This was despite anti-government protests kicking off in Benghazi and Ajdabiyah a few days before, at a time when the U.S. and France and other Western governments were claiming government forces were involved in the mass-killing of protesters and civilians.
However, on March 2, 2011, a few days before the passage of the U.N. resolution, U.S. State Department official Harriet Spanos sent an email informing Clinton that “Security Reports . . . confirm that Benghazi has been calm over the past couple of days.”
“Economic activity is going on in Benghazi,” she added in the email, with shops and banks open and “[m]obile and landline phones… working… and Internet has returned.”
The moment of truth came 11 days into the NATO bombing, which continued for several months, when Clinton’s top adviser, Sidney Blumenthal, who was not employed by the state department but by the private Clinton Foundation, laid out the reasons for the Washington-led intervention and the eventual ousting of Gadhafi.