Tuesday, April 22, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 18 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

White House told of Libyan attack claim Sept. 11

By Larry Margasak

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 10:51 a.m. HST, Oct 24, 2012

WASHINGTON » Two hours after the U.S. Consulate came under attack in Benghazi, Libya, the White House was told that a militant group was claiming responsibility for the violence that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

A State Department email sent to intelligence officials and the White House situation room said the Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter, and also called for an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.

The document may fuel Republican efforts to show that the White House knew it was a terrorist attack, even as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was saying — five days afterward — that it appeared to be a protest gone awry.

The Obama administration's account of the Benghazi events has become a campaign issue, with Republican challenger Mitt Romney and GOP lawmakers accusing the White House of misleading Americans about the nature of the attack.

The Associated Press and other news organizations obtained the unclassified email and two related emails from government officials who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about them publicly.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today that the review board she appointed to investigate the attack is "looking at everything," rather than "cherry picking one story here or one document there."

White House press secretary Jay Carney said the emails represented just one piece of information the administration was receiving at the time.

"There were emails about all sorts of information that was becoming available in the aftermath of the attack," Carney said. "The whole point of an intelligence community and what they do is to assess strands of information and make judgments about what happened and who is responsible."

Carney, traveling with President Barack Obama today on Air Force One, said the emails were unclassified and referred to assertions made on a social media site.

There were a series of three emails sent by State Department officials in Washington as events unfolded on Sept. 11. Among the recipients was the White House situation room.

The first email said that the State Department's regional security officer reported the mission in Benghazi was under attack, and that "20 armed people fired shots." It said that Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in the attack, was in Benghazi, and that Stevens and four others were in the compound's safe haven.

Forty-nine minutes later, an email said that the firing at the consulate "has stopped and the compound has been cleared," while a response team was attempting to locate people.

The next message, one hour and 13 minutes after the second and some two hours after the attack began, a message reported that Ansar-al-Sharia claimed responsibility for the attack.

"Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Faceboook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli," it said.

Ansar al-Sharia bragged to members of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb that it was responsible for the attack, according to recordings of phone calls intercepted by U.S. intelligence. But the group has publicly denied having anything to do with the attack.

Clinton, speaking to reporters at the State Department, said, "You know, posting something on Facebook is not in and of itself evidence and I think it just underscores how fluid the reporting was at the time and continued some time to be."

She added, "What I keep in mind is that four brave Americans were killed and we will find out what happened, we will take whatever measures are necessary to fix anything that needs to be fixed and we will bring those to justice who committed these murders."

Associated Press writer Matthew Lee contributed to this story.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 18 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
sumoroach wrote:
Liar in chief gets caught. Just should of told the truth from the beginning and lived with responsability, people would of understood. But hidding the facts before the elections will cost some votes now. Always changing the story to suit Obama needs not hte people needs.
on October 24,2012 | 08:32AM
nitpikker wrote:
like dingle's idol, george dubya did?? his was much worse!!
on October 24,2012 | 10:28AM
droid wrote:
George Dubya isn't running. So your point is...?
on October 24,2012 | 10:46AM
AhiPoke wrote:
Liars, liars, pants on fire. The only reason they need more time is to fabricate another lie. They've done a really bad job of coordinating their lies to date. Actually, what's more amazing to me is that these liars will likely get re-elected.
on October 24,2012 | 08:45AM
Highinthesierras wrote:
The real question is why did they say it was clearly triggered by a mob poed at video - no fog.. Later their excuse is the fog of war so they didn't know what was going on. Finally, the fog cleared and it is terrorists. Scary, do those guys have a handle on anything? Certainly not the economy and apparently not foreign affairs either.
on October 24,2012 | 09:17AM
dctaira wrote:
A message to obama: Mr. President, and I use the term loosely, stop lying!
on October 24,2012 | 09:50AM
Boatscribe wrote:
Do I sense a house-of-cards getting ready to tumble?
on October 24,2012 | 11:03AM
tiki886 wrote:
Why lie? The obvious answer is for political reasons to enhance Obama's reelection. But that is too simple.

We now know the ambassador was having dinner with the general counsel of Turkey and an hour after that, the Turkish ambassador leaves through the front door and the front gate, unmolested. Why was the Turkish general counsel there? The dinner ended at about 9pm and one hour later the attack begins.

Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility 2 hours into the attack. Was Ansar al-Sharia one of the groups that we gave arms and funding to during the war to overthrow Gaddhafi? I remember a quote from Hillary in an article soon after the attack, she said, "How could they do this to us?" Who is "they"?

There is an international report from Russia Today saying U.S. Stinger Missiles are in the hands of Syrian rebels, adding that the New York Times has also reported that we are using the Muslim Brotherhood to arm the rebels in Syria.

Grilled by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) about the instability in Libya and the growing al Qaeda threat following the U.S. intervention to topple dictator Moammar Gadhafi last year. Lt. Col. Andy Wood also testified that, "some 10,000 to 20,000 shoulder-fired missiles are missing from Libyan arsenals." This information came to light on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 when the Committee of Oversight and Government Reform convened to hold hearings on the vulnerability and lack of proper protection for the US Embassy in Benghazi where 4 Americans were murdered including US Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Obama has much more to worry about than lying to the American people about a lousy video tape.

on October 24,2012 | 11:30AM
tiki886 wrote:
Obama didn't learn his lesson about gunning running in the Fast and Furious caper he put Eric holder up to. Obama the gun runner is in deep now that he has graduated from guns to missiles!
on October 24,2012 | 11:35AM
tiki886 wrote:
Can you imagine Woodward and Bernstein helping Nixon cover up Watergate? That's what the American mainstream media is doing with Obama's cover up.
on October 24,2012 | 11:48AM
Honolulu7 wrote:
FINALLY!!! Something in the paper about what FOX news has been reporting all along! So where does that leave Joe Biden's comment" - "We never knew...." This whole thing has been so very sad for the families involved and for America, who both deserve better.
on October 24,2012 | 12:37PM
hapaguy wrote:
What did he lie about?! Obama called it an act of terror twice within 24 hours. Can you right wingers provide me with one link to a video of Obama claiming the attack was over the stupid video. Can you right wingers show me one link prior to 9/20 where Romney calls it an act of terror? I challenge you!
on October 24,2012 | 12:54PM
hawaiikone wrote:
I'm certainly not a fan of Obama, and am very worried about our nation's future should he get another 4 years, but I have to hold back from too much criticism for this particular incident. From a military intelligence perspective, not letting your opposition know how much you know about them can be useful. That can give whatever networks and informants an opportunity to pick up usable intel, whereas announcing everything immediately can tip off potential sources to be quiet. In contrast to the killing of OBL, where Obama was quickly briefing anyone and everyone about all the details, we may never know how much info we gathered by his not revealing right away the truth as we knew it.
on October 24,2012 | 01:17PM
tiki886 wrote:
It was not about 'not letting your opposition know how much you know about them can be useful.' It is about collaborating with the 'enemy' and have that backfire on you in so many different ways that you have to lie to avoid the label of traitor and conspirator.
on October 24,2012 | 01:38PM
hawaiikone wrote:
Not saying Obama intentionally followed the wiser path, just seems that his failure to accurately assess the incident may have been beneficial to our intelligence community.
on October 24,2012 | 10:59PM
hapaguy wrote:
Earlier I posted a challenge to you right wing posters on here to prove that Obama lied. All I want is for one of you right wing nut jobs to post a link to a video where Obama says that it was outrage over a stupid video that caused the attack on our consulate in Benghazi. Still no takers. You can't prove that he lied can you?
on October 24,2012 | 04:13PM
hawaiikone wrote:
Aren't you the same poster who was trying to have us believe Obama was responsible for our increased oil production? If you can be that easily deceived then there's really no sense in debating this issue with you.
on October 24,2012 | 11:03PM
Honolulu7 wrote:
Google it and look them up for yourself. For starters, you can view the "commercial" Obama and Hillary made for Pakistan which costs taxpayers $75,000. http://townhall.com/video/unbelievable-state-dept.-condemns-anti-islam-video-in-pakistani-ad as well as Susan Rice (who speaks for the White House) going on 5 different TV stations stating it was the video and not premeditated http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/ambassador-susan-rice-libya-attack-not-premeditated/ By the way, you have such kind way with words. If someone doesn't agree with you, they are "nut jobs". Sigh.
on October 26,2012 | 01:11PM
Breaking News
Political Radar

Political Radar

Political Radar

Political Radar

Wassup Wit Dat!
Da Chicken Or Da Egg?

Warrior Beat
Depth perception

Political Radar
HB 1700 — Day 3