A top State Department official boasted of Hillary Clinton's "leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country's Libya policy from start to finish" a little more than a year before the attack that killed four Americans at a US compound in Benghazi.
That assessment, offered up in an email from Clinton Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan to fellow State Department aides Cheryl Mills and Victoria Nuland, is contained in a trove of emails the agency turned over Friday to the House committee investigating the Benghazi attack.
Written in August 2011, it shows that Clinton's aides once viewed her role in the US-backed intervention in Libya as a marquee achievement.
"HRC has been a critical voice on Libya in administration deliberations, at NATO, and in contact group meetings," Sullivan wrote. "She was instrumental in securing the authorization, building the coalition, and tightening the noose around Qadhafi and his regime."
Sullivan also recounts the key days of diplomacy in March 2011 that led to the creation of the coalition that attacked Gaddafi.
And Clinton's efforts on Capitol Hill.
Thirteen months later, the killing of four Americans in Libya, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, would make it impossible for Clinton to cast the US-backed intervention as a success or an achievement on her part.