Hvis amerikanerne lukter et coverup fortsetter de å grave til de har nådd bunnen. At Barack Obama ikke svarte på spørsmålet om Benghazi sist tirsdag har bare økt apetitten. Nå viser det seg at CIA-sjefen i Libya sendte rapport innen 24 timer om at angrepet var et planglagt terrorangrep, og ingen spontan hendelse.
The CIA station chief in Libya reported to Washington within 24 hours of last month’s deadly attack on the US consulate that there was evidence it was carried out by militants, rather than a spontaneous mob, according to US officials
It is unclear who, if anyone, saw the cable outside the CIA at that point and how high up in the agency the information went.
The Obama administration maintained publicly for a week that the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi that killed Chris Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans was a result of the mobs that staged less-deadly protests across the Muslim world around the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 al-Qaeda attacks on the US.
In his Rose Garden address the morning after the killings, Obama 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.»
But Republicans say he was speaking generally and didn’t specifically call the Benghazi attack a terror attack until weeks later, with the president and other key members of his administration referring at first to the anti-Muslim movie circulating on the Internet as a precipitating event.
Now congressional intelligence committees are demanding documents to show what the spy agencies knew and when, before, during and after the attacks.
Congressional aides say they expect to receive the documents by the end of this week to build a timeline of what the intelligence community knew and compare that with what the White House was telling the public about the attack.
That could give Romney ammunition to use in his foreign policy debate with Obama on Monday night.
Den CIA-fremstillingen som ble oversendt Det hvite hus var annerledes enn det CIA-sjefen i Libya meldte. Spørsmålet er hvorfor. Ble den behandlet for å passe politisk?
The two US officials said the CIA station chief in Libya compiled intelligence reports from eyewitnesses within 24 hours of the assault on the consulate that indicated militants launched the violence, using the pretext of demonstrations against US facilities in Egypt against the film to cover their intent.
The report from the station chief was written late on Wednesday, Sep 12, and reached intelligence agencies in Washington the next day, intelligence officials said.
Yet, on Saturday of that week, briefing points sent by the CIA to Congress said «demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault».
The briefing points, obtained by the AP, added: «There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations» but did not mention eyewitness accounts that blamed militants alone.
Such raw intelligence reports by the CIA on the ground would normally be sent first to analysts at the headquarters in Langley, Virginia, for vetting and comparing against other intelligence derived from eavesdropping drones and satellite images.
«The early sense from the intelligence community differs from what we are hearing now,» said Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat. «It ended up being pretty far afield, so we want to figure out why … though we don’t want to deter the intelligence community from sharing their best first impressions» after such events in the future.
«The intelligence briefings we got a week to 10 days after were consistent with what the administration was saying,» said Representative William Thornberry, a member of the House Intelligence and Armed Services committees.
Mr Thornberry would not confirm the existence of the early CIA report but voiced scepticism over how sure intelligence officials, including CIA Director David Petraeus, seemed of their original account when they briefed lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
«How could they be so certain immediately after such events, I just don’t know,» he said. «That raises suspicions that there was political motivation.»