The White House story line on Libya just keeps falling apart. Reuters got their hands on damning official emails showing the White House and State Department knew the attack on the U.S. consulate on 9/11 was a terrorist attack carried out by extremist groups linked to al Qaeda, within two hours. Previously, we found out through intelligence sources the White House knew within 24 hours the attack was in fact a terrorist attack, despite President Obama refusing to classify the attack as a terrorist attack until 14 days after it happened. For weeks, the White House and the State Department claimed the attack was a result of a YouTube video insulting Islam. This latest round of news further proves "the video" was used a distraction and clearly shows an effort by the White House to cover-up what really happened.
The records obtained by Reuters consist of three emails dispatched by the State Department's Operations Center to multiple government offices, including addresses at the White House, Pentagon, intelligence community and FBI, on the afternoon of September 11.
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 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."
Considering the State Department's Charlene Lamb testified before Congress that she watched the attack happen live, it makes sense they knew within two hours what kind of attack this was. As a refresher:
And a reminder of what President Obama said during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University in New York last week.
“The suggestion that anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, Governor, is offensive … That’s not what I do as president. That’s not what I do as commander-in-chief.”
It'll be interesting to see how White House Press Secretary Jay Carney spins the two hour news today.
UPDATE: Fox News is reporting the emails were sent to hundreds of national security officials.
Fox News was told that an estimated 300 to 400 national security figures received these emails in real time almost as the raid was playing out and concluding. People who received these emails work directly under the nation’s top national security, military and diplomatic officials, Fox News was told.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has just responded to the emails on board Air Force One:
“There were emails about all sorts of information that was coming available in the aftermath of the attack. The email you’re referring to was an open source unclassified email referring to an assertion made on a social media site that everyone in this room had access to and knew about instantaneously. There was a variety of information coming in, the whole point of an intelligence community and what they do is to assess strands of information and make judgments about what happened and who was responsible and I would refer you to what we’ve already said about, and what the DNI has said about the initial assessments of the inelegant community and the fact that throughout this process I and others make very clear that our prelim assessments were preliminary, that an investigation was underway and as more facts became available, we would make the American people aware of them. Again this was an open source, unclassified email posting on a Facebook site.
I would also note, I think within a few hours that organization itself claimed that it had not been responsible. Neither should be taken as fact. That’s why there’s an invstigation underway.”