The Benghazi Embassy Attack Timeline and History Of How It Was Covered

The Benghazi Embassy Attack Timeline

( and History of how Journalists covered it )

The events, and the Government response in the aftermath, have been an ongoing mystery.  The second hearing has taken place, the Whistleblowers delivered testimony.

The questions still outstanding… who introduced the Video narrative?  Who rewrote the Assessment?  Did Hillary Clinton contradict herself?

There are now also new questions. Were the Whistleblowers intimidated and threatened about testifying?

We urge everyone to make substantive  suggestions of factual or context providing sources in the comment section to help us crowdsource arriving at the clearest possible understanding of what happened that day, and how well the National Media covered the story.

As always, anyone whose suggested data point that gets added to the timeline may also get a thank you from us for you internet sleuthing efforts, with a link to your Social Media profile in our Contributors section.

September 12, 2012:  

US Ambassador to Libya Killed in Benghazi

Obama Labels Attack ‘Act of Terror,’ Not ‘Terrorism’

Clinton issues a statement confirming that four U.S. officials, not one, had been killed. She called it a “violent attack.”

Clinton: All the Americans we lost in yesterday’s attacks made the ultimate sacrifice. We condemn this vicious and violent attack that took their lives, which they had committed to helping the Libyan people reach for a better future.

Clinton delivers a speech at the State Department to condemn the attack in Benghazi and to praise the victims as “heroes.” She again makes reference to the anti-Muslim video in similar language.

Clinton: Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior, along with the protest that took place at our Embassy in Cairo yesterday, as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear — there is no justification for this, none.

Obama delivers a morning speech in the Rose Garden to address the deaths of U.S. diplomats in Libya. He said, “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.” He also makes reference to the anti-Muslim video when he says: “Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None.” He uses the term “act of terror” later that night when talking about the attack at a campaign event in Las Vegas.

After his Rose Garden speech, Obama tapes an interview for “60 Minutes.” Obama says he didn’t use the word “terrorism” in his Rose Garden speech because “it’s too early to know exactly how this came about.” Steve Kroft, the show’s host, wonders how the attack could be described as a “mob action” since the attackers were “very heavily armed.” Obama says “we’re still investigating,” but he suspects “folks involved in this . . . were looking to target Americans from the start.”

Senior administration officials, who did not permit use of their names, hold a briefing with reporters to answer questions about the attack. Twice officials characterize those involved in the attack as “extremists.” In one case, an official identified only as “senior administration official one” is asked by Fox News reporter Justin Fishel if the administration had ruled out the possibly that the attack was in response to the anti-Muslim video. The official says, “We just don’t know.”

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell asks officials to address news reports that the attack has been “linked to a terror attack, an organized terror attack,” possibly al Qaeda. The official refers to it as a “complex attack,” but says it is “too early to say who they were” and their affiliation.

4:09 p.m.: At a press briefing en route to Las Vegas, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is asked, “Does the White House believe that the attack in Benghazi was planned and premeditated?” He responds, “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.”

Libya’s deputy ambassador to London, Ahmad Jibril, tells the BBC that Ansar al-Sharia was behind the attack. The little-known militant group issues a statement that says it “didn’t participate as a sole entity,” neither confirming nor denying the report.

Citing unnamed “U.S. government officials,” Reuters reports that “the Benghazi attack may have been planned in advance” and that members of Ansar al-Sharia “may have been involved.” Reuters quotes one of the U.S. officials as saying: “It bears the hallmarks of an organized attack.” Death and the American Ambassador: What Happened in Benghazi …
The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting.. The Sequence Of Events Leading To A U.S. Ambassador’s Death

Reuters: Obama vows to track down ambassador’s killers

September 13, 2012:  

