Awkward: Hey Hillary, How About We Don't Joke About The Inadequate Security In Benghazi

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Oct 23, 2015 9:10 AM
Awkward: Hey Hillary, How About We Don't Joke About The Inadequate Security In Benghazi

Okay. I admit that Allahpundit has THE headline for this awkward exchange: “Hillary fondly remembers Chris Stevens’s sense of humor in trying not to be murdered.” It began when Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) asked Clinton about an email from the late Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was inquiring about the compound, its future, and the security situation. Clinton said that Stevens had a “sense of humor,” noting that he could pick up some things from a “fire sale” from other diplomatic missions in the region who were leaving Libya due to the deteriorating situation:

REP. SUSAN BROOKS: So going back to Miss Sanchez's [Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)] e-mail with respect from John Stevens to Miss Polysheck (ph), it talks about Option A, as you've pointed out, slimming down the compound, and so he weighed in on -- in October he was weighing in on whether or not the compound should stay open.

But I'd like to direct your attention to an e-mail that's at tab four, dated December 15th from Chris Stevens.

And I might add for the record, we do not, still to this day, have all of Chris Stevens e-mails. We received 1,300 more this week. We received most of them last week. We don't have the universe yet of Ambassador Stevens e-mails.

But he e-mailed to a reporting officer who we know was in Benghazi still. He wrote, "Interesting. Has security improved in Benghazi in recent weeks? Also curious what you guys decided to do regarding future of the compound. He was in Washington, D.C., or back in the States during that time, and in December Ambassador Stevens, your soon-to-be ambassador, didn't know what was going to happen with the compound in Benghazi, how is that possible?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, Congresswoman, one of the great attributes that Chris Stevens had was a really good sense of humor. And I just see him smiling as he's typing this. Because it is clearly in response to the e-mail down below talking about picking up a few, quote, "fire- sale items" from the Brits...

BROOKS: Sure. Those -- those fire side items, by the way, fire sale items are barricades.

CLINTON: That's right.

BROOKS: They are additional...

CLINTON: That's right.

BROOKS: ... Requests for security...

CLINTON: That's right.

BROOKS: ... For the compound. That's what that fire sale was, because we weren't providing enough physical security for the compound, isn't that right?

So they're picking up a fire sale because other consulates are pulling out, other countries are pulling out.

CLINTON: Well, I thought it showed their entrepreneurial spirit, Congresswoman...

BROOKS: Absolutely.

CLINTON: ... And I applaud -- I applaud them for doing so.

We did respond to a number of the security requests, the physical security requests. The posters that were up earlier this morning were only about the number of Diplomatic Security personnel (ph).

You're talking about physical -- physical barriers, physical additions to the compound. There were quite a few of those that were undertaken.

BROOKS: But how is it that Mr. Stevens did not know in December whether or not the compound was going to remain open?

CLINTON: Well...

BROOKS: Or do you -- or do you think that was a joke he was making?

CLINTON: Well, I think that if it -- if it were not an example of his sense of humor, it was also as part of the ongoing discussion about Mission Benghazi's future, which he went to great lengths to describe what he thought should be done.

You know, a lot of it was trying to decide, could we afford it? Could we maintain it? What did we need to have there?

So, yes, there was an ongoing discussion. And I think he knew he was going to be in line to go to Tripoli, and he wanted to know exactly what the decision was going to be about the compound.

He had weighed in, not only in that e-mail, but in numerous discussions with his colleagues back at the State Department.

Yeah, I guess that's sort of funny (said by no one who’s serious). Allah added his two cents to this exchange.

“You realize this freakishly odd human being is quite likely to be the next president, yes?”