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Intel Reported Al Qaeda Attacks ‘Within Hours’

From Reuters:

U.S. had early indications Libya attack tied to organized militants

By Mark Hosenball and Tabassum Zakaria | Wed October 3, 2012

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Within hours of last month’s attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, President Barack Obama’s administration received about a dozen intelligence reports suggesting militants connected to al Qaeda were involved, three government sources said.

Despite these reports, in public statements and private meetings, top U.S. officials spent nearly two weeks highlighting intelligence suggesting that the attacks were spontaneous protests against an anti-Muslim film, while playing down the involvement of organized militant groups…

The existence of the early reports appears to raise fresh questions about the Obama administration’s public messaging about the attack as it seeks to fend off Republican charges that the White House failed to prevent a terrorist strike that left a U.S. ambassador and three others dead.

You see, it’s all about the messaging. Obama didn’t tell us the right ‘story.’

“What we’re seeing now is the picture starting to develop that it wasn’t a problem with the intelligence that was given, it’s what they did with the intelligence that they were given,” Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, said in an interview on Tuesday…

Which puts the lie to the administration’s recent efforts to blame the intelligence agencies.

Republicans have sought to make the shifting stories told by administration officials about the attack, and inadequate security precautions at the U.S. diplomatic site in Libya, a major issue in the presidential campaign leading up to the November 6 election.

Those opportunistic bastards.

Two House Republicans said they would hold Congress’ first hearing on the matter on October 10…

The stream of intelligence flowing into Washington within hours of the Benghazi attacks contained data from communications intercepts and U.S. informants, which were then fashioned into polished initial assessments for policymakers.

Officials familiar with them said they contained evidence that members of a militant faction, Ansar al-Sharia, as well as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, were involved in the assaults.

The report did not allege the attacks were a reaction to the anti-Muslim film, but acknowledged it was possible that the attackers sought to use an outbreak of violence in Cairo over the film, which insulted the Prophet Mohammad, as a pretext for attacks.

One official said initial reporting suggested militants had begun planning attacks on U.S. targets in Benghazi before September 11, but may well have decided to use the protests as a pretext for moving forward that day

Yet on September 15, administration officials, relying upon what they said was other information from intelligence agencies, circulated to members of Congress a set of talking points prepared by the CIA that purported to summarize what U.S. intelligence knew.

The talking points said: “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex.” …

The talking points reflected information that White House officials and Congress were given in closed-door intelligence briefings in the days immediately after the attacks. In one such session, CIA director David Petraeus used lines which paralleled the talking points.

“It seems increasingly clear that the briefings provided to Congress and the public about the Benghazi attack were at best incomplete and at worst misleading,” Senator Saxby Chambliss, the Republican vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Reuters.

“Within hours of the attack, intelligence assessments highlighted the role of al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists, but the administration focused instead on a video that appears to have had little, if anything, to do with the violence in Benghazi,” Chambliss said…

What a tangled web we weave once we start trying to cover up such a massive screw-up.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Intel Reported Al Qaeda Attacks ‘Within Hours’”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Shocking Revelations

    No Film @ 11™

  2. Petronius says:

    What happens in Benghazi stays in Benghazi.

  3. Chrispbass says:

    The real shocker is that nothing has been done about the actual incident.

    • Chrispbass says:

      edited too slowly….

      Maybe the real shock is that I’m not surprised that nothing has happened. Par for the course for this admin.

  4. geronl says:

    Aren’t we glad we have Janet Napolitano to keep us safe? /s


  5. Rusty Shackleford says:

    This regime would never listen to anything their intelligence department says because the regime considers them to be aligned against them. Thus, anything they say that is of any potential threat has to be fabricated or constructed to agitate the magic negro.

    This happens in corporate America and in the military where “leaders” consider their subordinates to be borderline mutinous. Since wonderboy couldn’t necessarily replace every single agent working in the intelligence-gathering department (for fear of being just that blatantly obvious), he simply must consider them “operatives for the enemy”. The enemy, in this case, being the republican party, since many of the intel gatherers have military experience they are, by definition, enemies of the socialists.

    It’s no great surprise then, even if an intel officer broke protocol and went running to the state department office with several alerts concerning impending attacks, that officer would be ignored. They’d pat him/her on the head and thank them and give them a donut and a latte and send them on their way. Such is the ways of moral superiority and contempt for people who actually know what they’re doing.

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