The New Yorker: What Was Really Behind the Benghazi Attack? ‘Clearly Planned’ or ‘Spontaneous’ Attack?Clinton meets with Ali Suleiman Aujali — the Libyan ambassador to the U.S. — at a State Department event to mark the end of Ramadan. Ambassador Aujali apologizes to Clinton for what he called “this terrorist attack which took place against the American consulate in Libya.” Clinton, in her remarks, does not refer to it as a terrorist attack. She condemns the anti-Muslim video, but adds that there is “never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”At a daily press briefing, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland was asked if the Benghazi attack was “purely spontaneous or was premeditated by militants.” She declined to say, reiterating that the administration did not want to “jump to conclusions.”Clinton met with Moroccan Foreign Minister Saad-Eddine Al-Othmani. She condemned what she called the “disgusting and reprehensible” anti-Muslim video and the violence that it triggered. She said, “Islam, like other religions, respects the fundamental dignity of human beings, and it is a violation of that fundamental dignity to wage attacks on innocents. As long as there are those who are willing to shed blood and take innocent life in the name of religion, the name of God, the world will never know a true and lasting peace.”

At a campaign event in Colorado, Obama again uses the phrase “act of terror.” He says: “I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished.”

CNN reports that unnamed “State Department officials” say the incident in Benghazi was a “clearly planned military-type attack” unrelated to the anti-Muslim movie.

CNN: “It was not an innocent mob,” one senior official said. “The video or 9/11 made a handy excuse and could be fortuitous from their perspective but this was a clearly planned military-type attack.”

The Twitter hashtag #Benghazi appears

September 14, 2012:  

New York Times: Ambassador’s Body Back in US

Huffington Post:  Obama, Hillary Clinton Honor Ambassador Chris Stevens

White House Says No Evidence of Planned Attack

Clinton spoke at Andrews Air Force Base at a ceremony to receive the remains of those killed in Benghazi. She remarked that she received a letter from the president of the Palestinian Authority praising Stevens and “deploring — and I quote — ‘an act of ugly terror.’ ” She, however, did not call it an act of terror or a terrorist attack and neither did the president.

At a State Department press briefing, spokeswoman Nuland says the department will no longer answer any questions about the Benghazi attack. “It is now something that you need to talk to the FBI about, not to us about, because it’s their investigation.”

At a White House press briefing, Press Secretary Carney denies reports that it was a preplanned attack. “I have seen that report, and the story is absolutely wrong. We were not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent. That report is false.” Later in that same briefing, Carney is told that Pentagon officials informed members of Congress at a closed-door meeting that the Benghazi attack was a planned terrorist attack. Carney said the matter is being investigated but White House officials “don’t have and did not have concrete evidence to suggest that this was not in reaction to the film.”

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta meets with the Senate Armed Services Committee. Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, reports that Republicans and Democrats came away with the conclusion that the Benghazi attack was a planned terrorist attack.

September 15, 2012:  

Susan Rice Contradicts Libyan President

Obama discusses the Benghazi attack in his weekly address. He makes no mention of terror, terrorists or extremists. He does talk about the anti-Muslim film and “every angry mob” that it inspired in pockets of the Middle East.

September 16, 2012:  

ABC News: Ambassador Susan Rice: Libya Attack Not Premeditated

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…

We are not impotent

Libya President Mohamed Magariaf says on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that the attack on the U.S. consulate was planned months in advance. But Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, tells CBS News’ Bob Schieffer: “We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.” She says it began “spontaneously … as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo,” and “extremist elements” joined in the protest. (It was later learned that Rice received her information from the CIA.)

Magariaf says in an interview with NPR: “The idea that this criminal and cowardly act was a spontaneous protest that just spun out of control is completely unfounded and preposterous. We firmly believe that this was a precalculated, preplanned attack that was carried out specifically to attack the U.S. consulate.” Susan Rice, Libyan President Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf, Benjamin Netanyahu, and more Sunday Talk

September 17, 2012:  

State Defends Rice and ‘Initial Assessment’Nuland, the State Department spokeswoman, is asked about Rice’s comments on “Face the Nation” and four other Sunday talk shows. Nuland says, “The comments that Ambassador Rice made accurately reflect our government’s initial assessment.” Nuland uses the phrase “initial assessment” three times when discussing Rice’s comments.

