September 16th, on the same CBS Sunday talk show? Thanks to the latest round of released emails, we know the State Department was involved at the highest levels.
Again, according to Hayes’ first article, Hillary’s State Department Operations Center sent out an alert two hours after the attacks that identified both Ansar al-Sharia and al-Qaeda by name:
Within hours of the initial attack on the U.S. facility, the State Department Operations Center sent out two alerts. The first, at 4:05 p.m. (all times are Eastern Daylight Time), indicated that the compound was under attack; the second, at 6:08 p.m., indicated that Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaeda-linked terrorist group operating in Libya, had claimed credit for the attack.
Now there is another individual very close to Hillary that has been further implicated – her then Deputy Chief of Staff, Jake Sullivan, whom Hayes revealed in his second article.
It appears that Sullivan’s role was quite extensive, as revealed in the release of the White House emails. Via Stephen Hayes’ latest at the Weekly Standard:
The documents answer some questions and raise many others. Did Hillary Clinton have any role in the efforts of State Department staffers to push for the many substantive revisions to the talking points? Clinton, who testified that she was a hands-on part of the State Department’s response to the attacks, has claimed she had nothing to do with the talking points.
And what about the administration’s claims that State and White House officials weren’t involved with substantive edits? In one email, Jake Sullivan, deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton, reports to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that he’s spoken with Obama’s top spokesman at the National Security Council, Tommy Vietor. “I spoke with Tommy. We’ll work through this in the morning and get comments back.”
In a separate email, he writes: “Talked to Tommy. We can make edits.”
Incidentally, the more Sullivan is identified as a player in the cover-up, the more interest Vice President Joe Biden should take in the scandal. This past March, Biden’s office hired Sullivan as his National Security Adviser.
As Sullivan’s involvement with Vietor – who works for the White House – becomes more known, another important question needs to be asked of Mr. Biden:
Did you know of Sullivan’s involvement with the White House in altering the talking points before you hired him?
Here is a report on the White House’s release of emails, via Fox News: