Emails show White House knew of terrorists’ Benghazi claim within two hours. So why blame a video for two weeks?

The Obama administration/campaign’s story about what happened in Benghazi on Sept. 11 keeps having run-ins with the facts. The latest comes from Reuters:

Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.

The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.

The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials ultimately acknowledged was a “terrorist” attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.

Administration spokesmen, including White House spokesman Jay Carney, citing an unclassified assessment prepared by the CIA, maintained for days that the attacks likely were a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim film.

The story goes on to say officials referred to evidence that the violence “erupted spontaneously” — an apparent reference to the alleged protests about an alleged anti-Muslim video. But as we now know, there was no protest leading up to the attacks on the consulate, so it’s hard to understand what sort of evidence they could have been describing. A claim of responsibility by an al-Qaida affiliate, on the other hand, would seem to have been sufficient evidence not to frame the issue even once as a matter of First Amendment freedoms gone wrong.

Unless, of course, one happened to be running for re-election and basing one’s pitch to voters in large part on the idea that al-Qaida is on its way to defeat.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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382 comments Add your comment

JDW

October 24th, 2012
10:42 am

@Kyle…so I guess that a Terrorist Group has never lied about such a thing and we should immediately accept all such claims as fact?

JDW

October 24th, 2012
10:47 am

@Kyle..here is a good review of what was actually said…minus the insinuations

http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/10/world/libya-attack-statements/index.html

Don't Tread

October 24th, 2012
10:51 am

Makes you wonder what else is being covered up. We already know of one cover-up (Fast and Furious), where 0bama made the decision to cover the whole thing up via executive privilege. It was apparently less damaging than letting the truth get out.

M. Jones

October 24th, 2012
10:52 am

A terrorist attack on 9/11, 2012. Who could have guessed that?

kayaker 71

October 24th, 2012
10:55 am

What an absolute cluster. What does this crowd think we are?…… a bunch of dumbasses? Lies, lies and more lies. Does it ever stop?

markie mark

October 24th, 2012
10:55 am

“@Kyle…so I guess that a Terrorist Group has never lied about such a thing and we should immediately accept all such claims as fact?”

No, JDW, but then we shouldnt immediately dismiss it either. Nor should we be claiming something pretty much acknowledged not to be true 2 weeks later on all the Sunday talk shows. They !@#!@# sure knew by then…….

Centrist

October 24th, 2012
10:56 am

Diverting attention from a true terrorist attack during the initial news cycle, and pretending it was a spontaneous demonstration gone out of control was a mostly successful political maneuver.

Slowly correcting the dodge is old news with much less impact. The MSM downplays it to help Obama. But then you knew that when you asked the question: “So why blame a video for two weeks?”

USMC

October 24th, 2012
10:57 am

I think even the DUMBEST of DemocRats knew that the YOUTUBE VIDEO excuse was a LIE from the start.

Even she knew….. Well, may be not! :-)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio

MarkV

October 24th, 2012
10:58 am

“The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.”

That somebody had claimed responsibility is evidence? In what world do you live, Kyle? Why was that a better evidence than, let’s say, the following:

LA Times, 10/19/3012: “The assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi last month appears to have been an opportunistic attack rather than a long-planned operation, and intelligence agencies have found no evidence that it was ordered by Al Qaeda, according to U.S. officials and witnesses interviewed in Libya.”
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/19/world/la-fg-libya-attack-20121020

kayaker 71

October 24th, 2012
10:58 am

Al Queda is behind us….”We have decimated their ranks and their leadership”. “We got Ben Ladin”. “They are no longer a threat to this country”. Lies, lies and more lies.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

October 24th, 2012
10:59 am

JDW is correct. We should just take a terrorist group’s word as fact and a statement of honesty?

Terrorist Group: “We took the last cinnamon roll!”

Con President: “Send in the drones! DO IT, NOW!”

md

October 24th, 2012
11:00 am

“so I guess that a Terrorist Group has never lied about such a thing and we should immediately accept all such claims as fact?”

Of course not, but logic also dictates that if they knew this, they shouldn’t be going forward with a false narrative that would also be suspect of being true.

The logical course would have been to say “we aren’t quite sure just yet”…….and that didn’t happen.

Why?

JDW

October 24th, 2012
11:01 am

@markie mark…”but then we shouldnt immediately dismiss it either”

Of course not which is why this was said

September 12 — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

“We are working to determine the precise motivations and methods of those who carried out this assault.

