An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.
The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.
The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials ultimately acknowledged was a “terrorist” attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.
On Sept. 11, 2012, just two hours after the State Department first began notifying government agencies back in Washington–including the White House–that the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was under attack by armed men, State sent out an email that went to at least two people in the White House that said the group Ansar al-Sharia had claimed responsibility for the attack.
The email, which was sent from a State Department address at 6:05 PM on Sept. 11, 2012, was obtained by CBS News and posted online by the news agency in a PDF file. This email and others posted by CBS News had certain elements redacted–particularly the exact identities of the person who sent it and the persons who received it.
The email sent at 6:05 P.M. on Sept. 11 was sent by a person using an @state.gov email address. The subject line said: “Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack (SBU)”
The body of the email said: “(SBU) Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twiter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli.”
In the now infamous words of Representative Joe Wilson….