September 18, 2012:  

Obama Says ‘Extremists’ Used Video As ‘Excuse’

Obama was asked about the Benghazi attack on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” The president said, “Here’s what happened,” and began discussing the impact of the anti-Muslim video. He then said, “Extremists and terrorists used this as an excuse to attack a variety of our embassies, including the consulate in Libya.” He also said, “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.”

Asked about Magariaf’s assessment that the video had nothing to do with the terrorist attack in Benghazi, the White House spokesman says Obama “would rather wait” for the investigation to be completed. “But at this time, as Ambassador Rice said and as I said, our understanding and our belief based on the information we have is it was the video that caused the unrest in Cairo, and the video and the unrest in Cairo that helped — that precipitated some of the unrest in Benghazi and elsewhere,” Carney says. “What other factors were involved is a matter of investigation.”

After meeting with Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Patricia Espinosa, Clinton speaks with reporters and is asked if the Libyan president is “wrong” that “this attack was planned for months.” Clinton says, “The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has said we had no actionable intelligence that an attack on our post in Benghazi was planned or imminent.” She does not say if Magariaf is right or wrong.

September 19, 2012:  

Olsen Calls It a ‘Terrorist Attack’

Matt Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, tells a Senate subcommittee (at 1:06:49 in the video) that the four State Department officials in Benghazi “were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy.” It is the first time an administration official labeled it a “terrorist attack.” But he also tells the senators that he has no “specific evidence of significant advanced planning.”

At a State Department briefing, the department spokeswoman is asked if she now believes that the attack was a “terrorist attack”? She says, “Well, I didn’t get a chance to see the whole testimony that was given by Matt Olsen of the NCTC, but obviously we stand by comments made by our intelligence community who has first responsibility for evaluating the intelligence and what they believe that we are seeing.”

The White House spokesman does not call it a “terrorist attack” in his press briefing. Carney says, “Based on the information we had at the time — we have now, we do not yet have indication that it was preplanned or premeditated. There’s an active investigation. If that active investigation produces facts that lead to a different conclusion, we will make clear that that’s where the investigation has led.” ‘When Censorship Makes Sense,’ and Other Journalistic Responses to Hecklers Trying to Veto a YouTube Film Trailer

September 20, 2012:  

W.H. Spokesman Calls It a ‘Terrorist Attack’ — Not Obama

Carney calls it a “terrorist attack” after being asked how the White House now classifies the attack. But he says the White House has no evidence that it was “a significantly preplanned attack” and blames the video for igniting the incident in Benghazi.

Obama, at a town hall meeting, says “extremists” took advantage of the “natural protests” to the anti-Muslim video to attack the consulate in Benghazi. He does not call it a “terrorist attack.”

Question: We have reports that the White House said today that the attacks in Libya were a terrorist attack. Do you have information indicating that it was Iran, or al Qaeda was behind organizing the protests?

Obama: Well, we’re still doing an investigation, and there are going to be different circumstances in different countries. And so I don’t want to speak to something until we have all the information. What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.

FOX News: State Department spending $70G on Pakistan ads denouncing anti-Islam film

September 21, 2012:  

Clinton Calls It a ‘Terrorist Attack’

Clinton, speaking to reporters before a meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, calls it a “terrorist attack” for the first time. She says, “Yesterday afternoon when I briefed the Congress, I made it clear that keeping our people everywhere in the world safe is our top priority. What happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack, and we will not rest until we have tracked down and brought to justice the terrorists who murdered four Americans.”

September 24, 2012:  

Obama Refuses to Call It a Terrorist AttackClinton meets with the Libyan president and calls the Benghazi attack a “terrorist assault.” She says, “As we all know, the United States lost a great ambassador and the Libyan people lost a true friend when Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the terrorist assault on our consulate in Benghazi.”

Obama tapes an appearance on “The View,” and he’s asked by co-host Joy Behar whether the Libya attack was an act of terrorism or caused by the anti-Muslim video. He does not call it a terrorist attack and says, “We’re still doing an investigation.”

September 25, 2012:  

Obama speaks at the United Nations. He praises Chris Stevens as “the best of America” and condemns the anti-Muslim video as “crude and disgusting.” He does not describe the Benghazi attack as a terrorist attack.

