And quite a bit more, including the potential for ISIS to rise to seize ground and declare a caliphate. In a memo from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to the National Security Council, the CIA, and the White House five days after the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, the DIA concluded that the attack had been planned for more than a week and was retribution for an American drone strike that had killed a senior al-Qaeda leader in June 2012. Moreover, the attack had been planned for the anniversary of 9/11 as a propaganda coup for AQ and its affiliate behind the attack, and not just a coincidence as the White House later claimed (via The Right Scoop):
The date of the DIA conclusion (produced by a FOIA lawsuit from Judicial Watch) is remarkable for at least one reason. First, September 16 is an infamous date in the Benghazi timeline, as the date on which Susan Rice did a full Ginsburg to insist that the attack resulted from a spontaneous demonstration tied to an obscure YouTube video. Even though the DIA directly contradicted those talking points supplied by the White House to Rice, they continued to insist on using them for another two weeks, including Hillary Clinton. During that period, the Obama administration kept saying that they had no indication that this was a terrorist plot, even though the president of Libya insisted that it was a planned attack on one of the same shows on which Rice appeared.
As Catherine Herridge and Martha McCallum point out, the memo tells a lot more of the story than we knew before. The consulate and its intelligence operation nearby was keeping an eye on weapons transfers to anti-Assad forces in Syria, one of the proposed reasons why the US would have kept a consulate open in that city for so long. This was taking place at the same time that a number of American politicians were demanding more open support for rebels in Syria, a move that had support from Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta at the time according to Panetta’s memoir, but which Obama himself was reluctant to embrace — publicly, at least. Mike Morell insisted last week that the US took no part in that weapons movement, but did we need a consulate just to conduct passive intel on arms trafficking?
Why keep up the pretense? Obama was in the middle of an election, and didn’t want to acknowledge that he’d been caught with his pants down. And he may well have wanted to avoid answering questions about secret arms programs to anti-Assad rebels, especially given how that turned out in Syria and Iraq.
Speaking of which, the part about the rise of ISIS is even more interesting. The DIA tried to warn Congress about the threat in January 2014, which is when Obama compared them to the “jayvees.” Sixteen months before that, the DIA had predicted exactly what would happen with the group formerly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, right down to their declaration of a caliphate in the area that the US had fought so hard to wrest from their control in 2006-8. This memo makes it look as though both Obama and Clinton made a habit of getting caught with their pants down, and concocting cover stories when the failures became too obvious to ignore.