The Obama administration is sticking to its guns on its tale of how the attacks in Benghazi this week transpired. Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the United Nations, furthered the assertion today that the attacks in Benghazi were the result of a spontaneous reaction to an obscure YouTube video following protests in Cairo. Hot Air has a collection of all the places Rice has been furthering that assertion.
Meanwhile Libya is openly countering that claim, saying that the attacks were planned for months and arresting 50 people they believe were involved in the plot. President Mohamed Magariaf is also claiming foreigners who entered the country a few months ago were responsible.
The administration has also denied reports from The Independent that the attacks were the result of a continuing breach, that the attacks were pre-meditated and that the US State Department had credible intelligence warning of attacks 48 hours before they occurred. UPDATE From CNN: “Three days before the deadly assault on the United States consulate in Libya, a local security official says he met with American diplomats in the city and warned them about deteriorating security.”
Republican Representative Mike Rogers, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, is noting serious doubts over the administration’s conclusion that the attacks were spontaneous.
“We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to – or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo,” Rice said. “And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons… And it then evolved from there.”
As National Review notes,it is a likely conclusion that the protest was spontaneous but the attacks were premeditated. Yet why would the administration cling to the notion that there was no pre-meditation and no plot? Why are they also stuck on the notion that this little seen YouTube video is behind it all? The only conclusion I can come to is that they want to affix the growing anti-American sentiment raging in the Middle East to something other than their policies, read drone wars and ignoring the rise of radicalized Islam.
Update: Al-Qaeda says attack on U.S. consulate in Libya ‘revenge’ for death of its 2nd man