The truth about what happened in Benghazi – and when President Obama knew it – could have a huge impact on the closing days of this campaign.
Turns out the White House, the State Department and the FBI were all told two hours after the September 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that an Islamic militant group had claimed responsibility. Two hours.
One government e-mail from the State Department shows a Libyan group – called Ansar al-Sharia – claimed responsibility for the attack on Facebook and Twitter. The group denied responsibility the next day.
This is big. It suggests that the president had reports that very day that the attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans weren't because of some film clip.
And yet – we heard just the opposite.
They almost got away with the cover up and a lot of the media was more than willing to help them, did you notice that? There is push back finally. John Kass (Chicago Tribune) hasn't played dumb at any point and today he returns to the topic again:
This week, newly revealed emails showed that President Barack Obama's White House knew within hours of the attack that it involved terrorists and that it was not the work of some random mob inflamed by a ridiculous anti-Muslim video as Obama repeatedly insisted.
The Benghazi story also strongly suggests, if not downright shows, that the Obama White House kept pushing the ridiculous video story for weeks to protect the president's political prospects. He'd just spiked the terrorism football, taking credit at the Democratic National Convention for the killing of Osama bin Laden. He didn't want to talk about Benghazi in terms of terror.
The Benghazi story isn't sexy, and it threatens Obama's re-election chances with his surging challenger, Republican Mitt Romney.
If there is any life or independence left in the American press, they will now pursue this story non-stop and report on it daily. If the press is as bad as so many of us think, they'll spend the next days completely ignoring it.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday: