Libyan president: Of course the violence had nothing to do with a YouTube video

Why should we listen to what Mohamed Magarief has to say about the terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, which claimed the lives of four Americans, including the first US Ambassador murdered in the line of duty since 1979? For one thing, the Libyan president’s story hasn’t changed — unlike that of the White House. While UN Ambassador Susan Rice insisted ten days ago that the sacking of the consulate happened because a protest over a YouTube video “spun out of control,” Magarief has insisted all along that not only was there no protest before the attack, the attack itself was very controlled and disciplined.  He tells NBC News that the attack had “nothing to do with” the 14-minute video, and had everything to do with the anniversary of 9/11 (h/t: Canopfor):

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An anti-Islam film that sparked violent protests in many countries had “nothing to do with” a deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi earlier this month, Libya’s president told NBC News.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Ann Curry, President Mohamed Magarief discounted claims that the attack was in response to a movie produced in California and available on YouTube. He noted that the assault happened on Sept. 11 and that the video had been available for months before that.

“Reaction should have been, if it was genuine, should have been six months earlier. So it was postponed until the 11th of September,” he said. “They chose this date, 11th of September to carry a certain message.”

Magarief said there were no protesters at the site before the attack, which he noted came in two assaults, first with rocket-propelled grenades on the consulate, then with mortars at a safe house.

This rebukes Barack Obama for his speech at the UN, which was predicated on the assumption that the attack on Benghazi and demonstrations coinciding with the 9/11 anniversary sprang from the months-old YouTube video.  Obama never even mentioned terrorism in relation to the attack on the consulate, choosing instead to scold “those who slander the prophet of Islam” as among the biggest problems in the Middle East.  Perhaps if Obama had met with Magarief while the UN General Assembly was in session this week, Obama might have rewritten his speech — but Obama was too busy appearing on The View.