White House Press Secretary Jay Carney just took questions at the daily briefing about the ongoing and escalating situation of riots in the Middle East and other parts of the world. As Guy reported earlier, a story by the UK Independent said the White House had intelligence that U.S. Embassies would be attacked on 9/11 and did nothing. Carney refuted the report today saying it is "false."
"We were not aware of any intelligence that an attack was imminent. That report is false," he said.
But how would President Obama know if an attack was imminent when he missed a week of intelligence briefings before the attack?
Carney went on to say that "this is not a response to the administration, to the American people," but a response "to a film." He repeated the argument that the ongoing violent chaos in the Middle East is simply the result of "a film" at least five times.
‘The cause of the unrest was a video," he said. “The reason there is unrest is because of the film.”
When ABC's Jake Tapper asked if the Obama administration essentially “messed up in any way,” Carney once again referred to the “video."
Carney also said he had "no information to suggest it was a pre-planned attack," and "we have no evidence to suggest a pre-planned attack.” He also said the attacks were not a reaction to the 9/11 anniversary.
This statement clashes with intelligence showing the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya which left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, was in fact a coordinated attack carried out by Al Qaeda or another terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda.
Intelligence experts and U.S. government officials are starting to view the attack in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others in Benghazi as a coordinated attack.
Sources, including officials at the Pentagon and the State Department, are discussing the possibility that it was a planned operation, and some say several developments seem to support the possibility.
The incident does not appear to be a random mob scene, but rather an opportunity that militants seized, sources say. The attackers used a rocket-propelled grenade, a weapon not traditionally carried by protesters, but commonly used by terrorists.
The attack is believed to have come in two waves. The first wave got inside of the compound, and a second wave penetrated a secure location inside the building. This development raises questions about how the attackers knew the location of that secure facility, sources say.
On Sept. 11, al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri put out a video eulogizing Abu Yahya al-Libi, an Islamist terrorist and high-ranking al-Qaida member, who was killed in a drone attack in June. Sources have said they believe the Libyan incident might have been revenge for the death of al-Libi.
Carney’s contradiction comes after an earlier contradiction this week with the State Department. President Obama said during an interview that Egypt wasn’t an ally. The State Department later held a press conference saying Egypt is an ally.
For the record, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, Egypt is considered a major non-NATO ally.
The comment came as White House aides also carefully clarified the president's remarks.
The president made the initial statement in an interview with the Spanish-language Telemundo. "I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we do not consider them an enemy," Obama said, reacting to the ongoing and intense demonstrations outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
The comment raised eyebrows, considering that Egypt - at least before the fall of Hosni Mubarak -- has long been among the top U.S. allies in the Middle East along with Saudi Arabia and Israel. And legally, it is still considered a major "non-NATO" ally, as Nuland confirmed.
Carney did his best to make it look like the Obama administration was handling the situation in the Middle East by saying, "We have managed those situations." Once again, the opposite is true. Riots outside of U.S. Embassies started in Egypt and Libya Tuesday and have spread to Tunisia,Yemen and London. In Lebanon, American restaurants have been burned and in Jerusalem, Palestinians have taken to the streets in protest.
When asked about whether U.S. Marines were prohibited from carrying live ammunition while protecting the embassy there, Carney refused to comment.