Benghazi: On 9/11/12, the White House knew two hours in

The Captain’s Journal first emailed me about this last night,
White House told of militant claim two hours after Libya attack: emails

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 brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.

Specifically, they knew terrorists were claiming credit,

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.”

Our diplomats fought for seven hours without any aid from outside the country.

A drone was deployed to monitor the attack from above,

The NY Post reported on Oct 21 that the drone that monitored the final hour of the Benghazi battle was a Predator. So it’s very likely that that drone was armed, as the US used armed Predators during the Libyan revolution and uses them to dispatch terrorists as the opportunity arises. But there is no reporting that the drone fired any of its Hellfire missiles during the battle. It was relaying video back the United States where–

“They stood, and they watched, and our people died,” former CIA commander Gary Berntsen told CBS News.

The Post also reported:

Fighter jets and Specter AC-130 gunships — which could have been used to help disperse the bloodthirsty mob — were also stationed at three nearby bases, sources told the network.

Bing West, former assistant secretary of defense

The Obama national-security team had several hours in which to move forces from Sigonella to Benghazi.

Fighter jets could have been at Benghazi in an hour; the commandos inside three hours. If the attackers were a mob, as intelligence reported, then an F18 in afterburner, roaring like a lion, would unnerve them. This procedure was applied often in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Conversely, if the attackers were terrorists, then the U.S. commandos would eliminate them. But no forces were dispatched from Sigonella.

Why Sigonella?

Sigonella, Sicily, was 480 miles away from Benghazi. Stationed at Sigonella were Special Operations Forces, transport aircraft, and attack aircraft — a much more formidable force than 22 men from the embassy.

Instead, “The president then nipped off to bed, as he had to fly to an important campaign fundraiser in Las Vegas the next day.” On September 12, Obama went on a CBS interview,

Fourteen hours after the attack, President Obama sat down with Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes” for a previously scheduled interview and said he did not believe it was simply due to mob violence.

He also gave some lip service to “get[ting] our folks out safe” – watch:

and left for Vegas.

By September 13, Hillary Clinton was talking about the video,

Five days after the attaack, on September 16, Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice went on ABC News’ “This Week“, NBC News’ “Meet the Press”, CBS News’ “Face the Nation”, and “Fox News Sunday“, to say that it was

a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of– of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video.

On September 20, Obama blamed the video during the Univision forum (full video here). Obama later condemned the video on “The View” on September 24, and at the UN on September 25.

Heritage did a video on the misinformation campaign,

[update] Brian Jacoutut is also posting a timeline on White House statements.

Bryan Preston and drillanwr at Babalu speculate on the US gun-walking arms to Libyan rebels. More on that from Frank Gaffney.

What’s Obama doing? Going on MTV on Friday.

What’s in the headlines today? Bottom-feeders Gloria Allred and Donald Trump.


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