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10 May 2013

Benghazi: The Definitive Timeline

12.11:   Terror plot thwarted, but Benghazi emergency plan warns of many Islamic terrorists still operating in area.

12.27.11:   Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy disseminates an 'ACTION MEMO'  written by US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman with the subject line: 'Future of Operations in Benghazi, Libya.'  The memo states: 'With the full complement of five Special Agents, our permanent presence would include eight U.S. direct hire employees.'

02.11.12 @1:13 PM:  Regional Security Officer of the Libyan Embassy, Eric Nordstrom, emails State Department officials, cc-ing then-Ambassador Gene Cretz, saying he’ll try to send personnel from the Security Support Team to Benghazi. 'I’ll speak with our SST personnel to see if they can free up 1 or 2 bodies for Benghazi….While the status of Benghazi remains undefined, DS' – Diplomatic Security – 'is hesitant to devout (sic) resources and as I indicated previously, this has severely hampered operations in Benghazi. That often means that DS agents are there guarding a compound with 2 other DOS personnel present. That often means that outreach and reporting is non-existent.'

02.11.12 @5:29 PM:  Shawn Crowley, a foreign service officer at the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, sends a cable to State:  'Apologies for being a broken record, but beginning tomorrow Benghazi will be down to two agents…We have no drivers and new local guard contract employees have no experience driving armored vehicles…'

02.11.12 @8:53 PM:  James Bacigalupo, the Regional Director Near East Asia Bureau of Diplomatic Security DSS for the State Department, emails Nordstrom, 'Call me, I am surprised at your statement that ‘DS is hesitant to devote resources as I (you) have indicated previously that has severely limited operations in Benghazi.'

02.11.12 @9:00 PM:  Nordstrom adds 'the last time we had only 2 agents at post, suspending outside movements for approximately 10 days.'

03.12:  Memo from the Research & Information Support Center titled 'Progress Elusive in Libya,' based on open-source reporting, states that in late December 2011 'reports indicated that al-Qaeda  leadership in Pakistan had sent ‘experienced jihadists to Libya to build a new base of operations in the country. Between May and December 2011, one of these jihadists had recruited 200 fighters in the eastern part of the country. Documents seized in Iraq indicate that many foreign fighters who participated in the Iraqi insurgency hailed from eastern Libya. This small batch of fighters would have been dealt with quickly by a central authority, were it in place. Until a stronger national army or guard force is developed, rural Libya will remain fertile territory for terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.'

03.28.12:  Ambassador Cretz sends cable to Secretary Clinton requesting additional security assets.

04.06.12:  Terrorists throw IED over consulate wall.

04.10.12:  An explosive device is thrown at a convoy carrying U.N. envoy Ian Martin. 

04.19.12: Cable from State to Cretz, signed by Clinton, acknowledges Ambassador Cretz’s request of 03.28.12 for additional security, but instead articulates a plan to scale back security assets for the U.S. Mission in Libya, including the Benghazi Mission. 

04.21.12 @13:57 (04.21.12 @7:57 AM): Embassy Tripoli employee, Jennifer A. Larson, emails Eric Nordstrom, Ambassador Gene Cretz, et al., writing that it ‘looks like no movement on the full complement of [five DS] personnel for Benghazi, but rather a reassessment to bring the numbers lower.’

05.03.12:  State inks a with Blue Mountain, a Welsh security company with little experience in Libya, to provide 'security guards and patrol services' for $387,413.68. An extension option brings the tab for protecting the consulate to $783,000. The contract lists only 'foreign security awardees' as its recipient.

05.07.12 @19:01 (1:01 PM EST): In an email with the subject line: ‘FW: Special Agent Tony Zamudio’s TDY Performance in Benghazi,’ James Bacigalupo informs Brian Papanu and David Sparrowgrove that the Benghazi Mission is typically staffed with only three DS agents, and sometimes as few as one DS agent. 

05.22.12:   A rocket-propelled grenade hits the offices of the International Red Cross. 

05.30.12: State Dept turns down request from Ambassador's security team for a DC-3 aircraft.

05.22.12:  Terrorists attack Red Cross, warn US of attacks.

06.06.12:  Terrorists blow large hole through consulate gate.

06.07.12:  Ambassador Stevens arrives in Libya and asks State Dept to keep two MSD (security) teams in Libya.

