Benghazi Emails: White House Told Two Hours After Benghazi Attack Began That Radical Islamic Group Claimed Responsibility
A vehicle (R) and the surround buildings burn after they were set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on September 11, 2012. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
UPDATE: The White House responded to the emails Wednesday, with press secretary Jay Carney saying “there was a variety of information coming in.”
White House and State Department officials were informed just two hours after the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11 began that a radical Islamic militant group had claimed responsibility, according to official emails obtained by Reuters.
The emails, reportedly put out by the State Department, specifically mention that the Libyan militant group Ansar al-Sharia had taken credit for the attack almost immediately and called for additional terrorist acts.
The correspondence provides a glimpse into how U.S. diplomats described the fiery assault, as it was happening, to officials in Washington, D.C.
The terrorist attack claimed the lives of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, including two former Navy SEALs and a State Department official. It took the Obama administration nearly two weeks to completely rule out an anti-Muslim video as the cause of the attack.
Numerous Obama administration officials, including White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and even Obama himself, went on TV at different times and told millions of American citizens that the attacks were due to a spontaneous protest sparked by the video. Now it has been uncovered that the administration knew within hours that a terrorist group had proudly admitted they attacked the U.S. compound.
Reuters has the details on the emails sent to the various Obama administration officials:
The first email, timed at 4:05 p.m. Washington time – or 10:05 p.m. Benghazi time, 20-30 minutes after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission allegedly began – carried the subject line “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack” and the notation “SBU”, meaning “Sensitive But Unclassified.”
The text said the State Department’s regional security office had reported that the diplomatic mission in Benghazi was “under attack. Embassy in Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well.”
A second email, headed “Update 1: U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi” and timed 4:54 p.m. Washington time, said that the Embassy in Tripoli had reported that “the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi had stopped and the compound had been cleared.” It said a “response team” was at the site attempting to locate missing personnel.
A third email, also marked SBU and sent at 6:07 p.m. Washington time, carried the subject line: “Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack.”
The message reported: “Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli.”
Here are images of the emails courtesy of CBS News:
Watch CBS News’ report:
Fox News reports that the emails were sent to a “variety of national security platforms, whose addresses have been redacted, including the White House Situation Room, the Pentagon, the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence.”
Additionally, sources told Fox News that around 300 to 400 national security officials received the emails “in real time.” The officials on the email recipient list work under the nation’s top national security, military and diplomatic officials, according to sources.
The revelation, if confirmed to be legitimate, also calls into question why President Obama decided to take off on campaign trip to Las Vegas if his State Department the day before informed his national security team that a group of radical Islamic terrorists was claiming responsibility for killing four Americans.
The other question that demands answering is whether the U.S. military could have intervened if the White House knew two hours after the seven hour attack began that a terrorist group was overwhelming the U.S. Consulate, putting the lives of Americans in danger.
CBS News has been told that, hours after the attack began, an unmanned Predator drone was sent over the U.S. mission in Benghazi, and that the drone and other reconnaissance aircraft apparently observed the final hours of the protracted battle.
The State Department, White House and Pentagon declined to say what military options were available. A White House official told CBS News that, at the start of the attack, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “looked at available options, and the ones we exercised had our military forces arrive in less than 24 hours, well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies.”
But it was too late to help the Americans in Benghazi. The ambassador and three others were dead.
No word from the Obama administration on the emails. See the White House’s response here.
Also please watch this video from The Blaze
This is newsworthy raw footage video added to the 2012 non-partisan political coverage of our channel.
CAUTION This video contains GRAPHIC content. This video was uploaded by a YouTube user in an Arabic language portion of the site claiming it was authentic raw footage of United States Ambassador Chris Stevens – victim of the 9/11/2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya. In the attack, Ambassador Stevens and three others were killed in an apparently coordinated attack on the U.S. consulate and a safe house. The video purports to show the body of Amb. Stevens being dragged on the ground by the gathered men, amid celebratory cheers. This video is newsworthy to the Presidential campaign because, if true, it apparently contradicts the statements made by President Obama’s campaign, and by his officials in the State Department, that the body of Ambassador Stevens was treated with respect and that the attack was not pre-meditated, but rather was a spontaneous reaction to a movie trailer about Islam.
The authenticity of this video or its source has not been verified, and likely cannot be verified ever. However, the body of the depicted victim of the video appears to be clothed in the same shirt, pants and belt as seen in one authenticated photo of Ambassador Stevens after his death. It originally was uploaded by a YouTube channel user named “Abdalgadar Fadl”. The uploader had inserted Arabic language texts that were translated to read, “Moment directed the U.S. ambassador before his death” and the headline inserted there was “U.S. Ambassador and the people of Benghazi rescue attempt before his death.”
Various early translations are contradictory as to whether the Ambassador is alive or dead at the beginning of the video, and also as to the meaning of the cries of Alahu Akbar in the crowd, as to whether those were in celebration of retrieving a live or dead body. Nonetheless, Ambassador Stevens did not appear to be conscious. The historic significance of the video likely is as to the care or lack of care given the Ambassador and the manner of handling of his remains.
- Barack Obama Knew About Benghazi Attack (theroycroftreport.com)
- Emails: White House told of militant claim two hours after Libya attack – Reuters (reuters.com)
- Libya Attack Emails: White House Told Of Militant Claim 2 Hours After Benghazi attack (huffingtonpost.com)
- Caught in a Lie–Again: White House Received Claims of Terrorist Role Two Hours After Benghazi Attack (breitbart.com)
- Chris Stevens’ Last Words (frontpagemag.com)