September 12 — White House spokesman Jay Carney, in response to questions about whether the attack was planned:

“It’s too early for us to make that judgment.

September 13 — State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland:

“Well, as we said yesterday when we were on background, we are very cautious about drawing any conclusions with regard to who the perpetrators were, what their motivations were, whether it was premeditated, whether they had any external contacts, whether there was any link, until we have a chance to investigate along with the Libyans.

There is more but you get the idea. If you look at most of the statements regarding the video they reference the unrest in the region rather than just the specific incident.

Common Sense

October 24th, 2012
11:01 am

This President has a clear history of dismissing the seriousness of our enemies and blaming the events on Americans.

What is even more appalling is the number of media and Americans who stand firm with him, even though they know what is really happening.

For some, the ends will always justify the means.

It just means the rest of us must not bend to the pressures to merely accept things because someone in government makes a claim.

JDW

October 24th, 2012
11:01 am

@md…”The logical course would have been to say “we aren’t quite sure just yet”…….and that didn’t happen.”

Yet that is, for the most part, EXACTLY what happened.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

October 24th, 2012
11:02 am

I travel overseas and understand there is a bit of danger in my being an American citizen abroad.

Now, if I were a diplomat, an american citizen representing the highest offices of America, I would expect it is a LOT more dangerous for me. Would that…should that stop me from doing my job?

There must not be any conservative photo journalists in the world cause it sounds like the Cons are all candy-bottomed.

cc

October 24th, 2012
11:02 am

“Emails show White House knew of terrorists’ Benghazi claim within two hours. So why blame a video for two weeks?”

The answer is given in your last line of the column, but there is even more to this. Obama and his entire administration is built on lies. They have become so accustomed to the unquestioning masses accepting their lies that they now believe they can lie about anything and the public will buy it. Certainly the Kool-Aid drinkers wrap themselves in the lies and enthusiastically repeat, support and defend those lies. You need look no further than regular posters on this blog to find evidence of this.

Common Sense

October 24th, 2012
11:02 am

“We should just take a terrorist group’s word as fact and a statement of honesty?”

And who’s word were you taking when you blamed an unseen video?

JDW

October 24th, 2012
11:04 am

@markie mark…”Nor should we be claiming something pretty much acknowledged not to be true 2 weeks later ”

Really…2 weeks to the day…

September 25 — President Obama on ABC’s “The View,” in response to interviewer Joy Behar’s question, “I heard Hillary Clinton say it was an act of terrorism. Is it? What do you say?”:

“We’re still doing an investigation. There’s no doubt that (with) the kind of weapons that were used, the ongoing assault, that it wasn’t just a mob action. We don’t have all the information yet, so we’re still gathering it. But what’s clear is that around the world, there’s still a lot of threats out there.” Obama also said “extremist militias” were suspected to have been involved.

Now where in that statement is the video blamed?

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

October 24th, 2012
11:05 am

Salon brings up an interesting paradox:

Rarely before in American history has a candidate for president campaigned on such a blank slate. Yet, paradoxically, not a day goes by that we don’t hear Romney, or some other exponent of the GOP, claim that businesses aren’t creating more jobs because they’re uncertain about the future…….

In fact, Romney has created far more uncertainty. He offers a virtual question mark of an economy.
http://www.salon.com/2012/10/24/mitts_question_mark_economy/

md

October 24th, 2012
11:06 am

“Yet that is, for the most part, EXACTLY what happened.”

No it’s not, they pushed a false narrative for almost 3 weeks……….a narrative that they KNEW could be false given these emails.

Aquagirl

October 24th, 2012
11:09 am

I guess that a Terrorist Group has never lied about such a thing and we should immediately accept all such claims as fact?

That’s how it works in teevee shows and spy novels, right?

What is this obsession with the public announcement of who was responsible? Who cares? The State Dept. does not exist to inform Joe Sixpack as to who attacked our embassy. Despite what some of y’all think, it’s not all about you and Kyle’s daily post.

This administration has done a far better job than the previous one and that’s why we hear endless whining and carping. Y’all think you cover your own inept moves by criticizing the other guy, even when it makes you look like an insane partisan tool.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

October 24th, 2012
11:09 am

Oh, the outrage!

This whine will go away after Obama smokes Mittens in the election.

