Gotta blame it on someone…..
CIA, disputes former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s assertion that bad intelligence led her to blame the attack on the diplomatic facilities in Benghazi was a result of a You Tube video that ridiculed Islam.
In Morell’s 2015 book The Great War of Our Time, he writes that while the CIA knew “the demonstration and violence in Cairo were sparked by people upset over a YouTube video,” intelligence “analysts never said the video was a factor in the Benghazi attacks.” (p. 205-206)
Clinton told the Libyan President on the night of the attacks that “Ansar as-Sharia [sic] is claiming responsibility.” However, Clinton did not mention the video and Ansar al-Sharia’s senior leader in Benghazi, Ahmed Abu Khatallah, is the only person who was arrested for the attacks.
Clinton also sent an e-mail on the night of the attacks to her daughter Chelsea telling her that attacks were done by an “Al Qaeda-like group.” The e-mail did not reference the YouTube video.
One day after the attack, the Egyptian Prime Minister said the incident “had nothing to do with the film. It was a planed attack–not a protest…Based on the information we saw today we believe the group that claimed responsibility for this was affiliated with al Qaeda.”
Clinton, however, made public statements that were vastly different from private remarks about the attack. On the night of the attack, the State Department sent out a statement of Clinton’s where she blamed the attack on “inflammatory material posted on the internet.”
Clinton made a similar public statement the day after the attack.
“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.”
Secretary Clinton continued to blame the video with the attack in Benghazi during public remarks two and three days after the attacks. These statements happened at a transfer of remains ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base with family members of the victims present.
However, on the day the remains of the four Americans killed were brought to Andrews, a State Department official at the Embassy in Tripoli wrote an e-mail to colleagues in Washington saying:
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the series of events in Benghazi was much more terrorist attack than a protest which escalated into violence,” and urging them to “be cautious in our local messaging with regard to the inflammatory film trailer” because “the films [sic] not as explosive of an issue here as it appears to be in other countries…Relatively few [Libyans] have even mentioned the inflammatory video.”
The Benghazi Select Committee released the e-mail in full on Saturday for the first time with some redactions: