State Dept.: We Never Thought Libya Hit Was Film Protest
Department now in line with GOP
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 10, 2012 7:57 AM CDT
In this April 11, 2011 file photo, Ambassador Chris Stevens is seen in Benghazi, Libya.   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

(Newser) – The State Department now says it never believed the Sept. 11 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi was a film protest gone awry, giving congressional Republicans new fodder for criticizing the Obama administration's initial accounts of the assault. The State Department's extraordinary break with other administration offices came in a department briefing yesterday, where officials said "others" in the executive branch concluded initially that the protest was based, like others in the Middle East, on a film that ridiculed the Prophet Mohammed. That was never the department's conclusion, a senior official told reporters.

The Republican-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds a hearing today on diplomatic security in the attack that killed US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Briefing reporters yesterday ahead of the hearing, department officials were asked about the administration's initial—and since retracted—explanation linking the violence to protests over the anti-Muslim film. One official responded, without specifying, that it was a question for others to answer. Today's hearing will include testimony from Eric Nordstrom, the former chief security officer for US diplomats in Libya, who told the committee his pleas for more security in March and July of this year were ignored.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 85 comments
Oct 10, 2012 3:53 PM CDT
Benghazi-gate for Obama Haul him in before the Committee Hearing and let's see how he responds again without his beloved mirror, mirror on the wall teleprompter. Within 24 hours of the murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy (the guy with direct oversight of the installations and people targeted in Benghazi) gave a briefing to Capitol Hill staffers that the killings appeared to be the result of a pre-planned terrorist attack.The briefing was given in an unclassified, half-hour conference call with staff aides to House and Senate lawmakers from relevant committees, and leadership offices, on the evening of Sept. 12.Kennedy's Sept. 12 briefing to Congress shows that the White House, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, Clinton and the intelligence agencies were knowingly lying about Benghazi, and for several days afterwards. 4 days after the call, on the 16th, Rice appeared on five Sunday morning talk shows to insist that the attacks were neither coordinated nor premeditated, but were rather the result of a spontaneous mob action, following on from a riot inspired by an anti-Muslim video on the Internet.But,there WAS no protest before the attack.When Stevens finished his final meeting of the day, he escorted a Turkish diplomat outside the main entrance of the building. The situation was calm, officials said, and there were no protests. A little more than an hour later, everything changed.
Oct 10, 2012 1:15 PM CDT
LOL, OMG, you mean our government gave us a cock-and-bull story about Muslims in a middle eastern country, and the media reported it as if it were true? THAT'S NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE! I'm shocked, SHOCKED, I tellya! The only surprise here is that anyone ever questioned the official story. That usually never happens.
Oct 10, 2012 12:20 PM CDT
So basically the State Department admits they were caught with their pants down. Outstanding, fire the bums.