That’s been confirmed by Gregory Hicks, the deputy chief of mission in Libya, when the terrorists attacked on Sept. 11, 2012, killing our ambassador and three other Americans.
Hicks told a U.S. House committee Wednesday that he and others knew the attacks were made by terrorists and he was shocked five days later when U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice went on television and said “demonstrations ... spontaneously inspired” by protests in Egypt “evolved” into the consulate assault.
Hicks said, “I was stunned. My jaw dropped and I was embarrassed.” But the Obama administration stuck with the “spontaneous demonstrations” narrative for weeks, blaming a so-called anti-Islam video produced by an American — jailed days later and sentenced to a year in federal prison for violating parole in a bank fraud case.
Now the Weekly Standard reports “fresh evidence ... that senior Obama administration officials knowingly misled the country about what had happened in the days following the assaults.”
A timeline obtai-ned by the Standard detailed “the heavy substantive revisions made to the CIA’s talking points (used by Susan Rice) just six weeks before the 2012 presidential election.”
Citing an exchange of emails contained in a report by the chairmen of five House committees, the Standard said that “within hours of the initial attack” in Benghazi, “the State Department Operations Center sent out two alerts.”
The first “indicated that Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaida-linked terrorist group operating in Libya, had claimed credit for the attack.” The next day a cable sent by the CIA chief in Libya “reported that eyewitnesses confirmed the participation of Islamic militants and made clear that U.S. facilities in Benghazi had come under terrorist attack.”
But “top Obama officials would work so hard to obscure” that fact, the Standard said, providing the proof of the revised talking points used by Susan Rice.
The first version of Sept. 14 said, “We believe based on currently available information that the attacks in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex.”
This version also said, “We do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaj’ida participated in the attack,” and said Ansar al Sharia “did not deny that some of its members were involved.”
The very brief third and final version that Rice read on television said “the demonstrations ... evolved into a direct assault” on the U.S. facilities, adding: “There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”
As for changes made by the White House, spokes-man Jay Carney said “the only edits were stylistic and non-substantive.”
The “demonstrations” spin, tied to the anti-Islam video, were used by Obama and then-Secretary of State Clinton, minimizing — until after the Nov. 6 election — scrutiny of the failure to secure and protect the Benghazi consulate despite requests by diplomats long before the Sept. 11 attacks.
This fails the smell test and much more.