MarkV

October 24th, 2012
11:11 am

Meet the Press, September 16
MS. RICE: “Well, let us– let me tell you the– the best information we have at present. First of all, there’s an FBI investigation which is ongoing. And we look to that investigation to give us the definitive word as to what transpired. But putting together the best information that we have available to us today our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of– of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. WHAT WE THINK THEN TRANSPIRED IN BENGHAZI IS THAT OPPORTUNISTIC EXTREMIST ELEMENTS CAME TO THE CONSULATE AS THIS WAS UNFOLDING. [My emphasis]They came with heavy weapons which unfortunately are readily available in post revolutionary Libya. And it escalated into a much more violent episode. Obviously, that’s– that’s our best judgment now. We’ll await the results of the investigation.”

LA Times October 19:
“The assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi last month appears to have BEEN AN OPPORTUNISTIC ATTACK RATHER THAN A LONG-PLANNED OPERATION [My emphasis], and intelligence agencies have found no evidence that it was ordered by Al Qaeda, according to U.S. officials and witnesses interviewed in Libya.”

curious

October 24th, 2012
11:11 am

Downplay the attack.

reminds me of Donald Rumsfeld telling the soldier wanting up armored vehicles in Iraq “you go to war with what you have”.

Considering the invasion of Iraq was on our timetable, maybe Rumsfeld shouldn’t have been quite so dismissive.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

October 24th, 2012
11:13 am

“So why blame a video for two weeks?”

Because it would destroy our last advantage in this Presidential campaign – that being that we’ve never been attacked since Obama’s been President, and that we’ve got the terrorists on the run.

Bottom-line, when you have these e-mails, the now known drone information, and the simple reality that people don’t bring RPG’s to demonstrations, you can come to the only conclusion possible, and that is that this White House and administration is filled with think only about the next election, blame anybody but ourselves incompetents who had no business being put in charge on this nation.

markie mark

October 24th, 2012
11:13 am

@md…”The logical course would have been to say “we aren’t quite sure just yet”…….and that didn’t happen.”

Yet that is, for the most part, EXACTLY what happened.

JDW, totally disagree. They did their damndest to spin this as a spontaneous attack, and everybody can pretty much see that. If you wish not to, well, good luck with that bit of disbelief……

Verbal Kint

October 24th, 2012
11:14 am

In two weeks, we’ll be celebrating the electiion of a new president.

adam smith's invisible hand

October 24th, 2012
11:14 am

About a dozen groups “claimed credit” for 9/11/2001’s attacks, but only one group did it.

Why? So it could....

October 24th, 2012
11:14 am

…give your colleague Bookman something else about which to pander for Obuma…and, is there a difference in an “act of terrorism” vs. “acts of terror”? But after he remembered what Rham told him, “never let a good scandal go to waste”, he had to blame the death on something in order to get out from underhis going to bed while his ambassador was under attack…

JDW

October 24th, 2012
11:14 am

@md…”No it’s not, they pushed a false narrative for almost 3 weeks……….a narrative that they KNEW could be false given these emails.”

hummm…last qoute I know of that raised the possiblity was Susan Rice on Sept. 16th…Carney addressed the subject on the 18th

September 18 — Jay Carney:

“Our belief, based on the information we have, is it was the video that caused the unrest in Cairo, and the video and the unrest in Cairo that helped — that precipitated some of the unrest in Benghazi and elsewhere. What other factors were involved is a matter of investigation.”

Please note he is referring to Cairo as caused by the video and clearly notes that there are other factors under investigation.

curious

October 24th, 2012
11:16 am

Probable that about every bad guy (and there are plenty) in Libya has a AK47/RPG, etc. in their vehicle.

Halftrack

October 24th, 2012
11:17 am

There are several options to consider. 1) it is election time and like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar denies it. 2) protocol of urgent messages could have gone awry. 3) straight out incompetence of all waiting on someone else to make the call of what to do. 4) strategy or secret deals with Muslim extremeist so as to not anger them more. 5) so committed to blaming America first and wanting to placate our enemies. 6) part of all of the above.

adam smith's invisible hand

October 24th, 2012
11:17 am

oh – and even though it was called an act of terror by Obama immediately, no one on the right has yet to give a decent reason why they think the WH wouldn’t want to lable it a terrorist attack. This smells of real desperation from the GOP, which, given the polls, makes sense,.

