What did the administration know and when did they know it?
As everyone knows by now, on September 11th, US personnel in Cairo, Egypt, Benghazi, Libya and other areas across the Middle East were attacked by Muslim terrorists who killed four American diplomats in Benghazi.
At first, the Obama administration disingenuously attempted to pass the terrorist attacks off as an understandable reaction on the part of ordinary Muslims offended by the amateurish, stupid, grotesque and childish anti-Islamic YouTube video, Innocence of Muslims. The video, the product of an as yet unnamed, probably insane and reprehensibly idiotic sub-human from California, quickly went viral, and was seized upon by the White House spokespeople as the reason for the attacks resulting in the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Stevens’ death was the first violent assassination of a US diplomat since 1979.
In response to the attacks, for which even a grade-school child could connect the dots, seeing their occurrence on the 11th anniversary of the despicable destruction of New York’s twin World Trade Center towers by 19 men, 15 of whom were Saudi Muslims, was not a coincidence. White House spokespeople were deployed to promote the administration’s spin that the crowds attacking Ambassador Stevens’ mission, though armed with antiaircraft weapons and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), were, as State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland put it in a presser on September 13, when she was asked, “Whether the Benghazi attack was purely spontaneous or was premeditated by militants,” Nuland replied, “[W]e 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 … [O]bviously, there are plenty of people around the region citing this disgusting video as something that has been motivating.”
The next day, September 14, White House press secretary Jay Carney said at a White House press briefing that the attacks were, “In response not to United States policy, not to, obviously, the administration, not to the American people. It is in response to a video, a film that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting … This is in response to a video that is offensive and — to Muslims.”
A reporter asked, “At Benghazi?”
“We certainly don’t know, we don’t know otherwise,” said Carney. “You know, we have no information to suggest that it was a preplanned attack. The unrest we’ve seen around the region has been in reaction to a video that Muslims, many Muslims, find offensive. And while the violence is reprehensible and unjustified, it is not a reaction to the 9/11 anniversary that we know of or to U.S. policy.”
On September 18th, a full week after the attacks, Carney still insisted, “We saw no evidence to back up claims by others that this was a preplanned or premeditated attack.” Also a week after Ambassador Stevens’ horrific death, UN Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters covering the General Assembly meeting, “What happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction . . . as a consequence of the video, that people gathered outside the embassy and then it grew very violent.”
These statements were made two, three and seven days, respectively, after the attacks. Akthough a case might be made that in the beginning, it was too dificult for officials to assess the attacks thoroughly, but remember that those “crowds” were armed with military grade weapons and eyewitnesses noted that the attackers were disciplined and on point when they attacked the consulate in Benghazi and this was reported immediately by eyewitnesses, some of them Muslim. Further, Roll Call, in an article by Niels Lesniewski published on September 17th, tells us that on Sept. 16, Mohamed Yusuf al-Magarief, president of Libya’s General National Congress, said on Face The Nation, “The way these perpetrators acted and moved, and their choosing the specific date for this so-called demonstration, this leaves us with no doubt that this was preplanned, predetermined.”
According to Michael Graham, writing for Boston Heralddotcom, “Multiple sources confirm that [the] administration knew it was a ‘preplanned, premeditated attack’ within 24 hours. Far from having ‘no evidence,’ [the] administration had already identified a possible target for retaliation within a day of Stevens’ murder.”
There is one lone federal agency attempting to excuse and protect the administration from itself: the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, whose spokesman, Sean Turner, said in a statement that U.S. intelligence agencies’ understanding of what happened in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, has evolved as they’ve collected and analyzed information on the incident. “As we learned more about the attack, we revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists,” he said.
Turner notwithstanding, it would seem that either the administration’s original Libya story was a deliberate, cynical lie, or President Obama and his entire White House staff are frighteningly naive and clueless.
Either way, the administration comes out of it a loser.