Since Sept. 11, the Defense Department has released a timeline of that day, the Senate Homeland Security Committee has released a report, and a State Department "Accountability Review Board" set up by Clinton herself has published its own analysis.
But the composite story derived from these sources raises more questions about Clinton's role on 9/11/12 than it answers. In fact, these sources cite no action at all personally taken by Clinton.
Here (in Washington, D.C. time) is the basic sequence of events on 9/11/12 as derived from the combined information presented in the three documents:
3:42 p.m. -- Dozens of terrorists rush through a gate at State's special mission compound (SMC) in Benghazi. A U.S. security officer in the compound's "tactical operations center" sees it on a video monitor, hits an alarm and cellphones the CIA Annex down the road and the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.
3:45 p.m. -- The Tripoli embassy notifies Washington.
3:50 p.m. -- Ambassador Chris Stevens speaks by cellphone with his deputy chief of mission in Tripoli, telling him of the attack. "The DCM contacted the Libyan president and prime minister's offices to urge them to mobilize a rescue effort, and kept Washington apprised of post's efforts," says the ARB report. "Within hours, Embassy Tripoli chartered a private airplane and deployed a seven-person security team, which included two U.S. military personnel, to Benghazi."
3:59 p.m. -- Before either Defense Secretary Leon Panetta or President Barack Obama are informed, U.S. Africa Command "redirects" an unarmed drone toward Benghazi.
3:45-4:00 p.m. -- The terrorists use diesel fuel to ignite an SMC building that houses members of the February 17 militia, who were supposed to help protect U.S. personnel. The terrorists, says the ARB report, "then moved to Villa C," where Stevens was.
About 4:00 p.m. -- A security officer brings Stevens and Information Management Specialist Sean Smith into a safe area of the villa, trying to elude the terrorists, then into a bathroom trying to elude smoke. When Stevens and Smith don't follow him out a window, he repeatedly goes back into the building to find them.
4:04 p.m. -- Still before Panetta or Obama have been notified, a translator and a six-person security team from the Annex leave for the SMC in armored cars. Up to then, they had been assembling weapons and trying to secure the aid of the February 17 militia.
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