A story in the Washington Post, "Spy Chief's office defends evolving accounts of Benghazi attacks, sites shifting intelligence" caught my eye this morning. The story asserts that accounts of the siege on a U.S. mission in Libya were due to evolving intelligence, stating it became only clear in the aftermath that it was “a deliberate and organized terrorist attack.”
Yet it became clear yesterday that the administration knew as soon as 24 hours later that the attack was a terrorist attack, which was well-organized and planned. The terrorists, allegedly linked to al-Qaida, came prepeared with anti-aircraft machine guns, mortars and RPGs, as well as containers with diesel fuel, used to set fire to the consulate compound.
As a former soldier with some special ops experience, I don't buy the spy chief's explanation. U.N. Ambassador, James Carney, and the president still flogged the "spontaneous attack story" one week later.
The CIA left Benghazi and no FBI investigators, to the best of my knowlege are or have been on the ground to commence an investigation.
To make matters even worse, a CNN reporter found the notebook of Ambassador Chris Stevens, where he raised concerns about his security and considered himself a target by insurgents.
Shawn Turner, a spokesman for Clapper, said U.S. agencies have altered their assessments based on intelligence that has emerged through an ongoing investigation.
“In the immediate aftermath, there was information that led us to assess that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo,” Turner said. That information was conveyed to administration officials as well as members of Congress. Washington Post
That may have been the storyline immediately after the attack, but even Libyan President Mohammed Magarief contradicted the Administration after Rice made her, now infamous tour of at least five news shows to tout that the attacks were "spontaneous due to an anti-Islamist video."
"It has nothing to do with this attack," said Magarief, noting that the assailants used rocket propelled grenades and mortar fire in the attack. "It's a preplanned act of terrorism against American citizens." Foreign Policy
Anyone with some military experience would be able to tell that this was not a spontaneous attack. Why the Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., would make such a statement is puzzling.
What is more apalling is the fact that the Washington Post is not asking any follow-up questions on this issue, but takes the story for fact.
It should never be forgotten that this was an attack on U.S. territory and that the attack killed a U.S. ambassador, who feared he was a target, and three others.
Benghazi is a dangerous place and is outside the capabilities of the Libyan government to secure it. The anniversary of 9/11 should have been another clue, and no one seems to be asking the question why there wasn't beefed up security for the consulate, in view of the anniversary and the concerns of Stevens.