The Benghazi Scandal
How stupid do they think we are? As stupid as the people who share their bubble?
The obvious question: When did the intelligence community tell the White House (and other policymakers) that the assault on the compound was a premeditated terrorist attack conducted by al Qaeda-linked jihadists? Was it really weeks later as both Biden and Cutter claim?
It was not. Two U.S. officials familiar with the reporting on the Benghazi attack tell The Weekly Standard that revisions to the initial reports came within days—sometimes within hours. Intelligence products published on September 12, sources tell us, included detailed evidence that al Qaeda-linked jihadists were involved in the Benghazi attacks.
* As first reported by Newsweek’s Eli Lake, within hours of the attack, “U.S. intelligence agencies monitored communications from jihadists affiliated with the group that led the attack and members of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the group’s North African affiliate.” Lake reported that the intelligence was so detailed, U.S. officials “had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers.”
* Senior State Department officials were in contact with security agents on the ground in Benghazi, in real time, as the attacks unfolded. In conversations that evening and the next day U.S. officials in Libya gave no indication that there had been any protest of any kind.
* On September 12, the New York Times reported: “American and European officials said that while many details about the attack remained unclear, the assailants seemed organized, well trained and heavily armed, and they appeared to have at least some level of advance planning.”
* That same day, Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he had no doubt the attacks were planned. “It was a coordinated, military-style, commando-type raid.”
* Democrats said the same thing. Representative Adam Smith, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said: “This was not just a mob that got out of hand. Mobs don’t come in and attack, guns blazing. I think that there is a growing consensus it was preplanned.”
* Senator Carl Levin, leaving a briefing with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, was asked if the attack was planned: “There’s been evidence of that. . . . The attack looked like it was planned and premeditated, sure.”