On eve of House hearings, State Department finally admits: No, there was never any protest outside the Benghazi consulate before the attack

posted at 8:41 pm on October 9, 2012 by Allahpundit

If you’ve been following the news about Benghazi, you’ll have two questions after watching this clip. One: Didn’t we already know this? Answer: Yes, “we” did, but not because our government was eager for us to find out. McClatchy published an interview with a Libyan guard wounded in the attack just two days after it happened in which he claimed that there was never any protest. Four days later, Fox News was hearing the same thing from an intelligence source on the ground. Four days after that, Eli Lake of Newsweek reported that there was intelligence early on that the attack was planned and that an Al Qaeda affiliate was involved. Right around the same time, Jay Carney started segueing from the White House’s initial ludicrous “spontaneous protest over the Mohammed movie” narrative to a “yes, of course this was a terrorist attack” admission. Not until tonight, though, I believe, did Chris Stevens’s superiors at State think to politely inform the public — not to mention Carney — that, oh right, there was never a protest. Let the fingerpointing begin:

The State Department said Tuesday it never concluded that the consulate attack in Libya stemmed from protests over an American-made video ridiculing Islam, raising further questions about why the Obama administration used that explanation for more than a week after assailants killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

The revelation came as new documents suggested internal disagreement over appropriate levels of security before the attack, which occurred on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the U.S…

But asked about the administration’s initial – and since retracted – explanation linking the violence to protests over an anti-Muslim video circulating on the Internet, one official said, “That was not our conclusion.” He called it a question for “others” to answer, without specifying.

Which brings us to the second question: Why did it take a month for them to mention this? I have no answer, except to wonder whether they’d have ever admitted it if Issa hadn’t called House hearings this week. Tonight’s news is simply State’s way of pushing some anticipated heat off of itself and onto the White House before tomorrow’s grilling begins. It’s a comfort to know that nothing short of public humiliation by the opposition party could get them to share info about a terror attack that ended with an American ambassador being murdered.

Two new questions for you, then, as the hearings get going. First, if State didn’t circulate the “spontaneous protest” nonsense within the administration, who did? Eli Lake traced it back to a set of CIA talking points distributed to Congress early on, but as far as I know, no one’s ever explained why the CIA was pushing that theory when there were at least a dozen intel reports within the first hours pointing to something more sinister and deliberate. And second, if State was innocent in pushing the “spontaneous protest” line, how is it that Susan Rice — a top State Department employee, don’tcha know — ended up being the administration’s chief mouthpiece for that talking point on the Sunday shows? Didn’t anyone from State think of mentioning to her beforehand, “Oh, by the way, we have zero evidence to support what you’re about to go on national TV and say”?


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socalcon on October 10, 2012 at 8:00 AM

this

their hypocrisy knows no bounds…

cmsinaz on October 10, 2012 at 8:02 AM

Who instructed Rice to say what she said? Her boss is the prez, so it would have to be the WH that was writing her script. My money’s on Axelrod. It smells like Axelrod. In fact, it reeks of Axelrod. (Besides,they say nowadays it’s President Axelrod who handles the business of state, while Barry’s the Campaigner-in-Chief.)

Gibbs may be defending Rice this morning, but check back tomorrow.

petefrt on October 10, 2012 at 8:05 AM

Hillary on Hillary:

“You have been made the de facto spokesmen for what many of us believe to be a failed policy” in Iraq, Clinton said. “Despite what I view is your rather extraordinary efforts in your testimony both yesterday and today, I think that the reports that you provide to us really require a willing suspension of disbelief.”

Marco on October 10, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Good point petefrt

cmsinaz on October 10, 2012 at 8:18 AM

On CNN last night at work they were now claiming that no amount of security would have stopped the attack.

There might have been some truth to that BUUUUTTT…. of course that would have bought time to GTHO of there and maybe save dudes life.

watertown on October 10, 2012 at 8:22 AM

Anybody else notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room? (i.e., the Oval Office)…

Pest on October 10, 2012 at 8:37 AM

The press may spin, but this Administration is going to be cut to pieces in the Republican House. Any Democrat with half a brain is going to try to put some distance between themselves and the WH. This storm is picking up speed and force. Who will they throw overboard and when?

claudius on October 10, 2012 at 8:45 AM

why was ambassador stevens in benghazi on 9/10 and 9/11 anyway, knowing how dangerous it was? that’s the cover-up…what he was doing there…negotiating weapons trades with Al/Q or something of that ilk.

gracie on October 10, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Americans died,Obama lied!

redware on October 10, 2012 at 8:48 AM

The Cover Up is what Stevens was doing in Benghazi.

gracie on October 10, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Poor David Petraeus. You flee down with the Obama administration, you get up with lies.

Finbar on October 10, 2012 at 8:50 AM

And second, if State was innocent in pushing the “spontaneous protest” line, how is it that Susan Rice — a top State Department employee, don’tcha know

Late to the thread and I don’t know if somebody has already mentioned this, but when Obama appointed Rice to the UN ambassador position he made it a cabinet-level position, reporting directly to the president. It was an unprecedented move in that, prior to this appointment, all ambassadors reported directly to the Secretary of State. So it’s likely that Rice was sent out to the talk shows on the orders of her boss – the president.