September 26, 2012:  

‘Let’s Be Clear, It Was a Terrorist Attack’

Carney is asked at a press briefing aboard Air Force One en route to Ohio why the president has not called the Benghazi incident a “terrorist attack.” He said, “The president — our position is, as reflected by the NCTC director, that it was a terrorist attack. It is, I think by definition, a terrorist attack when there is a prolonged assault on an embassy with weapons. … So, let’s be clear, it was a terrorist attack and it was an inexcusable attack.”

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, in an interview with Al Jazeera, is asked whether he agrees with the president of Libya that the Benghazi attack was premeditated and had nothing to do with the anti-Muslim video. He said: “It’s clear that the attack which took the lives of Chris Stevens and three other colleagues was clearly choreographed and directed and involved a fair amount of firepower, but exactly what kind of planning went into that and how it emerged on that awful night, we just don’t know right now. But I’m confident we’ll get to the bottom of it.”

September 27, 2012:  

When Did Administration Know?

At a press briefing, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says that “it was a terrorist attack,” but declines to say when he came to that conclusion. “It took a while to really get some of the feedback from what exactly happened at that location,” he said. “As we determined the details of what took place there, and how that attack took place, that it became clear that there were terrorists who had planned that attack.”

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the same briefing addresses what the U.S. knew in advance of the Benghazi attack. He says there was “a thread of intelligence reporting that groups in … eastern Libya were seeking to coalesce, but there wasn’t anything specific and certainly not a specific threat to the consulate that I’m aware of.”

In a report on “Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees,” Fran Townsend, former Homeland Security adviser to President George W. Bush, says the administration knew early on that it was a terrorist attack. “The law enforcement source who said to me, from day one we had known clearly that this was a terrorist attack,” she says.

Intelligence ‘Evolved’

The White House spokesman is asked yet again why the president has refused to call the incident a terrorist attack. “The president’s position [is] that this was a terrorist attack,” Carney says.

September 28, 2012:  

Shawn Turner, a spokesman for the director of national intelligence, says in a statement that the office’s position on the attack evolved. It was first believed that “the attack began spontaneously,” but it was later determined that “it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack,” he says.

Turner: In the immediate aftermath, there was information that led us to assess that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo. We provided that initial assessment to Executive Branch officials and members of Congress, who used that information to discuss the attack publicly and provide updates as they became available. Throughout our investigation we continued to emphasize that information gathered was preliminary and evolving.

As we learned more about the attack, we revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists. It remains unclear if any group or person exercised overall command and control of the attack, and if extremist group leaders directed their members to participate.

October 2, 2012:  

Clinton Cites ‘Continuing Questions’

White House spokesman Carney at a press briefing in Nevada: “At every step of the way, the administration has based its public statements on the best assessments that were provided by the intelligence community. As the intelligence community learned more information they updated Congress and the American people on it.”

October 3, 2012:  

Clinton tells reporters after a meeting with Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov: “There are continuing questions about what exactly happened in Benghazi on that night three weeks ago. And we will not rest until we answer those questions and until we track down the terrorists who killed our people.”

October 9, 2012:  

’Everything Calm’ Prior to Benghazi Attack, No Protests

At a background briefing, senior state department officials reveal there were no protests prior to the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi — contrary to what administration officials have been saying for weeks. A senior department official says “everything is calm at 8:30 p.m.” (Libya time) when Stevens was outside the building to bid a visitor goodbye. The ambassador retired to his bedroom for the evening at 9 p.m. The calm was shattered by 9:40 p.m. when “loud noises” and “gunfire and an explosion” are heard. (The background briefing provided on September 12 also said the attack began at about 10 p.m., or about 4 p.m. EDT, but it did not provide information about what happened prior to the attack.)

A senior official says it was “not our conclusion” that the Benghazi attack started as a spontaneous protest to the anti-Muslim video. He also said “there was no actionable intelligence of any planned or imminent attack.”

