Here is the answer Americans are now supposed to believe: longer than it took for the White House to discover a YouTube video did not inspire the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
In June 2010, President Obama fired Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the U.S. commander in Afghanistan because McChrystal had criticized civilian administration officials in the presence of a writer from Rolling Stone. Obama immediately named Gen. David Petraeus -- hero of the Iraq surge -- the new field commander in Afghanistan.
While Petraeus was in Afghanistan, a woman named Paula Broadwell "embedded" in his staff. She was a West Point grad, an Army reserve officer, the married mother of two children -- and was working on a biography of the general.
Petraeus served only one year in Afghanistan, leaving more than a year before Obama's surge there was completed. The president apparently believed it was more important to bring this famous field commander home and make him director of the CIA than to leave him in Afghanistan in command of the enlarged military force Obama had deployed there to theoretically complete America's by-then already 10-year-old war.
On March 19, 2011, while Petraeus was still in Afghanistan, Obama unilaterally ordered the U.S. military to intervene in Libya's civil war, involving the United States in the internal affairs of yet another Muslim nation. Congress never authorized Obama's act. He said he did it because "the writ of the international community must be enforced."
In June 2011, the Senate confirmed Petraeus as CIA director.
On April 6, 2012, as the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform would later learn, two Libyans fired as security guards at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, tossed a bomb into the consulate compound.
On May 22, 2012, when Petraeus was CIA director, terrorists taking credit for attacking the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Benghazi issued a direct threat to the United States.
"Finally, now we are preparing a message for the Americans for disturbing the skies over Derna," they said in a Facebook posting, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
On June 6, 2012, when Petraeus was CIA director, terrorists used an IED to blow a massive hole in the wall around the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
On June 10, 2012, when Petraeus was CIA director, a terrorist fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a convoy carrying the British ambassador through the streets of Benghazi.
On Sept. 11, 2012, the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi and then a nearby "annex" used by the CIA.
At 4:05 p.m. that day, a State Department email informed the White House that the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi was being attacked. At 5:00 p.m. that day, as the attack was unfolding in Benghazi, Obama met with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. The terrorists would eventually kill four Americans in Benghazi. Two of them -- former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty -- were killed seven hours after the State Department first told the White House the attack was underway.
On Sept. 16, 2012, five days after the Benghazi attack, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, said on national television that the attack grew out of a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube.
On Sept. 25, 2012, two weeks after the attack in Benghazi, Obama spoke at length in the U.N. General Assembly about the YouTube video.
On Nov. 6, 2012, Obama was re-elected president of the United States.
On Nov. 9, 2012, CIA Director Petraeus resigned because an FBI investigation discovered he had had an extramarital affair with biographer Broadwell.
At a briefing on Tuesday, Nov. 13, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that no one had informed the president that his CIA director was under investigation until Wednesday -- the day after the presidential election.