I’m not so sure if this is a case of “what did they know and when did they know it” or more of a what the administration said and why they said it. We already know pretty much about what they knew – or should have known.
Since Obama says he stated September 12th this was an act of terrorism, then why did all the talk about videos and protests follow?
And why did Art Carney say in his official briefing, September 12 — White House spokesman Jay Carney– in response to questions about whether the attack was planned:
“It’s too early for us to make that judgment. I think — I know that this is being investigated, and we’re working with the Libyan government to investigate the incident. So I would not want to speculate on that at this time.”
Judgment? But apparently not to early to assume there was a protest which led to the events.
Then came Susan Rice’s defiant statements 5 days later. And now a month later they want to hop into the wayback machine to point out she mentioned the boilerplate “investigation” in it. Duh, so what? Rice’s statements to media:
RICE: Well, Jake, first of all, it’s important to know that there’s an FBI investigation that has begun and will take some time to be completed. … But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.
We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to — or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo. And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons, weapons that as you know in — in the wake of the revolution in Libya are — are quite common and accessible. And it then evolved from there.
We’ll wait to see exactly what the investigation finally confirms, but that’s the best information we have at present. — ( This Week with George Stephanopoulos, 9/16/12)
Apparently “present” is a state in the nation of denial.
Face the Nation
RICE: Bob, let me tell you what we understand to be the assessment at present. First of all, very importantly, as you discussed with the President, there is an investigation that the United States government will launch led by the FBI, that has begun and –
SCHIEFFER: But they are not there.
RICE: They are not on the ground yet, but they have already begun looking at all sorts of evidence of — of various sorts already available to them and to us. And they will get on the ground and continue the investigation. So we’ll want to see the results of that investigation to draw any definitive conclusions.[yada, yada] But based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy–
RICE: — sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that — in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent.
SCHIEFFER: But you do not agree with him that this was something that had been plotted out several months ago?
RICE: We do not — we do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.
SCHIEFFER: Do you agree or disagree with him that al Qaeda had some part in this?
SUSAN RICE: Well, we’ll have to find out that out. I mean I think it’s clear that there were extremist elements that joined in and escalated the violence. Whether they were al Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al Qaeda itself I think is one of the things we’ll have to determine. — (CBS, Face the Nation, 9/16/12)
On her blame tour, Rice also told Fox:
“But I do think it’s important for the American people to know our best current assessment.”
And this all was after Obama claimed he said it was terrorism. Instead of arguing with Romney, why isn’t he arguing with Rice and others? Why wasn’t he setting everyone in his administration straight?
Then at the debate he said he was “offended”. And now I assume he is claiming to be the victim.