Politics

Hillary Clinton's Definitive Response To Benghazi: I Won't Politicize 'On The Backs Of Dead Americans'

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Hillary Clinton’s definitive response to Republican accusations regarding the attack on Benghazi is included in her soon-to-be released book “Hard Choices.”

“I will not be a part of a political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans,” she wrote in the book, released exclusively to Politico. “It’s just plain wrong, and it’s unworthy of our great country. Those who insist on politicizing the tragedy will have to do so without me.

“Those who exploit this tragedy over and over as a political tool minimize the sacrifice of those who served our country,” she wrote in the chapter titled “Benghazi: Under Attack.”

Congressional Republicans, led by Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Darrell Issa, continue to pursue the government over the 2012 attack which claimed the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. 

A new GOP-led House select committee plans to rehash the timeline of the attack as their “first order of business,” according to Fox News.

Politico says the 34-page chapter in Clinton’s book is the most complete account to date on the attack. She took responsibility as secretary of state for the “horror” that took place there, citing “the heartbreaking human stakes of every decision we make.”

She said there is a “regrettable amount of misinformation, speculation, and flat-out deceit by some in politics and the media” when it comes to Benghazi. She defended the intelligence gathered preceding the attack and said that the anti-Islamic video on YouTube that sparked protests across the globe was “indeed a factor” in the attack.

“There were scores of attackers that night, almost certainly with differing motives,” she wrote. “It is inaccurate to state that every single one of them was influenced by this hateful video. It is equally inaccurate to state that none of them were. Both assertions defy not only the evidence but logic as well.”

She defended the rescue effort deployed by the President. Obama “gave the order to do whatever was necessary to support our people in Libya. It was imperative that all possible resources be mobilized immediately.

"When Americans are under fire, that is not an order the Commander in Chief has to give twice," she wrote. "Our military does everything humanly possible to save American lives — and would do more if they could. That anyone has ever suggested otherwise is something I will never understand.”

She also defended former United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice who said the attack was “undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.”

“Susan stated what the intelligence community believed, rightly or wrongly, at the time,” Clinton wrote. “That was the best she or anyone could do. Every step of the way, whenever something new was learned, it was quickly shared with Congress and the American people. There is a difference between getting something wrong, and committing wrong. A big difference that some have blurred to the point of casting those who made a mistake as intentionally deceitful.”

Sources: Fox News, Politico, The Washington Wire (WSJ Blog), Mediaite