From day one the Obama administration knew that the Libyan attack on our Benghazi consulate and the murder of our ambassador was an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist attack that had nothing to do with the Mohammed video.
U.S. intelligence officials knew within 24 hours of the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that it was a terrorist attack and suspected Al Qaeda-tied elements were involved, sources told Fox News — though it took the administration a week to acknowledge it.
The account conflicts with claims on the Sunday after the attack by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice that the administration believed the strike was a “spontaneous” event triggered by protests in Egypt over an anti-Islam film.
Two senior U.S. officials said the Obama administration internally labeled the attack terrorism from the first day in order to unlock and mobilize certain resources to respond, and that officials were looking for one specific suspect.
In spite of that, President Obama and members of his administration for days afterwards pretended that the attack was in reaction to the video. Go here to read a first-rate time line put together by the Washington Post blog. Why the lie? Several reasons.
1. Osama dead and General Motors alive- One of the few foreign policies successes of the Obama administration was the killing of bin Laden. A successful al-Qaeda attack on the anniversary of 9-11 undercut this in a huge way.
2. Now we have to do something?- In the midst of the Presidential campaign the last thing Obama wanted was to admit that this was a terrorist attack. Such an admission would require that he take action. In fact Obama has done precious little in the aftermath attack. More than two weeks after the attack, the FBI still has not examined the attack site at Benghazi.
3. Appeasement -The Mohammed video bogeyman allowed Obama to do what his preferred policy is to the jihadists: pretend that if we bend over backwards not to offend Muslims, everything will be sweetness and love between Islam and the West.
4. Diversion- Focusing on the video allowed the Obama administration, with the active assistance of
unpaid Obama press agents the Mainstream Media, to avoid initially answering embarrassing questions, such as I suggested be asked here.
5. Because They Can- A Republican President who attempted the types of lies and stonewalling that Obama and his administration have engaged in subsequent to the Libyan attacks, would now be experiencing an unending drum beat of strident criticism from the Mainstream Media that would probably destroy his chances for re-election. Obama? Most of the Mainstream Media will run perfunctory stories hidden amidst endless stories about Romney gaffes. It is good to have an obedient media that cares far more about ensuring the re-election of the President than in breaking actual news stories.
Update: Unbelievable! The Obama administration is still trying to tie in the Mohammed video with the Benghazi attack. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air gives us the absurd details:
The perpetrators behind the assault that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, had been looking for an opportunity to attack U.S. facilities in the region for some time, according to an Obama Administration official familiar with the latest intelligence
However, the Administration continues to believe the attack was not pre-planned, but rather was the result of extremists seizing the opportunity presented by protests in neighboring Egypt against an American-made anti-Islamic video.
Members of the Benghazi al-Qaeda affiliate, Ansar al Sharia, “Saw the events in Cairo and took it upon themselves to seize that opportunity to do something,” the Administration official says. “They may have intended for some time to attack U.S. facilities, but they did so at the time they did to take advantage of Cairo.”
Er … sure. At least the White House now acknowledges that AQ had planned an attack on the Benghazi consulate and the American diplomatic presence “for some time,” a point of information that would never have come to light had CNN not found Stevens’ journal in the still-unsecured wreckage of the facility. Stevens had warned the administration of the dangers, and as yet no evidence has arisen that State or the White House took any action to address his concerns.
But let’s consider the timing of this attack while musing on this latest spin. The attack took place on the anniversary of 9/11, and conducted by a terror network that puts great stock in symbolic use of dates. How likely is it that they just happened to discover a protest outside the US consulate — a protest which Libya says never actually took place anyway — and responded without any preparation at all in an attack with heavy weapons, exploiting it as cover? I’d say it’s much more likely that AQ knew that protests would be taking place on 9/11 in places like Cairo, either at their direction or in cooperation with other extremist groups, and used it as cover for the attack on Benghazi.
UPDATE: Regarding Rice’s statements on Sept. 16, the spokesperson for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Erin Pelton, says, “During her appearances on the Sunday talk shows September 16, 2012, Ambassador Rice’s comments were prefaced at every turn with a clear statement that an FBI investigation was underway that would provide the definitive accounting of the events that took place in Benghazi. At every turn Ambassador Rice provided–and said she was providing–the best information and the best assessment that the Administration had at the time, based on what was provided to Ambassador Rice and other senior U.S. officials by the U.S. intelligence community.”
Balderdash. While she may have left herself a rhetorical out, Rice clearly communicated that the administration had no reason to believe that the Benghazi attack was terrorist-related, when four days earlier the Obama administration designated it as such. Either the White House lied to Rice, or she lied to the media. Either way, Rice should be tendering her resignation now.