New Papers Reveal Obama State Dept Knew Benghazi Attack Not Caused by Protests

Michael W. Chapman | February 15, 2017 | 3:27pm EST
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Former Undersecretary of State for

Management Patrick Kennedy. (AP) 

( -- State Department documents released through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by the government watchdog Judicial Watch reveal, contrary to Obama administration claims, the State Department knew as early as Sept. 12, 2012 that the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya was a "direct breaching attack." It was not sparked "under the cover of a protest" or in response to an anti-Islamic YouTube video. 

Commenting on one specific document, a Sept. 12, 2012 email summary of a conversation between then-Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy with congressional staffers, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “This document removes any further doubt that the State Department and the Obama administration knew immediately after the assault on Benghazi that it was a well-orchestrated terrorist attack and not a ‘spontaneous demonstration’ over a ‘hateful video,’ as the Obama administration repeatedly claimed."

“These documents show that the Benghazi scandal is not over … not by a long shot," said Fitton. 

President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, White House spokesman Jay Carney, and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice claimed numerous times that the Benghazi attack was caused by a YouTube video.  Clinton even stated this to the parents of Americans who had died in Benghazi at the victims' coffin ceremony.

The Sept. 12, 2012 document uncovered by Judicial Watch is an email from Julie K. Bulgrin, the State Department Bureau of Legislative Affairs director for Global and Functional Affairs, to several State Department officials.  The email is a summary/transcript of a conversation that then-Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy had with people on Capitol Hill. It is tagged, "Subject: Write up of U/S Kennedy Call with Hill re Libya."

Part of it reads, "The call ended up starting around 6:30. Here are the raw notes.

"Rob Carter -- was this an attack under the cover of a protest?

"No, this was a direct breaching attack.

"Do we have any ideas of who launched? Leads?

"Some claims from someone who has never made threat before, but everyone is looking at this closely.

"Do we believe coordinated with Cairo?

"Attack in Cairo was a demonstration. There were no weapons shown or used [in Cairo]. A few cans of spray paint."

Patrick Kennedy also claimed, according to the note, that it was his personal opinion that the attack "was semi-complex." 

In a press release, Judicial Watch stated, "Despite Kennedy’s admission on September 12 that the deadly terrorist assault on the Benghazi Consulate was not 'under cover of protest,' but was, in fact, 'a direct breaching attack,' U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice appeared on five major interview shows that Sunday, September 16, to claim the attack was due to a 'spontaneous protest' and was not premeditated."

Rice had said, "Based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy—sparked by this hateful video … We do not—we do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned."

"Based upon the work of Judicial Watch , the House Select Committee was appointed as the direct result of emails uncovered by Judicial Watch showing White House orchestration of the knowingly false narrative that the Benghazi attack was due to an Internet video and spontaneous protests," read the press release.  "The documents were obtained through federal court order obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit."

Patrick Kennedy left his job at the State Department on Jan. 26, 2017. 

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