Trafalgar on October 10, 2012 at 8:58 AM

bluegill on October 10, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Folks would do well to click on the gilled one’s link here. That really is a brutal and hard-hitting ad. I hope it gets a ton of coverage.

hawkdriver on October 10, 2012 at 9:10 AM

State now says they never blamed the movie and never concluded the attack was caused by a spontaneous protest. The Obama bus is warming up and someones going under it soon.

Philly on October 10, 2012 at 9:13 AM

There is really only one reason the WH couldn’t say from the beginning that this was a terrorist attack, and that the disaster was in fact ultimately the fault of the Secretary of State for not following up on security requests —Bill Clinton.

claudius on October 10, 2012 at 9:21 AM

The State Department said Tuesday it never concluded that the consulate attack in Libya stemmed from protests over an American-made video ridiculing Islam

Akzed on October 10, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Oh, what a tangled web they’ve woven. There’s no way Shrillary will ever run for prezzy now, not even vp. Question is, why did the situation happen in the first place? Wagging the dog gone awry? I’m sure the regime had some grand plan for Libya.

Kissmygrits on October 10, 2012 at 9:36 AM

It’s still early but I feel like I did when the U.S.S. Cole was hit. Like politics has more to do with the investigation than the actual crime.

Cindy Munford on October 10, 2012 at 9:46 AM

I guess the Chicago spin miesters thought they could get away with this given their palace guard media. One can hope that their lock on the American information stream is cracking. Really you just are left wondering and amazed by the outlandish idiocy of this move. Obviously these Goebbels wannabes are not as good as we thought they were. Seeing this and pondering, it isn’t that surprising. They conned America with nothing more than an empty ‘hope and change’ mantra and a mulatto empty suit. Not exactly a real master stroke. It only worked because we are largely a stupid and debauched nation.

Now folks are scared enough, with a depression eating out their substance, to actually think about who they want in the White House and DC. And if you think this is not a depression you are sipping if not drinking the cool aide. The only reason we aren’t seeing the soup lines is because millions are getting a check or a food stamp card in the mail.

nueces on October 10, 2012 at 9:55 AM

“The press may spin, but this Administration is going to be cut to pieces in the Republican House. Any Democrat with half a brain is going to try to put some distance between themselves and the WH. This storm is picking up speed and force. Who will they throw overboard and when?

claudius on October 10, 2012 at 8:45 AM”

We know they will throw Rice under the bus. She will be promised some very substantial remuneration down the road. She better insure she gets it up front. I hope they try to throw Shrillery under the bus. Bill will endorse Romney. he he he he he

nueces on October 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

The more important questions are “Why was Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi, a known hotbed of Islamist terrorism, on the anniversary of 9/11 in the first place?” and “Who supplied the weapons that were used by the terrorists to kill Stevens and the others?”

Who wants to bet the answers to both are traceable right back to the Obama administration?

Resist We Much on October 10, 2012 at 10:20 AM

A quasi-polite reminder to my conservative brothers- and sisters-in-arms:

The state department didn’t “admit” to shit. They are now being forced to walk back their former denial. To assert that they are “admitting” something now makes it sound like they clammed up and wouldn’t talk at all. State lied. Obama lied. They all lied. And now they’re talking as if they hadn’t said anything at all, which itself is a LIE.

gryphon202 on October 10, 2012 at 10:28 AM

That entire administration is a cauldron of lies, obfuscations and deception. These conditions exist in all aspects of Obama’s regime from foreign policy to the economy and beyond, including the phony unemployment rate recently issued by the labor department.

rplat on October 10, 2012 at 10:38 AM

But they’ve been awfully quiet so far.

profitsbeard on October 10, 2012 at 2:10 AM

Remember Nick Berg’s dad?

hawkdriver on October 10, 2012 at 7:54 AM

Yeah. He blamed the president.

Bush.

Maybe they’re trying to figure out how to blame him, too.

profitsbeard on October 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Somebody be sure to ask Jay Carney about this today.

Oh, wait. The WH hasn’t taken questions at a press briefing in two weeks. Could Jay at least appear on some late night or daytime talk shows?

hawksruleva on October 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Funny how ABC has never heard this news before, when it was reported from multiple outlets. I guess good journalism means keeping your head in the sand, these days.

Also not how ABC spins this as being a revelation that the State Department itself may not have been aware of. That flies in the face of what we’ve already learned, though.

hawksruleva on October 10, 2012 at 10:55 AM

… it’s similar to the game ‘Hot Potato’ that we used to play as kids in which you throw the ball around until the music stops. The one with the ‘Hot Potato’ is out.

The blame is being tossed around…

INC on October 9, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Looks to me like at least four potatoes are in play: the “abysmal security” potato and the “phony cause” potato, each one accompanied by its respective “cover-up” potato. Lots of juggling going on with so many objects in the air.

Barnestormer on October 10, 2012 at 10:55 AM

If Hillary is going to avoid being run over by the Obama bus she had better do even more dodging than she did in Bosnia when she was under sniper fire.

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=I23fjRN-PGc&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DI23fjRN-PGc

She lied then and she has been caught lying again.

jpmn on October 10, 2012 at 12:21 PM

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