Emails Indicate White House Knew Benghazi Was A Planned Attack Within Hours
For days after the Benghazi attack the Obama administration claimed it was the result of a spontaneous protest over a YouTube video turned violent. According to recently released emails, however, it turns out that the White House knew it was a planned attack just hours after the fact.
A series of emails from State Department officials on the ground in Benghazi suggest that officials in the White House and intelligence community knew within hours of the September attack on the U.S. Consulate there that the militant group Ansar al Sharia had claimed responsibility for the violence.
According to the emails, first reported by Reuters, between 300-400 national security officials were receiving real time updates as the raid was playing out. One of those e-mails came just after 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, with the subject heading: “Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack (SBU).”
SBU is shorthand for “sensitive but unclassified.”
The email exchanges are likely to put new pressure on the Obama administration to explain why, five days after the attack, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice argued the violence — which left four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, dead — was a “spontaneous” reaction to an anti-Islam film posted on YouTube.
Remember, according to previous reports, there was no protest. Which makes me wonder, where did the story about the protests come from? Why was the Obama administration talking about a protest over a YouTube video if they knew, hours after the attack, that it was a planned attack?
Did that narrative originate in the Obama administration as a way to cover up the fact that this was a planned attack for which they had intelligence in advance but did nothing to secure the embassy?
That explanation seems to becoming more and more likely.
And then there’s this from the VP debate:
When asked by Raddatz why the White House had blamed the death of Stevens on protests about a movie, he responded: ‘Because that was exactly what we were told by the intelligence community.’
Liar, liar pants on fire.
Update: More from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney who said, on September 14th, “we have no information to suggest that it was a preplanned attack.”Tags: Barack Obama, benghazi, joe biden