06.11.12:  An RPG hits a convoy carrying the British Ambassador. The U.K. closes its consulate. Col. Wood, military Site Security Team (SST) commander, is in Benghazi, and helps with emergency response. 

06.10.12:  Al Qaeda forces openly rally in Benghazi.

06.15.12:  State Dept official Charlene Lamb tells Eric Nordstrom that security team (SST) contract would not be renewed.

06.22.12:  Ambassador Stevens warns State that extremist groups are operating in the open in Benghazi and Libya, as a whole, carrying out terrorists attacks, making threats against Western targets, and that he is a target. 

06.25.12:  Ambassador Stevens sends a cable to the State Department entitled 'LIBYA’S FRAGILE SECURITY DETERIORATES AS TRIBAL RIVALRIES, POWER PLAYS AND EXTREMISM INTENSIFY' and states '[f]rom April to June, Libya also witnesses an increase in attacks targeting international organisations and foreign interests,' describing attacks on a United Nations official in Benghazi, International Committee for the Red Cross buildings in Benghazi and Misrata, and IED at the mission in Benghazi, and RPG fired at the British Ambassador’s convoy, and an attack on the consulate of Tunisia. 

06.29.12:  Newly-elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi pledges to free Omar Abdel-Rahman, the Blind Sheikh, who he describes as a political prisoner.  No mention is made of a film.

06.30.12:   A film called 'The Innocence of Bin Laden' is shown at a small independent cinema on Hollywood Boulevard called the Vine Theatre to only a handful of viewers in the two showings that evening.  It runs less than an hour and is notable for its poor production value.  A witness says that the man organising the screening is an Egyptian living in America, who had hired two Egyptian security guards for the evening. 

June to July:  Eric Nordstrom, the Regional Security Officer for Libya at the time, documents over 200 security threats and violent incidents threatening to U.S. personnel in Libya. Some 50 of those incidents occur in Benghazi. 

07.02.12:  'Sam Bacile' a/k/a Nakoula Basseley Nakoula posts English-language promotional trailers for Innocence of Muslims on YouTube.

07.06.12 @20:59 (2:59 PM EST):   Charlene Lamb sends (SBU) email to State Department personnel with ‘Subject: Re: Tripoli – Request for extension of TDY Security Personnel’ wherein she responds to Eric Nordstrom’s intent to request an MSD extension:  ‘NO, I do not [I repeat] not want them to ask for the MSD team to stay!’  She demands Tripoli not make formal request for extension of SST and MSD security teams. 

07.09.12:  Ambassador Stevens sends a cable requesting continued help from military SST and State Dept. MSD (Mobile Security Deployment team) through mid-Sept. 2012, saying that benchmarks for a drawdown have not been met.  He requests at least 13 more security personnel, citing 'unpredictable' situation in Libya. 

07.09.12 @18:24 (12:24 PM EST):   David C. McFarland cables Ambassador Chris Stevens, Eric Nordstrom, et al., ‘Subject: (SBU) Tripoli O-I July 9’ and advises them that Charlene Lamb is ‘reluctant to ask for an SST extension, apparently out of concern that it would be embarrassing to the [State Department] to continue to have to rely on [Defence Department] assets to protect our Mission.’ 

07.21.12:  Regional Security Officer (RSO) Nordstrom warns State Dept: Risk to US officials in Libya is 'HIGH.' 

07.21.12:  The private security contractor, Nordstrom, warns State to be on high alert for terrorist activity. 

08.02.12:  Ambassador Stevens sends urgent cable to Clinton's office requesting 'protective detail bodyguard.' 

08.02.12:   Egypt formally requests that the United States release Abdel-Rahman. No mention is made of a film. 

08.05.12:  State Department orders removal of Ambassador Stevens' security team (SST).

08.05.12:  State refuses to renew Nordstrom’s contract and replaces it with a Welsh group, Blue Mountain, which has little knowledge of the conditions in Libya.

08.08.12:  Ambassador Stevens sends a cable to State entitled 'THE GUNS OF AUGUST; SECURITY IN EASTERN LIBYA' and states '[s]ince the eve of the (July) elections, Benghazi has moved from trepidation to euphoria and back as a series of violent incidents has dominated the political landscape during the Ramadan holiday.' Stevens describes the incidents as 'organised, but this is not an organised campaign.' The Supreme Security Council, the interim security force, he says, 'has not coalesced into a stabilising force and provides little deterrence.'  He further states that 'a series of violent incidents has dominated the political landscape" and calls them "targeted and discriminate attacks.' 