Randy Ayn

October 24th, 2012
11:18 am

Don’t worry. Mitt’s going to build 3 nuclear subs a year instead of 2, so that’ll keep us safe from terrorists.

markie mark

October 24th, 2012
11:18 am

“Y’all think you cover your own inept moves by criticizing the other guy, even when it makes you look like an insane partisan tool.”

Aquagirl, you pretty much have described yourself and Finn….is there anything this president can do that will make you guys stop carrying water for him? Apparently not from what you guys post and spin….

JF McNamara

October 24th, 2012
11:19 am

They just outright lied about it. Maybe they were trying to deny credit to terrorists or not tell the truth because they wanted to secure the situation on the ground. Either way, they lied about it when they should have just told the truth.

I guess no matter who wins, we will be getting a liar as President.

Verbal Kint

October 24th, 2012
11:19 am

” This smells of real desperation from the GOP, which, given the polls, makes sense.”

This is an interesting statement.

mike

October 24th, 2012
11:20 am

Interesting. As a vet I am trying to understand exactly what was the President to do? As a vet and having spent time in the country in the middle east I know security is not provided by a phone call to the White House. As far as who lied, the biggest and most costly lie in human lifes and injuries was told by the Bush folks. Where was all the finger pointing then?

markie mark

October 24th, 2012
11:20 am

playtimes been fun, time to go to work…..be nice, all….

Aquagirl

October 24th, 2012
11:21 am

blame anybody but ourselves incompetents who had no business being put in charge on[sic] this nation.

Yawn. Lemme know when we launch an entire war months after receiving faulty intelligence. Then maybe you can have some cheese with that whine.

Armchair spies are worth about as much as armchair generals and for some reason conservatives seem to have a surplus of both. Why it attracts guys who never got beyond their dress up and pretend phase is mercifully unknown.

markie mark

October 24th, 2012
11:23 am

sorry, I couldnt leave after seeing that….Mike, bush is gone. I know thats hard, but I am worried about the future, not his F1@#$@#$ups in the past. And as a vet, you should know the rules. If the ship runs aground, even when the captain is asleep at 3 o’clock in the morning and the Office of the Deck is a 1st lieutenant, the Captain is responsible.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

October 24th, 2012
11:24 am

” This smells of real desperation from the GOP, which, given the polls, makes sense.”

You mean the ones showing Romney leading?

markie mark

October 24th, 2012
11:24 am

***Officer of the deck

Partisay

October 24th, 2012
11:25 am

USMC – Why would democrats, or the DUMBEST democrats as you put it, know that the video was just an excuse? If an ignorant redneck preacher from Florida can set off riots in the ME that results in deaths, why couldn’t a vile video about Muslims do the same thing?

Would you really expect President Obama or his administration to say, “well, apparently it was terrorism because a Libyan group just said so on Facebook and Twitter. So it must be so.” How stupid is that?

Usually, when something like this happens, more than one group will claim responsibility!

Tom(Independent Viet Vet-USAF)

October 24th, 2012
11:26 am

Finn@10:59 – The only good terrorist is a DEAD terrorist!!

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

October 24th, 2012
11:26 am

Aquagirl, two points:

One, I have ALWAYS disagreed with the invasion of Iraq. ALWAYS. So that dog of yours doesn’t hunt.

Two, GWB isn’t on the ballot. Obama is. And he should be judged on HIS actions or inaction’s.

MarkV

October 24th, 2012
11:26 am

Kyle; “Emails show White House knew of terrorists’ Benghazi claim within two hours.”

It seems Kyle belongs among those several people commenting on this blog who believe that the meaning of the words they use is unimportant and arguing about a meaning is just “semantics.” An interesting attitude for a journalist, whose tools are words. Perhaps Kyle could enlighten us about his understanding of the words “the White House KNEW.”

Grasshopper

October 24th, 2012
11:27 am

It’s useless trying to convince Obama’s rabid supporters that the administration sold half-truths, innuendo, and down-right lies to the American public about the Benghazi terrorist attack. They are so deep into the president’s man-cave that they can’t even hear factual evidence, must less process it thoughtfully.

We just have to hope that the undecided voters out there, (Lord, bless them) don’t have their myopic blinders on and can understand what is happening in the physical world apart from their reality TV screens. Fingers crossed and prayers mouthed.

Darwin

October 24th, 2012
11:30 am

You peddle this nonsense when 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch. What does Romney stand for? You have to wait to find out because it changes every five minutes.