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Al-Qaeda ties of Benghazi attackers were known from the start

The simple truth of what happened after 9/11/12 is growing very difficult to conceal.

More drip-drip-drip of news that only makes sense if you abandon all loyalty to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and admit what happened after 9/11/12: they freaked out, scared to death that the hideous situation in Libya would damage Obama’s re-election campaign, and cooked up a story about “spontaneous video protests” to survive the news cycle.  It’s nothing more complicated than that.  There wasn’t a “fog of war” that made anyone seriously believe Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed by a flash mob angry about an online video.  Obama, Clinton, and the rest of them knew the truth all along, and they lied to you, lied to the families of the dead, because they understood that if you knew the truth immediately, Obama’s re-election would be in serious jeopardy.

Just think of all the damage to American interests that could have been avoided if voters were allowed to know the true extent of Obama’s incompetence.  The same guy who just popped onto the White House lawn to tell Iraqis they’re on their own against ISIS, while he jets off to play golf in Palm Springs, is the man who walked away from the Benghazi attack and turned in early to attend a Las Vegas fundraiser.  There is a continuum that extends from Benghazi to what is happening today.

Anyway, here’s the latest from Fox News:

A targeting memo sent to the State Department by the Defense Department??s Africa Command two days after the Benghazi attack listed 11 suspects with ties to Al Qaeda and other groups, counter-terrorism and congressional sources confirmed to Fox News.

This is significant because it arrived two days before then-UN ambassador Susan Rice appeared on television shows blaming the assault on an inflammatory video. It also came nearly a day before presidential aide Ben Rhodes sent an email also suggesting the video ?? and not a policy failure ?? was to blame for the Sep, 11, 2012 attack that claimed four American lives.

The memo, which was referred to in passing during recent congressional testimony, was drawn up by the Defense Department’s Africa command, known as Africom, and was sent to the State Department as the best available intelligence in the early morning hours of September 14, 2012.

It included the names of 11 suspects, four connected to the Al Qaeda affiliate in North Africa known as AQIM, and seven connected to Ansar al-Sharia, a group with ties to the terrorist network.

They knew from the get-go that Al Qaeda was involved in the attack so the idea that the Obama administration didn’t know that early on or they suspected it was something else entirely basically is willful blindness,“said counter-terrorism analyst Thomas Joscelyn of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

“You have to look at the facts and what the intelligence says and that intelligence was clear that known Al Qaeda personalities were involved in this attack.”

If you’re an Obama dead-ender trying to figure out how this news can possibly fit into the false narrative he fed you in 2012, you’ll go insane.  Remember how he tried to blame the intelligence community for fooling him with the “video protest” stuff, and sending Rice onto the talk-show circuit with incorrect talking points?  Remember how the Administration hemmed, and hawed, and fudged about whether the attackers were an organized terrorist gang, because they needed a news cycle or two in which voters would think the Benghazi attack was a bolt from the blue that no one could have seen coming?  Fox News remembers, even though the Obama team is still trying to make you forget:

Asked about the memo, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said she was not familiar with it, adding “We described the perpetrators as terrorists from the beginning, we’ve discussed this fact over and over again of course from the podium and again that hasn’t changed.”

But a review of the State Department transcripts in the first week after the attack shows then-spokeswoman Victoria Nuland resisted the terrorism description, instead telling reporters on Sep.17, 2012 that the government was still investigating.

Asked by a reporter if the administration regarded the attack as ??an act of terrorism,? Nuland replied, “I don??t think we know enough. I don??t think we know enough. And we??re going to continue to assess? We??re going to have a full investigation now, and then we??ll be in a better position to put labels on things, okay?”

Sometimes people ask why Team Obama would prepare such an obviously false narrative, knowing that it might come back to bite them someday.  That’s using the perspective of hindsight to give them too much credit.  They rose on the day after the attacks scared to death that voters would learn how Clinton sent Stevens to his death, and ask how she could have been so completely blindsided by trouble in a dangerous area on the most dangerous day of the year.  (A lot of that was due to Team Obama’s desire to avoid drawing attention to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Libya, which his re-election campaign was busy touting as a success, just like they touted his Iraq policy as a success.)  Bad news that hits all at once can shift public perception beyond the ability of spinmeisters to recover it.

But drag things out by giving everyone a phony story about video protests to chew over for weeks – a story, you will recall, that the entire Administration pretended to believe as gospel truth, to the point that President Obama addressed the United Nations on the importance of reining in free speech, because “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam” – and now you’ve bought time for the spinmeisters to go to work.  Now you can yell about how the story is “old news” and the public is tired of hearing about it.  A friendly media will ensure that the disposable lies thrown out during Week One are forgotten, as new information comes to light.  Only swift and devastating public-relations wounds are mortal; it can be uncomfortable to watch supportive partisans battle critics over the details of a constantly-revised story, but that can be survived, and once a President has gotten re-elected, the worst consequences have been avoided.

The consequences may yet accrue to Hillary Clinton, who clearly lied about this Defense Department intelligence on the Benghazi terrorists in her book:

In her new book, ??Hard Choices,? then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed the administration made new information available as soon as it was received.

“Every step of the way, whenever something new was learned, it was quickly shared with Congress and the American people,? she wrote. ??There is a difference between getting something wrong, and committing wrong.”

Nonsense.  We have documented proof that the truth was not promptly shared with the American people, or with Congress.  Hillary’s book belongs in the fiction section of the bookstore, ideally filed under “horror/fantasy.”

Update: It turns out the Benghazi consulate wasn’t the only State Department facility that didn’t measure up to security standards during Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State.  Who else have you got for 2016, Democrats?

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Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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