October 10, 2012:  

Administration Says It Gave Public ‘Best Information’

Carney, the White House spokesman, is asked at a press briefing why the president and administration officials described the anti-Muslim video as the underlying cause of the attack on Benghazi when the State Department “never concluded that the assault in Benghazi was part of a protest on the anti-Muslim film.” He replied, in part: “Again, from the beginning, we have provided information based on the facts that we knew as they became available, based on assessments by the intelligence community — not opinions — assessments by the IC, by the intelligence community. And we have been clear all along that this was an ongoing investigation, that as more facts became available we would make you aware of them as appropriate, and we’ve done that.”

After testifying before a House committee, Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy is asked at a press briefing what the State Department should have done differently in releasing information about the Benghazi attack. He said, “We are giving out the best information we have at the time.”

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform releases State Department memos requesting additional security in Libya. Charlene Lamb, a State Department official who denied those requests, tells the committee that the State Department had been training local Libyans for nearly a year and additional U.S. security personnel were not needed. As reported by Foreign Policy: “We had the correct number of assets in Benghazi on the night of 9/11,” Lamb testified. Others testified differently. “All of us at post were in sync that we wanted these resources,” testified Eric Nordstrom, the top regional security officer in Libya over the summer, Foreign Policy reported.

October 11, 2012:  

Fox News Special Report: Timeline of Benghazi Embassy Attack

October 15, 2012:  

Clinton Blames ‘Fog of War’

Clinton, in an interview on CNN, blamed the “fog of war” when asked why the administration initially claimed the attack began with the anti-Muslim video, even though the State Department never reached that conclusion. “In the wake of an attack like this in the fog of war, there’s always going to be confusion, and I think it is absolutely fair to say that everyone had the same intelligence,” Clinton said. “Everyone who spoke tried to give the information they had. As time has gone on, the information has changed, we’ve gotten more detail, but that’s not surprising. That always happens.”

The New York Times reports that the Benghazi attack came “without any warning or protest,” but “Libyans who witnessed the assault and know the attackers” say it was “in retaliation for the video.”

October 16, 2012:  

Crowley Challenges Romney in Benghazi Dispute:

Presidential Debate: Obama Outraged at Suggestion His Team Would Play Politics with Benghazi:

October 18, 2012:  

Media Matters: Fox Omits Important Day From Benghazi Timeline To Attack Obama

October 19, 2012:  

James Rosen, Wall Street Journal “The Three Benghazi Timelines We Need Answers About
Every White House sooner or later succumbs to the temptation to cover up an embarrassment.

Mediate: Chris Matthews Slams Young Romney Supporter Over Benghazi: ‘Read A Newspaper,’ ‘It’s All About The Video’

October 24, 2012:  

Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, says that “within a few hours” of the attack Ansar al-Sharia “claimed that it had not been responsible.” He added, “Neither should be taken as fact — that’s why there’s an investigation underway.”

White House, State Department Emails on Ansar al-Sharia

Reuters reports the White House, Pentagon and other government agencies learned just two hours into the Benghazi attack that Ansar al-Sharia, an Islamic militant group, had “claimed credit” for it. The wire service report was based on three emails from the State Department’s Operations Center. One of the emails said, “Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripol.” The article also noted, “Intelligence experts caution that initial reports from the scene of any attack or disaster are often inaccurate.” (It should be noted that Reuters first reported on September 12 that unnamed U.S. officials believed that Ansar al-Sharia may have been involved.)

Clinton warns at a press conference that you cannot draw conclusions from the leaked emails because “cherry-picking one story here or one document there” can be misleading. She said, “The independent Accountability Review Board is already hard at work looking at everything — not cherry-picking one story here or one document there — but looking at everything, which I highly recommend as the appropriate approach to something as complex as an attack like this. Posting something on Facebook is not in and of itself evidence, and I think it just underscores how fluid the reporting was at the time and continued for some time to be.”

November 1, 2012:  

WaP Columnist David Ignatius: In Benghazi timeline, CIA errors but no evidence of conspiracy

November 9, 2012:  

Washington Times: Pentagon releases timeline of Benghazi attack

November 12, 2012: Cia denies broadwell’s benghazi prison story CIA denies it detained militants in Benghazi.

