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October 19, 2012

CIA: We Said This Was a Terrorist Attack In The First 24 Hours
McClatchy Analysis: The President Began Claiming This Was a "Spontaneous Protest" Three Days After The Attack

AP's Intelligence writer:

The CIA station chief in Libya reported to Washington within 24 hours of last month's deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate that there was evidence it was carried out by militants, not a spontaneous mob upset about an American-made video ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad, U.S. officials have told The Associated Press.

It is unclear who, if anyone, saw the cable outside the CIA at that point and how high up in the agency the information went. The Obama administration maintained publicly for a week that the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was a result of the mobs that staged less-deadly protests across the Muslim world around the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on the U.S.

I bolded that sentence because I'm having trouble understanding what is being suggested. Is the writer suggesting the report of CIA Station Chief in the very country in which the attack occurred was ignored by higher-ups?

Can anyone explain how that is possible? And if it is possible -- can anyone explain how that could possibly exonerate the higher-ups, rather than proving their unfitness for office?

I know I repeat myself a lot but allow me to repeat this:

The CIA Station Chief in Libya, where the attack occurred, immediately reported that "militants" carried out the attack.

And there is some doubt about whether or not the head of the CIA, or the DNI, or the President, was made familiar with this report?

Really?

What reports were they reading then, if they decided the CIA Station Chief in Libya wasn't worthy of a skim?

Meanwhile, McClatchy does some first-rate (and tough) reportage on the Administration's spin. It explains how "act of terror" got out there -- and how it then disappeared from the Administration's vocabulary.

In the first 48 hours after the deadly Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. diplomatic outposts in Libya, senior Obama administration officials strongly alluded to a terrorist assault and repeatedly declined to link it to an anti-Muslim video that drew protests elsewhere in the region, transcripts of briefings show.

The administration’s initial accounts, however, changed dramatically in the following days, according to a review of briefing transcripts and administration statements, with a new narrative emerging Sept. 16 when U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice asserted in a series of TV appearances that the best information available indicated that the attack had spun off from a protest over the video.

What prompted that pivot remains a mystery amid a closely contested presidential election...

I think you just solved your mystery with the very next dependent clause, McClatchy.

In the early hours, the Administration seems to have told reporters that it looked like a coordinated, planned military attack. Note the word I bolded, though: Alluded. They did not state it plainly.

And then they stopped "alluding" to that possibility, and started claiming it was a "spontaneous protest" that got out of hand.

Also note the administration "repeatedly declined," in the early hours, to link it to the YouTube video. By this, I believe they mean that reporters kept asking -- hoping -- for a link, and administration sources declined to jump on that idiot belief of reporters.

I'm going to speculate here: The media, simple-minded and partisan, was determined to push a "YouTube video" narrative, which then put it in the heads of the Obama Administration that this Narrative would work. After all, the press was already almost writing the Narrative up for them.

The Administration spins that this is a "fog of war" effect, and that their story would naturally change as they got more information.

The trouble with that claim is that all the subsequent information proved that the initial reports of a planned, coordinated, professional military attack were in fact correct, but Obama's story began shifting the other way, towards a false story which no information at all supported.

And McClatchy does note this:

But the administration’s statements offer an ironic twist on the “fog-of-war” phenomenon: They apparently were more accurate on the day after the attacks than they were when Rice made her TV appearances four days later. Administration officials so far have provided no detailed explanation for the change.

I want to quote more from this. It details Jay Carney's first coordinated push of the lie, culminating in Rice's national broadcast (on five different news shows) of the lie.

You should probably just read the whole thing. At the very least, click on them, to let them know there is interest in this story.

I will quote the conclusion, as it's important:

In the next week, as the Republican-led political storm over the administration’s shifting accounts grew, the office of the nation’s top intelligence official announced that as a result of new information, it had determined that the consulate had been hit by a "deliberate and organized attack," and that it was responsible for the narrative that the assault began “spontaneously."

Yet the statement by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence failed to clear up how the administration came up with its assertion that the attack was launched during a protest against the video. Issued by a spokesman and not Director of National Intelligence James Clapper himself, the statement made no reference to a protest or the video.

Below, a very strong American Crossroads ad, "Act of Terror." Alas, this is a complicated timeline and the "ad" is 1:30 long, so I don't think it'll be on TV.

So it's up to people to email it around.


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posted by Ace at 02:48 PM

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