Hillary Clinton defends her Libya policy: ‘We did not lose a single American life’

by WorldTribune Staff, September 9, 2016

In defending the 2011 U.S. invasion of Libya during a foreign policy forum broadcast by NBC, Hillary Clinton insisted “we did not lose a single American in that action.”

While no Americans died in the actual 26,000 U.S. bombing sorties during the Libya campaign, four Americans died in the Benghazi terrorist attack that occurred during the time the U.S. intervened to drive out long time dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

Hillary Clinton speaks during a veterans forum at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City on Sept. 7, 2016. /AFP/Getty Images/Brendan Smialowski
Hillary Clinton speaks during a policy forum at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City on Sept. 7. /AFP/Getty Images/Brendan Smialowski

After the forum, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tweeted, “#ICYMI Hillary Clinton said last night, ‘We did not lose a single American in Libya.’ Really.” Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer echoed this line, tweeting, “Really? @HillaryClinton said we ‘didn’t lose a single American in Libya’. She does know #Benghazi is in Libya right? #NBCNewsForum.”

Clinton used “a very narrow definition, one custom-built to define away any of the larger problems with the Libyan intervention,” said Ted Bromund, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

The fallout from the policy helped turn Libya from “an exceptionally tyrannical and murderous regime to a failed state with a large and violent Islamist presence,” Bromund said.

During the joint forum with GOP candidate Donald Trump on Sept. 7, Clinton also argued that if the United States hadn’t intervened, there would be a civil war in the country today.

There is a civil war in Libya today.

“The intervention had the consequence of turning Libya into a failed state, which led to much harm, including the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012,” said Alan J. Kuperman, who teaches at the University of Texas-Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs.

The attack by armed Islamic militants on U.S. facilities in Benghazi resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department communications specialist Sean Smith, and a pair of CIA contractors, Glenn Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

Clinton was a strong proponent of the Libyan intervention, according to a New York Times report, and helped push a fence-sitting President Barack Obama across the line.

“I’ve always thought that Hillary’s support for the broader mission in Libya put the president on the 51 side of the line for a more aggressive approach,” then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who opposed the intervention, told the Times.

According to Libya Body Count, a website that tallies the number of deaths since the start of Libya’s 2014 civil war, at least 5,300 people have been killed in the fighting since 2014. Also, the political situation is in total disarray, leaving the country in a state of complete instability.

“There are two rival parliaments and three governments  —  the latest government was formed in UN-brokered talks in December with the aim of replacing the other two,” the BBC reported last month. “But this initiative is still on the rocks, partly because of concerns that the new government is being imposed by Western powers.”

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