WASHINGTON — Extremists from groups linked to al Qaida struck the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in a “deliberate and organized terrorist attack,” the top U.S. intelligence agency said Friday, as it took responsibility for the Obama administration’s initial claims that the deadly assault grew from a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islam video.The unusual statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence appeared to have two goals: updating the public on the latest findings of the investigation into the assault, and shielding the White House from a political backlash over its original accounts.
“In the immediate aftermath (of the assault), there was information that led us to assess that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo,” spokesman Sean Turner said in the statement. “We provided that initial assessment to executive branch officials and members of Congress, who used that information to discuss the attack publicly.”
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which coordinates and sets policies for the 16 other U.S. intelligence agencies, is led by retired Air Force Gen. James Clapper, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in August 2010. …
In his statement, Turner said that U.S. intelligence agencies’ understanding of what happened in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, has evolved as they’ve collected and analyzed information on the incident. “As we learned more about the attack, we revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists,” he said.
Can I get a show of hands who believes this? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?
OK Let me throw out the first few questions any reporter with any reasonable understanding of the situation should be asking. In random order off the top of my head:
Which members of Congress were briefed by DNI? – These briefings are bipartisan. Which Republican got this briefing. Because I have not heard a single Republican who said this to the media.
When was this supposed briefing? – Again when did the Republicans learn this?
When did the DNI come to the conclusion this was a pre-planned terrorist attack? – 48 hours ago Obama was still prattling on an imaginary video connection, mentioning it 7 times in his UN speech. Did they just figure this out today?
When is James Clapper resigning? – You don’t make a mistake this big and keep your post. If he wants to take the fall for this, let him take the fall.
When will Susan Rice be resigning? - It’s obvious now she was just making stuff up. Several pundits have noted her story got more embellished as she retold it 5 times. She was put out there because she was disposable. Time to toss her out.
Why did Obama skip all his intelligence briefings the week before 9/11? – It’s not like we don’t know that day is significant to our enemies. (Note to media: No, “but I read it on my iPad” is not an acceptable answer to this question. What was he doing the very hours he should have been attending his briefings.
Did we have any prior warnings the consulate was in danger? If so when? Why did we ignore them?
A special question that only Tapper (Or Eli Lake) would have the guts to ask: If we did have warnings, were any of them in the PDBs the President skipped? — For the rest of you in the media, that’s the biggest question you’ll ever ask in your career. So be sure to sit on your hands like good little lackeys and never ask it.
I came up with those as fast as I could type. I’m sure with 10 minutes of thought I could come up with a few hundred more. Got any you’d like answers to? Hit me in the comments if I missed any obvious ones.