Revelations of a severe lapse in judgement at the Hillary Clinton State Department are made evident in a batch of emails, ordered by the court to be released in increments.
The emails under scrutiny were forwarded between aides, State Department employees, Clinton, and others.
They described, in detail, the itinerary of Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was later killed in the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
Critics of the former Secretary of State find it a highly questionable practice to outline the scheduled coming and goings of a potential target such as the U.S. Ambassador in an area known to be a hotbed of anti-American sentiment.
Libya had been in a state of chaos and upheaval for almost a year as factions fought to fill the power vacuum created when Clinton and Obama orchestrated the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.
The April 10, 2011, email from State Department employee Timmy Davis was forwarded to the server by Clinton’s aide, Huma Abedin.
“The situation in Ajdabiyah has worsened to the point where Stevens is considering departure from Benghazi,” Davis’ email read.
“The envoy’s delegation is currently doing a phased checkout (paying the hotel bills, moving some comms to the boat, etc). He will monitor the situation to see if it deteriorates further, but no decision has been made on departure. He will wait 2-3 more hours, then revisit the decision on departure.”
In March of 2011, an email stated that, “The current game plan is for Mr. Stevens to move no later than Wednesday from Malta to Benghazi. He will stage offshore initially for a one day visit during which he will have meetings with TNC (Transitional National Council) interlocutors and get a sense of the situation on the ground. The goal of this one day trip is for him to lay the groundwork for a stay of up to 30 days.”
On April 22, another email detailing Stevens’ travel plans: “I want to let you know about a temporary rotation in Benghazi. TNC Envoy Chris Stevens has been on the road since March 13, when he began his outreach mission, and has been in Benghazi since April 5.”
And then, on April 24, there was an email which told the exact time Ambassador Stevens would be having a meeting:
“Stevens will be meeting with MFA in one hour and will make a written request for better security at the hotel and for better security-related coordination. He still feels comfortable in the hotel. They are looking into the idea of moving into a villa, but that is some way off.”
In light of the recent indictment of the Iranian hackers and given the propensity of both China and Russia to engage in cyber espionage, it would be expected of State Department officials to adhere to strict protocols when dealing with sensitive information rather than passing it around on an unsecured server.
The Benghazi attack that resulted in four dead Americans, left hung out to dry by their government and the Clinton email scandal are bound together. It has been and will continue to be stain and an ongoing saga, destined to resound through the ages as an American tragedy.