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.”
The text said the State Department’s regional security office had reported that the diplomatic mission in Benghazi was “under attack. Embassy in Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well.”
The message continued: “Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four … personnel are in the compound safe haven. The 17th of February militia is providing security support.”
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.”
While some information identifying recipients of this message was redacted from copies of the messages obtained by Reuters, a government source said that one of the addresses to which the message was sent was the White House Situation Room, the president’s secure command post.
Other addressees included intelligence and military units as well as one used by the FBI command center, the source said.
The American Enterprise Institute has the Benghazi attack timeline:
Rather, the story of Benghazi is that while the White House’s initial response may have been confusion (because other attacks were taking place at the same time), very soon thereafter, the outright lying began. And now that we have seen the emails that went to the White House within two hours of the attack naming the perpetrators — a known terrorist group operating in eastern Libya — the fact that officials from the president on down were intentionally and falsely insisting the 9/11/12 attack was not an act of terrorism is screamingly obvious.
Let’s review the timeline (h/t to the Washington Post) once again:
Here’s what the president said on September 12:
“Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts… No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”
Note the reference to the YouTube video in the “reject all efforts to denigrate” line, and the generic references to “acts of terror” which the president falsely insisted (with assistance from CNN’s Candy Crowley) was an assertion that Benghazi was in fact an act of terror.
Here’s Jay Carney, White House spox, the following day:
“I think it’s important to note with regards to that protest that there are protests taking place in different countries across the world that are responding to the movie that has circulated on the Internet.”
Again, the movie.
Here’s Hillary Clinton on September 14:
“We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable.”
And Carney the same day:
“We were not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent. That report is false.”
And then Obama’s U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice hit every Sunday show with this message on September 16:
“Based on the best information we have to date … it began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo, where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video. “
[…] Obama doubled down on the lie that it was all about the video in his address to the United Nations General Assembly. On September 25, he said:
“That is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.”
[…]Bottom line? Barack Obama was willfully and knowingly lying to the American people. Why? To protect the meme that he had al Qaeda and affiliates/sympathizers like Libya’s Ansar al Sharia on the run.
This is an impeachable offense. Obama should face impeachment for lying to the American people. This scandal is on the same level as Watergate. It’s an abuse of power designed to exonerate militant Islam while making the Obama administration look innocent for their national security blunders and their policies of apologizing to our enemies and unlilateral disarmament.
UPDATE: My favorite defense policy analyst Frank Gaffney has a more sinister view of why Obama lied about Benghazi: the Obama administration was involved in arming Islamic groups that included terrorists.
Check it out:
The evidence suggests that the Obama administration has not simply been engaging, legitimating, enriching and emboldening Islamists who have taken over or are ascendant in much of the Middle East. Starting in March 2011, when American diplomat J. Christopher Stevens was designated the liaison to the “opposition” in Libya, the Obama administration has been arming them, including jihadists like Abdelhakim Belhadj, leader of the al Qaeda franchise known as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
Once Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown, Stevens was appointed ambassador to the new Libya run by Mr. Belhadj and his friends. Not surprisingly, one of the most important priorities for someone in that position would be to try to find and secure the immense amount of armaments that had been cached by the dictator around the country and systematically looted during and after the revolution.
One of the places in Libya most awash with such weapons in the most dangerous of hands is Benghazi. It now appears that Stevens was there — on a particularly risky day, with no security to speak of and despite now copiously documented concerns about his own safety and that of his subordinates — for another priority mission: sending arms recovered from the former regime’s stocks to the “opposition” in Syria. As in Libya, the insurgents are known to include al Qaeda and other Shariah-supremacist groups, including none other than Abdelhakim Belhadj.
Fox News has chronicled how the Al Entisar, a Libyan-flagged vessel carrying 400 tons of cargo, docked on Sept. 6 in the Turkish port of Iskenderun. It reportedly supplied both humanitarian assistance and arms — including deadly SA-7 man-portable surface-to-air missiles — apparently destined for Islamists, again including al Qaeda elements, in Syria.
What cries out for further investigation — and debate in the remaining days of this presidential election — is whether this shipment was part of a larger covert Obama effort to transfer weapons to our enemies that could make the Iran-Contra scandal, to say nothing of Operation Fast and Furious, pale by comparison.
SA-7 man-portable surface-to-air missiles can be used to attack civilian and military aircraft.
UPDATE: Obama refused to call in troops to defend the embassy – they were only 1 hour away.
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