On Nov 6, 2012, President Obama was re-elected and now it remains to be seen if the Benghazi tragedy will be buried in bureaucracy until it is out of the American public’s minds or completely forgotten? Greg Palkot an investigative reporter for Fox News, traveled to Benghazi and was able to piece together a time line of events.
According to Fox News, on the day of the attacks, Ambassador Stevens conducted meetings at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. At around 8 p.m., Mr. Stevens concluded his meetings and walked his guest to the consulate gates. No reports of an uprising were reported.
At 9:40 p.m., security cameras revealed a militia of men carrying weapons heading toward the consulate gates. They were able to quickly breach the main gates and set fire to everything in sight, including: embassy vehicles and buildings.
The attackers made their way to the consulate building and quickly breached the interior. Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith, locked themselves in a make shift safe room in the rear of the building. During this time, several calls and emails were sent to the State House requesting immediate help. Charlene Lamb a state department agent who testified in front of the Oversight Committee, was monitoring the events in “real time.” During the attack the state department’s operations center sent emails to the White House, Pentagon and the FBI, saying, ” Ansar al-Sharia was claiming credit for the attacks on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.”
Behind the consulate was an annex building which housed the CIA and diplomatic security officers. When they were informed that the consulate was under attack, they contacted the state house and were told to “stand down” according to FOX News’ Jennifer Griffin. A Marine detachment defied their stand down orders and drove to the consulate to provide assistance. Among them were former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. When they arrived, they entered through the rear of the grounds and began to take on small arms fire. They searched the area for Ambassador Stevens, but could not find him. The militants began to overwhelm the small crew and they were forced to leave the compound en-route back to the annex. While driving through the dark streets of Benghazi, several traps were set by the attacking forces. The convoy began to take on small arms fire. Their tires were shot out, but they continued on their route.
According to testimony to the Oversight Committee, when they returned to the annex, they encountered small arms fire and mortar attacks, a Predator drone was overhead and observing the events in “real time.” Woods and Doherty ascended to the roof of the annex building and placed a laser targeting device on enemy targets, thinking that the drones would fire upon those marks. It is there where they met their demise by mortar attack. Their bodies were recovered from the rooftop the next day.
On Sept 12, 2012, President Obama made a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House. He said, “While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.” He continued by saying ”No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.” Not once did President Obama call these events a terrorist attack, instead he called it a spontaneous uprising over an anti-Islam video on YouTube.
Over the next several weeks, the narrative of “a spontaneous uprising over an anti-Islam YouTube video” began to take root. The Obama administration’s misrepresentation of facts and mainstream media’s reluctance to cover the events helped perpetuate the idea that this just happened by chance, even though evidence proved otherwise.
To compound the prevarication, Nakoula Basseley Nakouia, a Californian man, who is thought to have produced the anti-Islam film, was arrested and “perp walked” in front of the world. He was placed in jail and ordered held without bail.
President Obama said during a David Letterman interview that it was the impact of the anti-Muslim video. He said, “Extremists and terrorists used this as an excuse to attack a variety of our embassies, including the consulate in Libya. As offensive as this video was and obviously, we’ve denounced it and the United States government had nothing to do with it. That’s never an excuse for violence.”
Mr. Obama then made a statement in front of the United Nations on Sept 25, 2012 and again referred to the video as the cause of the attacks by saying “ He condemns the anti-Muslim video as crude and disgusting.”
As the evidence began to develop which disputed the narratives given by the President and his administration, Shawn Turner, a spokesman for the Director of national intelligence gave a statement that said, “It was first believed that the attack began spontaneously, but it was later determined that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack.” When he was asked where the intelligence came from that determined it was a spontaneous uprising over a YouTube video, he responded he didn’t know of any intelligence which came to that conclusion.
Next week: The cover up and where does it go from here?