The Obama administration’s shifting accounts of the fatal attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, have left President Obama suddenly exposed on national security and foreign policy, a field where he had enjoyed a seemingly unassailable advantage over Mitt Romney in the presidential race…

The Benghazi attack calls into question the accuracy of intelligence-gathering and whether vulnerable American personnel overseas are receiving adequate protection. Even allies of the president like Senator John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have petitioned the White House for more information about how the government protects diplomatic installations abroad…

[F]urther details about the attack could lay bare lapses in security that could damage the administration. CNN has reported, from a diary belonging to J. Christopher Stevens, the American ambassador killed in the attack, that he harbored worries about his security. Mr. Williamson, who served as special envoy to Sudan under President George W. Bush, said it was unlikely that Mr. Stevens would not have relayed those concerns to the State Department.

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The top U.S. intelligence authority issued an unusual public statement on Friday declaring it now believed the September 11 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, was a “deliberate and organized terrorist attack.”

Shawn Turner, spokesman for Clapper’s office, said that in the immediate aftermath of the attack, U.S. agencies came to the view that the Benghazi attack had begun spontaneously after protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo against a short film made in California lampooning the Prophet Mohammad…

In an apparent reference to a series of contradictory statements by some top Obama administration officials, Turner said intelligence agencies’ “initial assessment” had been passed on “to Executive Branch officials and members of Congress, who used that information to discuss the attack publicly and provide updates as they became available.”…

Within hours of the attacks ending, some government sources in Washington were already acknowledging they might well have been planned and organized in advance, and that members of two militant factions, Ansar al Shariah and al Qaeda’s North Africa-based affiliate, known as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, may have been involved.

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This, more than anything, is the problem with the administration’s response. It wasn’t that they failed to provide enough information to the public, but that they provided incorrect information and did so long after it was clear to many in the intelligence community that the political narrative was false.

There are two possible explanations. Either the information widely available to intelligence professionals was not shared with those speaking on behalf of the president. Or those Obama administration officials had the accurate information and chose not to provide it…

Some of the misleading information provided to the public could not possibly have been a result of incomplete or evolving intelligence. The information about security for the ambassador and the compound, for instance, would have been readily available to administration officials from the beginning. And yet when Susan Rice appeared on five political talk shows on September 16, she erroneously claimed that the two ex-Navy SEALs killed in the attack were, along with several colleagues, providing security. They were not. Why did she say this?

These questions, and many others, deserve answers. And soon.

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Am I crazy or is today’s NBC Nightly News broadcast actually almost fair in Obama vs. Romney terms? … The network isn’t exactly harsh on Obama regarding the highly suspicious intelligence-agency blame-taking on Libya misdirection–but Andrea Mitchell does offer only two alternatives: 1) “a coverup” 2) “trying to avoid acknowledging mistakes this close to an election.” … Is MSM Guilt finally kicking in?

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“Nobody died in Watergate.”