Daily Mail: Petraeus tells Congress that ‘Obama administration altered CIA talking points’ on Benghazi

“When you have four people dead, including the first U.S. ambassador, for the first time in more than 30 years, how do you call that hype?”

“How many security contractors died in Iraq? Do you know?” Ricks shot back.

“I don’t,” replied Scott.

“Nobody does because nobody cared,” Ricks said. “We know several hundred died but there was never official count of security contractors in Iraq. When I say this focus was essentially on a small fire-fight, I think, number one, I’ve covered a lot of fire-fights and it is impossible to figure out what happens in them sometimes.”

Ricks then took another open shot at Fox News: “I think the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political, partly because Fox is operating as the wing of Republican Party.”

At that point, Scott cut the interview short: “Tom Ricks, thanks for joining us today.”

Ricks smirked and replied: “You’re welcome.”

November 15, 2012: Timeline: How the Benghazi Controversy Unfolded

January 23, 2013:  

The Atlantic: Watch Hillary Clinton Flip Out at Her Benghazi Testimony

May 6, 2013:  

Yahoo News: Benghazi Whistleblowers Reveal Their Clinton Cover-up Moment’s @VerumSerumObama Angrily Denied His Team Would Ever ‘Play Politics or Mislead’ on Benghazi

There is no way to pretend the President did not promise the American people, in the most public way possible, that he and his administration would not play politics with Benghazi. If it turns out they have and that his own staff was part of it, he should be held responsible.

May 7, 2013:  

Washington Post Fact Checker: Glenn Kessler: Issa’s absurd claim that Clinton’s ‘signature’ means she personally approved it New York Times Ignores Benghazi

NYTimes Public Editor Journal: Is The Times Really Ignoring Benghazi?

In fact, what’s been written in The Times has been solid. But my sense is that, starting last fall, The Times has had a tendency to both play down the subject, which has significant news value, and to pursue it most aggressively as a story about political divisiveness rather than one about national security mistakes and the lack of government transparency. Many readers would like to see more on that front, and so would I.

@BillGertz: Islamist group linked to Benghazi terror attack operates freely in Libya.  Salon “It was fox news pushing bogus story lines on #Benghazi”

May 8, 2013: Benghazi Confidential: Questions That Should Be Answered But Won’t Be.

CBS: Video “Dems say Benghazi hearings are a GOP “witch hunt” White House slams ‘attempts to politicize’ Benghazi

The White House’s edits to talking points that administration officials including UN Ambassador Susan Rice used in public statements were “stylistic and not substantive.”

WaPo Twitter: Who’s tweeting about Benghazi? Rich, middle-aged men and Chick-fil-A lovers

Mother of Slain Benghazi Victim: ‘I Blame’ Hillary Clinton for Son’s Death

Pat Smith, the mother of slain American diplomat Sean Smith, directly blamed former secretary of state Hillary Clinton for the deaths of her son and three other Americans in last year’s 9/11 attacks in Benghazi.”She is in charge — why couldn’t she do something about it?” Smith told CNN’s Jake Tapper yesterday. “I blame her.”

“That’s her department,” she added. “Who is running the place?”

Smith said she has asked Clinton and other officials “nose-to-nose” for more information on what took place that night, but has not been told anything because they’ve said she’s not a member of her son’s immediate family. “I don’t understand that because I still remember the labor pains,” she said. “I think I’m a member of the immediate family, and I think I ought to know.”

During the interview, Tapper shared in Smith’s frustration. “I guess what I find so amazing — I don’t find it surprising that you haven’t gotten answers, because I haven’t either and I’ve been reporting on this since September,” Tapper told her.

How It Was Live Blogged:
Washington Post Live Blog
Washington Times Live blog Bryan Preston
The Guardian Live Blog

Rep Elijah Cummings’ Opening Statement at Benghazi Hearings:

‘Death is a part of life’: Rep. Cummings tells whistleblowers ‘I feel your pain’

Rep Chaffetz: “How did the [military] personnel respond to being told to Stand Down.”
DCM Hicks: “They were furious.”

