- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 21, 2015

In a recently released email, an aide to then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she had “leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country’s Libya policy from start to finish,” reports CNSNews.

The email is among those released to the House Select Committee on Benghazi by the State Department and was dated Aug. 21, 2011, as rebels in Tripoli closed in on dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

The email, among those obtained by the New York Times and posted online, was sent by Jake Sullivan, deputy director of the State Department at the time, who also worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, CNSNews reports.

The email, with the subject line “tick tock on Libya,” was forwarded to several staffers in addition to Mrs. Clinton and touted her as deserving credit for the situation in Libya, and included several talking points.

“HRC has been a critical voice on Libya in administration deliberations, at NATO and in contact group meetings — as well as the public face of the U.S. effort in Libya. She was instrumental in security the authorization, building the coalition, and tightening the noose around Qadhafi and his regime,” states the email.

The email also includes a timeline of Mrs. Clinton’s visits, travels and meetings in connection with Libya.

Less than 13 months later, the U.S. diplomatic outpost in the eastern city of Benghazi was attacked by Islamist terrorists with links to al-Qaeda. U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.

Mrs. Clinton and several other Obama administration figures initially blamed the attack on an anti-Islam video. That narrative was false, and there were numerous intelligence reports indicating this even as the administration continued to blame the video.

Since Gadhafi’s death and fall from power in the fall of 2011, Libya been torn apart by numerous militias — Islamist and otherwise, with bases in various cities and among different tribes — as the post-Gadhafi central government in Tripoli has been unable to exert sovereignty effectively over the whole nation.

Islamic militants seized two cities in the name of the Islamic State earlier this year, prompting airstrikes by Egypt in support of the central government.

• Jennifer Pompi can be reached at jpompi@washingtontimes.com.

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