Fox News: Benghazi consulate warned 3 hours before attack of militia gathering arms

posted at 10:41 am on November 2, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Remember how the White House insisted for more than a week that there was “no evidence” that the sacking of the Benghazi consulate was anything more than a spontaneous demonstration over a two-month-old YouTube video that “spun out of control”?  Fox News this morning reports that cables from the consulate itself made clear that they expected an attack from local militia groups in the hours before the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. They also told the State Department that they had reason to believe their local security was gathering intel for the attack:

If this is the case, then why wasn’t the FEST team ready to intervene?  Actually, as Allahpundit noted last night, the military and CIA did have their teams ready.  Now it appears that the State Department, at least, had three hours’ notice of radical Islamist activity in the city “gathering weapons and gathering steam,” plus a very big warning about consulate security being compromised.  Yet while the attack took place, no one gave the order for a military intervention.  Even hours into the attack, the White House didn’t go any farther than order an evacuation effort at the Benghazi airport.

This “spontaneous demonstration” story is falling apart.  And it’s interesting to see how it’s falling apart, too.  Earlier, the White House tried to lay off the failure on the intel community, which sparked a flurry of leaks showing that the intel community had warned of this issue and wanted to respond during the attack.  This week, the White House has started to shift blame to State, and now we’re seeing these leaks showing that State knew exactly what was going on.

This buck stops at the Oval Office, and it’s only going to be a matter of time before we get the leaks to show it.  This is what Jake Tapper meant by the drip-drip-drip of Benghazi:

As of now, the White House has disclosed that President Obama was informed about the attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi at roughly 5pm by his National Security Adviser Tom Donilon as he was in a pre-scheduled meeting with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey. At that meeting, senior administration officials say, the President ordered that the U.S. begin moving military assets into the region to prepare for a range of contingencies.

But beyond that, the White House has punted, saying the Accountability Review Board established by the State Department is investigating the matter and what went wrong. No detailed tick-tock, no information about the president’s involvement in decision-making. In addition, they’re preparing for a closed-door hearing of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence on November 15.

Without question in this hyper-partisan environment, Republicans operatives are fanning flames and creating suspicions where there’s no evidence of wrongdoing, trafficking in false rumors and idle speculation. The White House has felt the necessity to pop its head up to shoot down stories it says are false.

For instance, Tommy Vietor, the spokesman for the National Security Council, has said that despite some claims, there was no real-time video of the attack being watched in the Situation Room.

As for recent stories suggesting otherwise, Vietor says, “the White House didn’t deny any requests for assistance. Period. Moreover, what the entire government did – the White House, State Department, Intelligence Community, Department of Defense included – was to work to mobilize all available assets and move them into the region as quickly as possible. That’s what the President ordered the Secretary of Defense and Chairman to do the first time he was briefed about these issues. Many of those assets were later used to reinforce embassies in places like Yemen, Libya and Egypt.”

But that doesn’t mean the myriad questions stacking up are all political in nature, nor that those interested in answers about the Benghazi tragedy are motivated by partisan and nefarious aims.

The cover-up won’t last much longer.

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Seriously, did Obama WANT Stevens to die?!

Doughboy on November 2, 2012 at 10:48 AM
I have to wonder if in some way Stevens had become a problem, because I see no other explanation for the callous disregard for his life.

slickwillie2001 on November 2, 2012 at 12:05 PM

I had posted something along those lines a while ago. Just this past week someone offered an alternate explanation that is even worse. Stevens was supposed to be kidnapped and then a hostage exchange was to take place, timed to help Obama surge in the election. Unfortunately,Stevens was killed instead, and Obama and those who were in on the plan didn’t have a cover story for that scenario-hence the rapidly changing lies from the Obama administration.

There is clearly an Obama cover-up. Is it a cover-up of incompetence, negligence or treason?

talkingpoints on November 2, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Believe it or not the terror types were supposed to be under the control of obama! That’s why no hit was ordered on them. Why hit your own terror types? The plan was to kidnap Stevens and let obama rescue him but the AQ guys got wise to the plan and got tired of being used all the time. So they did what good solid terrorist do they killed infidels.
Things stated to go south early for the regime.They tried to bribe 20 or so youthful benghazians to protest the video but no one would sign up.
Bad sign.
Later on the AQ types double crossed the regime and did what they do to all gay ambassadors even though Stevens was probably dead from smoke inhalation.
Stevens knew waay too much. He was in on weapons to Libya’s terror types and then to Syrians as well.
The whole thing had become a cluster.
Now obama has to explain the unexplainable.

rodguy911 on November 2, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Keep in mind, it was 3pm on a Tues afternoon in DC when the attack commenced. It wasn’t the middle of the night for DC & Pentagon bureaucrats.

rayra on November 2, 2012 at 10:40 PM

rodguy911 on November 2, 2012 at 10:02 PM

I agree this was a planned hit, but disagree on the reason. Not hostage taking, this was to get rid of Stevens and tie up loose ends. Stevens was running guns to Al Qaeda, on our dime. And to the terror group that Hussein keeps touting as “on the run and done”. Not only do we supply the sworn enemies with sophisticated arms in Libya and Syria now, but we do it with the money we are borrowing from China.

Stevens was supposed to be wiped out, too bad the idiots in WH dod not count on Navy SEALs to take matters into their own hands.

riddick on November 2, 2012 at 11:44 PM