08.08.12:  Ambassador Stevens' SST departs Libya.

08.15.12:  Emergency meeting at US mission in Benghazi on security.

08.16.12:  Regional Security Officer (RSO) sends email to Clinton's office warning of dire security situation.

08.27.12:  State Department issues a travel warning for Libya citing the threat of assassination and car bombings in Benghazi/Tripoli. 

08.30.12:   Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya calls for a protest at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on 11 September 2012 to demand the release of Abdel-Rahman, the Blind Sheikh.  No mention is made of a film. 

09.04.12:   Egyptian deputy Interior Minister, General Sami Sidhom, receives a letter warning that Sinai- and Gaza-based Global Jihad cells are planning attacks on the American and Israel embassies in Cairo.  Copies of the letter are sent to all in the Egyptian security sector.  No mention is made of a film. 

09.06.12:  President Barack Obama does not attend his Presidential Daily Briefing concerning national security threats.

09.06.12:    The Libyan-flagged vessel, the Al Entisar (which means 'The Victory') that had departed from Benghazi sails into the Turkish port of Iskenderun — 35 miles from the Syrian border.  While its manifest claims that it is carrying humanitarian supplies, a search of the vessel reveals 400 tonnes of American-made ‘SAM-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs).’  The Intisaar is detained in Iskenderun. Only after a phone call from the US government is the shipment released. 

09.07.12:  President Barack Obama does not attend his Presidential Daily Briefing concerning national security threats.

09.08.12:   Benghazi security officials warn US of attacks.

09.08.12:  The February 17th Martyrs Brigade announces that it will no longer provide security at the Benghazi consulate.

09.08.12:  Egyptian website, El Fagr, posts a statement by Jihadi groups in Egypt, including Islamic Jihad, the Sunni Group, and Al Gamaa Al Islamiyya wherein they threaten to burn the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to the ground.  No mention is made of a film. 

09.08.12:  Egyptian TV network al-Nas, which had periodically been suspended under the Mubarak regime for “promoting religious or sectarian hatred," airs a short montage of a clip of clip from the trailer of 'The Innocence of Muslims.'  The show, Masr El-Gadeeda, is hosted by Muslim Salafist hardliner, Sheikh Khalid Abdallah.  Abdallah has been described as 'part of a school of particularly shrill religious demagogues who turn every possible event into an attack on Islam' by the New York Times and Abdullah's channel 'traffics in demagoguery and hatemongering.  'The airing of the video clip on the Saturday before the Cairo protest was not accidental.  It was a strategic and planned move by leaders like Nader Bakar of the Salafist Nour Party and Mohammed al-Zawahiri, brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s longtime deputy and now head of al-Qaeda.  Al-Nas posts the first Arabic-dubbed version of Innocence of Muslims on the internet.

09.08.12:   No protest over the YouTube video is recorded ANYWHERE. 

09.08.12:  President Barack Obama does not attend his Presidential Daily Briefing concerning national security threats

09.09.12:   No protest over the YouTube video is recorded ANYWHERE.

09.09.12:  President Barack Obama does not attend his Presidential Daily Briefing concerning national security threats

09.09.12:   Alec Henderson, the RSO in Benghazi, relays the warning from the February 17 militia to John Martinec, who is the RSO in Tripoli. 

09.09.12:  Egyptian newspaper, Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt Independent) reports that it has received a copy of the 'top secret' letter, which stated that Egypt’s General Intelligence Service had notified the ministry’s national security body that a jihadi group was planning to launch terrorist attacks against the US and Israeli embassies in Cairo.  No mention is made of a film. 

09.09.12:   US State Department has credible information that American missions may be targeted in Cairo and Benghazi; yet, no warnings are given for diplomats to go on high alert and ‘lockdown,’ under which movement is to be severely restricted.  No mention is made of a film. 

09.10.12:  Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri calls for Libyans to avenge the death of his deputy, Abu Yahya al-Libi.

09.10.12:  President Barack Obama does not attend his Presidential Daily Briefing concerning national security threat.

09.10.12:  CIA warns of social media reports calling for a demonstration in front of the Cairo Embassy and that jihadists are threatening to break into the Embassy.

09.10.12:   No protest over the YouTube video is recorded ANYWHERE. 

