An email obtained by Fox News dated March 18, 2011 and sent to three members of the Joint Staff reportedly states:
"Our contact will arrange a face-to-face meeting with Saif [Qaddafi], or a Skype/video-telecon [teleconference] to open communications if time does not permit… A peaceful resolution is still possible that keeps Saif on our side without bloodshed in Benghazi."
Thirty minutes later, a senior policy adviser wrote an email to 11 staff members, according to Fox News.
"Sirs, the JCSWG's [the Joint Chiefs of Staff's Working Group] contact is ready to arrange a meeting with Saif on a skype/video-telecon. Might be worth passing to folks who do this stuff routinely," the adviser wrote.
Copied on that email was then-Lt. Gen. Charles Jacoby, who at the time served as director of strategy, plans and policy for The Joint Staff and was responsible for planning coalition and NATO operations in Libya.
Later that day, Clinton instructed Jacoby "to not take the call from Saif and that [US ambassador to Libya] Gene Cretz was the only one she authorized to talk to Saif," an unnamed source told Fox News.
The following day, on March 19, the US began taking part in airstrikes over Libya. Muammar Qaddafi was killed seven months later.
According to Clinton's public schedule, which was reviewed by Fox News, she made three trips to the White House on March 18, 2011. The unusual number of trips most likely reflected sensitive foreign policy deliberations, according to Brad Blakeman, former adviser to President George W. Bush.
"This is a crisis. It's a high-level decision that is being made and for there to be shuttle diplomacy to be made between the White House and the State Department tells me it is so highly compartmentalized that there's no use of phones," Blakeman said.
"It's all personal communication between the president or the senior staff at the White House and the Secretary."
A redacted copy of Clinton's schedule that week in March, called "tick tock on Libya," was among the emails released in May. The content states: "March 14-16 – HRC participates in a high-level of video- and teleconferences."
The US embassy in Benghazi was attacked 17 months later and four Americans were killed, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Saif Qadaffi was sentenced to death in July, and is jailed in Libya.