Dem. Congressman Blames Budget Cuts

Buzzfeed: Benghazi Hearing Witness Says State Dept. Told Him Not To Meet With Congressional Investigators

NYTimes: The Pentagon Timeline Of Events CBS News executives see Attkisson wading dangerously close to advocacy on the issue, network sources have told POLITICO The John Bolton Acknowledgment That Should End The Benghazi Scandal Mongering The 6 new things we learned today about Benghazi

Salon: No Smoking Gun In Benghazi

NYTimes: Diplomat Says Questions Over Benghazi Led to Demotion

CBS News’ @SharylAttkissonThe Benghazi talking points: What’s known and unknown

Ace Of Spades HQ: “CBSNews Bigs Fret That Sharyl Attkisson is Coming “Dangerously Close to Advocacy”

May 9 2013:  

May 10 2013:  

National’s @Ron_FournierIs Hillary Clinton Being thrown Under The Bus? Petraeus Expressed Frustration At Altered Account…

Twitchy: ex-NSC spokesman Tommy Vietor“The #Benghazi TPs were written at request of the House intel committee Rs so they could go on TV. Cong forced admin to do them now attack”

May 15 2013:  
@SharylAttkisson:Fact check: Benghazi attack and aftermath@Moira1987: Jake Tapper is now backtracking -> Did the White House selectively leak e-mail to distort #Benghazi timeline story?@EdMorrissey:

During the press conference, Carney seized on this report to claim that the Benghazi story was a trumped-up non-story:

@BigJournalism: David Axelrod Calls on Obama to Release Libya Emails

Hillary Clinton’s Top Aides Knew from First Minutes that Benghazi Was a Terrorist Attack, E-mails Disclose (

May 18, 2015: Hillary Received Memo Describing Benghazi As Planned Terror Attack Within Hours!

New documents obtained by Judicial Watch and made public Monday show that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other senior officials under President Obama were given intelligence within hours of the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack describing how it had been planned at least 10 days in advance ‘to kill as many Americans as possible.’

Heavily redacted memo obtained by Judicial Watch

then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the White House National Security Council and the Joint Chiefs of Staff said “the attack was planned 10 or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 atacks on the World Trade Center buildings.

May 21, 2015:  

May 22, 2015:  

November 1, 2015:  

New Email Shows Tripoli Embassy Warned D.C. to ‘Not Conflate’ Video with Benghazi Attacks |

Two days after the 9/11/2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, the United States embassy in Tripoli, Libya, was warning the State Department via email not to conflate the Innocence of Muslims YouTube video with the attacks.

Fox News: Email shows Clinton’s State Department cautioned about blaming Benghazi attack on video

Colleagues, I mentioned to [redacted] this morning, and want to share with all of you, our view at Embassy Tripoli that we must be cautious in our local messaging with regard to the inflammatory film trailer, adapting it to Libyan conditions.

Our monitoring of the Libyan media and conversations with Libyans suggest that the films not as explosive of an issue here as it appears to be in other countries in the region. The overwhelming majority of the FB comments and tweets we’ve received from Libyans since the Ambassador’s death have expressed deep sympathy, sorrow, and regret. They have expressed anger at the attackers, and emphasized that this attack does not represent Libyans or Islam. Relatively few have even mentioned the inflammatory video.

So if we post messaging about the video specifically, we may draw unwanted attention to it. And it is becoming increasingly clear that the series of events in Benghazi was much more terrorist attack than a protest which escalated into violence. It is our opinion that in our messaging, we want to distinguish, not conflate, the events in other countries with this well-planned attack by militant extremists. I have discussed this with [redacted] and he shares PAS’s view.

Reddit: No big deal?

November 4, 2015:

Email indicates Clinton had different Benghazi stories for Libyans and Americans | @DCExaminer

December 27, 2015:

Whiskey-5 Hotel: The 6 biggest points of bullshit being peddled about Benghazi | | Foreign Policy

January 3, 2016:

‘Somebody’s lying. Who is it?” Tom McLaughlin interviews with Hillary Clinton About Benghazi | Tom McLaughlin

January 7, 2016:

Colonel Gaddafi warned Tony Blair of Islamist attacks on Europe, phone conversations reveal | Telegraph

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