09.10.12:   Raymond Ibrahim at reports the threat, the intended protest and links to the site. He also translated the post from El Fagr:

“The group, which consists of many members from al-Qaeda, called [especially] for the quick release of the jihadi [mujahid] sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman [the "Blind Sheikh"], whom they described as a scholar and jihadi who sacrificed his life for the Egyptian Umma, who was ignored by the Mubarak regime, and [President] Morsi is refusing to intervene on his behalf and release him, despite promising that he would.  The Islamic Group has threatened to burn the U.S. Embassy in Cairo with those in it, and taking hostage those who remain [alive], unless the Blind Sheikh is immediately released.”

09.11.12:  There are a total of 28 US personnel on the ground at the Benghazi Mission and Annex, including Ambassador Stevens.

09.11.12 @9:43 AM (3:43 AM EST):   Ambassador Stevens sends cables to D.C., including a Benghazi weekly report of security incidents reflecting Libyans' 'growing frustration with police and security forces, who are too weak to keep the country secure.' He warns that 'security situation is deteriorating dramatically.' 

09.11.12:    The Jerusalem Post reports that Egypt’s General Intelligence Service has warned that a jihadi group is planning to launch terrorist attacks against the US and Israeli embassies in Cairo.  No mention is made of a film. 

09.11.12 @12:00 PM (6:00 AM EST):  The U.S. Embassy in Cairo releases a statement on its website disavowing a YouTube film named "Innocence of Muslims," which mocks the Prophet Mohammad. Later that afternoon, protesters who had gathered outside the embassy compound stormed the gates and tore the American flag down, replacing it with a black Salafist flag. 

09.11.12:  President Barack Obama does not attend his Presidential Daily Briefing concerning national security threats.

09.11.12 @19:30 (1:30 PM EST):    Stevens begins meeting with Turkish diplomat.

09.11.12 @20:00 (2:00 PM EST):  Terrorists set up checkpoints around compound.

09.11.12 @20:30 (2:30 PM EST):   Stevens ends meeting with Turkish diplomat, Ali Kemal Aydin.

09.11.12 @21:00 (3:00 PM EST):   In the walled Benghazi compound, U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens says good night to the Turkish Ambassador Ali Kemal Aydin and retires to his room in Building C, a large residence with numerous bedrooms and a safe haven.  At this time, there are five diplomatic security agents (DS) on site - three based in Benghazi and two traveling with Stevens. According to a U.S. State Department account given 9 October 2012, there was 'nothing unusual outside of the gates.' 

09.11.12 @21:40 (3:40 PM EST):  First shots are fired.

09.11.12 @21:40 (3:40 PM EST):   Stevens calls Hicks in Tripoli: ‘We’re under attack!’ 

09.11.12 @21:59 (3:59 PM EST): DOD orders Unarmed Surveillance Aircraft to reposition over Benghazi consulate.

09.11.12 @22:00 (4:00 PM EST):   At the compound, several DS agents leave to get tactical gear from Building B. One stays in Building C with Ambassador Stevens and Information Officer Sean Smith. DS agent Scott Strickland moves Stevens and Smith to the closest area 'safe haven' in Building C.  The other agents, currently in Building B and the TOC come under attack.  The attackers gets into Building C, lights furniture on fire, then the building's exterior. Stevens, Smith and Agent Strickland move to the bathroom and lay on floor but decide to leave safe haven after being overcome by smoke.  Strickland goes out an emergency escape window. Stevens and Smith do not follow. Strickland returns several times but can't find them in the overwhelming smoke. He goes up to the roof and radios the other agents.  Three agents return to Building C via armored vehicle. They search and find Smith's body, but not Stevens. 

09.11.12 @22:05 (4:05 PM EST):   A security team at the Annex is notified and departs for the Benghazi Mission encountering resistance, including gunfire, along the way.

09.11.12 @22:05 (4:05 PM EST): An alert from the State Department Operations Centre is issued to a number of government and intelligence agencies, including the White House Situation Room, the office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI.  It reads:  'US Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack' -- 'approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well. Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four COM (Chief of Mission/embassy) personnel are in the compound safe haven.' 

09.11.12 @22:05 (4:05PM EST) to 09.12.12 @00:08 (09.11.12 @6:08 PM EST):   Emails from State Department Operations Centre to various recipients alerting that dozens of armed men approach the Benghazi Mission and quickly breach the front gate, setting fire to the guard house and main diplomatic building.  The attackers are members of extremist groups, including the Libya-based Ansar al-Sharia (AAS) and al-Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). A State Department officer in the Benghazi Mission’s Tactical Operations Center (TOC) immediately notifies the Annex, Embassy Tripoli, and State Department Headquarters that the Benghazi Mission is under attack and requests assistance. At no point do U.S. officials on the ground report a protest. 

