Reuters provides their own little “October Surprise”, one entirely of the Obama administrations making. We know that the State Dept. was initially labeling the attack on our Benghazi consulate as a terrorist attack, before switching over to the “it was a spontaneous attack that got a bit chippy”. The White House and State has since thrown the intelligence community under the bus numerous times, but, it seems they weren’t as negligent as they’ve been deemed. And, as This ain’t Hell…. posits “what did the president know and when did he know it?”
(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 records obtained by Reuters consist of three emails dispatched by the State Department’s Operations Center to multiple government offices, including addresses at the White House, Pentagon, intelligence community and FBI, on the afternoon of September 11.
The first email, timed at 4:05 p.m. Washington time – or 10:05 p.m. Benghazi time, 20-30 minutes after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission allegedly began – carried the subject line “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack” and the notation “SBU”, meaning “Sensitive But Unclassified.”
A second email, headed “Update 1: U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi” and timed 4:54 p.m. Washington time, said that the Embassy in Tripoli had reported that “the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi had stopped and the compound had been cleared.” It said a “response team” was at the site attempting to locate missing personnel.
A third email, also marked SBU and sent at 6:07 p.m. Washington time, carried the subject line: “Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack.”
The message reported: “Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli.”
So, not long after 4pm on September 11th, the POTUS should have been informed of the attack on our consulate and people. A bit after 6pm, he should have been aware that an al Qaeda affiliated group was taking responsibility. Said emails were sent to the “White House Situation Room, the president’s secure command post.” Obama had a briefing scheduled with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at 5pm, so we know he was supposed to be at the White House. Is there anyone who can possibly think that no one would inform the POTUS that a consulate was under attack?
More important than what did he know, is “what did he do?” Was there any attempt to send in forces to protect our people, or did they simply rely on the September 17 Martyrs Brigade?
After that, why did he give a nebulous squishy Rose Garden speech on September 12 which mentioned terrorism, but did not ascribe the attack specifically to terrorism? And then go on to blame a video, including during his United Nations speech, along with others doing the same, such as Susan Rice and Press Secretary Jay Carney? There are two reasons we can deduce: the incompetence of the Obama administration during and before this crisis, which would include the failure to provide proper security in Benghazi, a place that even the press knew was infested with Islamic extremist groups and increasingly dangerous to Westerners.
The second is that if Obama had specifically labeled the attack “terrorism”, he would have been destroyed had he continued on with his Las Vegas campaign appearance. And as we’ve seen over the past almost 4 years, Obama is more interested in campaigning and the perks of the job than the details and duties of the job.