09.11.12 @22:05 (4:05 PM EST):  Consulate in flames, Ambassador missing.

09.11.12 @22:32 (4:32 PM EST):  SECDEF Panetta, JCS informed of attack by DOD.

09.11.12 @22:54 (4:54 PM EST):  Second State Department email says firing stopped.

09.11.12 @23:00 (5:00 PM EST):  Consulate abandoned.

09.11.12 @23:00 (5:00 PM EST):  Just ahead of the weekly meeting with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey, White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon tells President Obama of the attack and the fire at the main villa. The President and those officials discuss possible responses to the situation. 

09.11.12 @23:10 (5:10 PM EST): DOD Unarmed Surveillance Aircraft arrive overhead.

09.11.12 @23:30 (5:30 PM EST):   Woods, Doherty, 5 others leave Tripoli.

09.12.12 @00:00 (6:00 PM EST):   CIA agents based in Benghazi arrive at the annex, which receives sporadic small-arms fire and RPG rounds over a roughly 90-minute period. The security team returns fire and the attackers disperse. 

09.12.12 @00:00 - 02:00 (09.11.12 @6:00 - 8:00 PM EST) Having arrived back at the Pentagon from his meeting with the President in the Oval Office, SECDEF Panetta commences to convene a series of meetings with senior officials, including General Dempsey and General Carter F Ham, the Commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), which is the Geographic Combatant Command responsible for U.S. military activities in Libya. They discussed additional response options for Benghazi and the potential outbreak of further violence throughout the region, particularly in Tunis, Tunisia; Cairo, Egypt;and Sana’a, Yemen.

09.12.12 @00:06 (09.11.12 @6:06 PM EST):  Third DOS email says Ansar al-Sharia claims attack.

09.12.12 @00:30 (09.11.12 @6:30 PM EST):  SECDEF Panetta verbally directs the deployment of 1) 2 Marine Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) platoons from Rota, Spain to Benghazi Mission and Embassy Tripoli; 2) a US European Command (EUCOM) Commander's in-Extremis Force (CIF) to an intermediate staging base in Southern Europe; and 3) a special operations force based in the United States to an intermediate staging base in Southern Europe. 

09.12.12 @00:30 (09.11.12 @6:30 PM EST):   A team of 7 US personnel, including Woods and Doherty, departs Tripoli for Benghazi by air.

09.12.12 @1:00 (09.11.12 @7:00 PM EST):  Stevens body found by locals, taken to a hospital controlled by Ansar al-Sharia. 

09.12.12 @1:30 (09.11.12 @7:30 PM EST):  Woods, Doherty, 5 others arrive in Benghazi from Embassy Tripoli lands in Benghazi and learn that the ambassador is missing. They try to arrange for transportation into town, with the goal of locating Stevens. 

09.12.12 @02:00 (09.11.12 @8:00 PM EST):  Hicks calls Clinton.  Advises her that the Benghazi consulate is under a terrorist attack and Ambassador Stevens is missing.  He does not bring up the YouTube video whatsoever.

09.12.12 @02:39 (09.11.12 @8:39 PM EST): Officers in the National Military Command Centre transmitted the formal authorisations for the deployments of the two Marine FAST platoons and the EUCOM special operations force  09.12.12.

@02:53 AM EST (09.11.12 @8:53 PM EST):  US-based special operations force receives formal authorisation to deploy. 

09.12.12 @03:00 (09.11.12 @9:00 PM EST):  Hicks receives word from the Libyan prime minister, Abdurrahim el-Keib, informing him that Stevens is dead.

09.12.12 @03:00 (09.11.12 @9:00 PM EST):  Hicks immediately calls Washington. Secretary Clinton is not at the State Department and is unavailable to take his call anywhere. She doesn’t call Hicks back that evening...or the following day.

09.12.12 @4:00 (09.11.12 @10:00 PM EST):   Jay Carney later claims that President Obama contacts Hillary Clinton for an update.  This doesn't seem to make sense, if it is the truth.  If it is the truth, then it implicates President Obama in the plan to deceive the American public and to blame the YouTube video a/k/a a constitutionally-protected expression of free speech.   Why?  On 12 September 2012, a White House official told Reuters that Obama was told of Stevens' death that morning; however, Benghazi Jay claimed in February, 2013, that Obama had called Clinton at 10:00 PM EST.  If Obama had called, it would have been AFTER the senior diplomatic official in Libya, Greg Hicks, had called the State Department to relay that he had received a telephone call from Abdurrahim el-Keib, the Libyan Prime Minister, that Ambassador Chris Stevens had been murdered.  Did Clinton not know?  If Clinton did know, why didn't she tell President Obama?  After months of prevarication, obstruction, and blame from this administration, I reject both premises.  I believe that Hillary Clinton was aware of Stevens' death and did tell President Obama.  Bear in mind the fact that Washington HAD been notified of the Ambassador's death when reading the next entry... 

09.12.12 @04:07 (09.11.12 @10:07 PM EST):  Secretary Clinton issues a statement acknowledging the death of one State Dept. officer, Sean Smith, and blames Internet video for violence.  It includes:

'We are working to determine the precise motivations and methods of those who carried out this assault. 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. America's commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is no justification for this; none.' 

09.12.12 @04:32 (09.11.12 @10:32 PM EST):  MSNBC posts a link to a Reuters story, which quotes Clinton's statement linking the Benghazi attacks to 'inflammatory material posted on the Internet.'

09.12.12 @04:58 (09.11.12 @10:58 PM EST):  AP runs a story quoting from Clinton's statement linking the Benghazi attacks to 'inflammatory material posted on the Internet.'

09.12.12 @5:00 (09.11.12 @11:00 PM EST):  Jay Carney takes questions at the White House and in response to a query about whether the attack was planned, he says:

'It's too early for us to make that judgment. I think -- I know that this is being investigated, and we're working with the Libyan government to investigate the incident. So I would not want to speculate on that at this time.'

09.12.12 @05:00 (09.11.12 @11:00 PM EST):   A second U.S. Predator drone arrives to relieve the first. 

09.12.12 @05:15 (09.11.12 @11:15 PM EST):   The U.S. Regional Security Office in Tripoli gets a phone call from an Arabic-speaking source who says a Westerner has been found in Benghazi and is perhaps at a hospital. It's believed to be Ambassador Stevens. Transfer to airport is arranged. 

09.12.12 @05:15 (09.11.12 @11:15 PM EST):   An additional security team finds transportation from the airport under the escort of the Libyan Shield, another local militia, but decides to head to the annex after learning that Stevens was almost certainly dead. Just after their arrival, the annex takes mortar fire, sustaining three direct hits. The precision of the attacks indicates a level of sophistication and coordination. Former U.S. Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty are killed in the mortar assault, which lasts just 11 minutes before dissipating; a DS agent and annex security member are severely wounded. 

09.12.12 @06:05 (09.12.12 @12:05 AM EST):  31 survivors, with 3 bodies, leave Annex for airport.

09.12.12 @07:40 (09.12.12 @1:40 AM EST):  Unable to fit on one plane, the first wave of Americans - consisting of U.S. diplomats and civilians - departs Benghazi and heads to Tripoli, leaving behind security staff and bodies.

09.12.12 @10:00 (09.12.12 @4:00 AM EST):    The second flight leaves Benghazi for Tripoli with U.S. security members and bodies. 

09.12.12 @15:00 (09.12.12 @9:00 AM EST):   President Obama is told of Stevens' death. State Department tells all diplomatic posts around the world to review their security posture and to take all necessary steps to enhance it.

09.12.12 @15:45 (09.12.12 @9:45 AM EST):  Obama cancels Presidential Daily Briefing, which he has done in this time period every day since 09.05.12.

09.12.12 @16:35 (09.12.12 @10:35 AM EST):  Obama delivers remarks from the Rose Garden, blames videoI've dissected the speech here vis-à-vis the claim that Obama called the attack terrorism and here is the President:

09.12.12 @16:50 (09.12.12 @10:50 AM EST):  Obama meets with Clinton at State Department.

09.12.12 @18:30 (09.12.12 @12:30 PM EST):   Obama gives interview to Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes, refuses to call the attack a terrorist attack, and says that Romney ‘shoots first and asks questions later.’  Further:

KROFT: But there are reports that they were very heavily armed with grenades, that doesn’t sound like your normal demonstration.

OBAMA:  'As I said, we’re still investigating exactly what happened, I don’t want to jump the gun on this.   But your right that this is not a situation that was exactly the same as what happened in Egypt.   And my suspicion is there are folks involved in this. Who were looking to target Americans from the start.  So we’re gonna make sure that our first priority is to get our folks out safe, make sure our embassies are secured around the world and then we are going to go after those folks who carried this out.'

09.12.12 @19:17 (09.12.12 @1:17 PM EST):   C-17 with survivors and bodies leaves Tripoli.

09.12.12 @20:15 (09.12.12 @2:20 PM EST):   Obama leaves for Las Vegas fundraiser.

09.12.12 @21:00 (09.12.12 @3:00 PM EST):   A FAST platoon arrives in Tripoli.

09.12.12:   The CIA station chief in Libya, reports that eyewitnesses confirmed the participation of Islamic militants and makes it clear that U.S. facilities in Benghazi had come under a terrorist attack.

09.12.12:   Beth Jones, acting assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs at the State Department, sends an email 'the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.'

09.12.12:   Nakoula Basseley Nakoula confirms his role in the YouTube video. 

09.13.12 @00:50 (09.12.12 @6:50 PM EST):  Obama arrives in Las Vegas for fundraiser.

09.13.12:  Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is linked to the movie and the persona 'Sam Bacile' by the Associated Press and US Federal authorities.  The AP links Bacile to a previous Nakoula alias.  Nakoula denies being Bacile, but the Federal government identifies that he is the key filmmaker.

09.13.12 @23:19 (09.12.12 @5:19 PM EST):  C-17 arrives at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

09.13.12 @03:10 (09.12.12 @9:20 PM EST):  Obama delivers remarks at campaign event.

09.13.12 @04:25 (09.12.12 @10:25 PM EST):  Obama leaves Las Vegas for Colorado.

09.13.12 @05:15 (09.12.12 @11:15 PM EST):   Obama arrives in Aurora, Colorado.

09.13.12 @20:10 (09.13.12 @1:10 PM EST):   Obama delivers campaign speech in Colorado.

09.13.12:   Carney blames Internet video for violence.

'The protests we're seeing around the region are in reaction to this movie. They are not directly in reaction to any policy of the United States or the government of the United States or the people of the United States.'

09.13.12:   World media converges on quiet Cerritos, California cul-de-sac in search of Anti-Islamic film maker.  Los Angeles County Sheriff’s spokesperson, Steve Whitmore is on scene briefing reporters with updates.

09.14.12:   CNN’s Arwa Damon finds Ambassador Stevens’ diary.

09.14.12:  Carney: No advance warning of attack.  No evidence that the attack was preplanned.

 'We were not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent.'

09.14.12 @17:15 (09.14.12 @11:15 AM EST:  Analysts with the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis drafts a set of unclassified talking points policymakers can use to discuss the attacks in Benghazi and circulates it internally for comment.  This initial CIA draft includes the assertion that the U.S. government 'know[s] that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda participated in the attack.'  That draft also notes that press reports 'linked the attack to Ansar al Sharia. The group has since released a statement that its leadership did not order the attacks, but did not deny that some of its members were involved.' Ansar al Sharia, the CIA draft continued, aims to spread sharia law in Libya and 'emphasises the need for jihad.'  The Agency draft also raises the prospect that the facilities had been the subject of jihadist surveillance and offers a reminder that in the previous six months there had been 'at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador’s convoy.' 

09.14.12:  Bodies of slain arrive at Andrews AFB. Obama, Biden, Clinton, and Panetta tell families that the video is to blame.


09.14.12 @4:42 PM EST:  The CIA inserts into the talking points the fact that it had warned the Administration about threats to the consulate in Benghazi.  It survives several iterations before removal.

09.14.12 @6:52 PM EST:  The talking points are first distributed to officials in the inter-agency vetting process. T he initial CIA draft circulated to the inter-agency group included references to:  1. previous notifications provided to Embassy Cairo of social media reporting encouraging jihadists to break into the Embassy;  2. indications that Islamic extremists participated in the events in Benghazi;  3. potential links to Ansar al-Sharia;  4. information about CIA-produced assessments of the threat from extremists linked to al-Qaeda in Benghazi and eastern Libya; and  5. information about five previous attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi since April 2012.

09.14.12 @7:39 PM EST:  Victoria Nuland, State Department Press Secretary, responds to email chain relative to draft and raises 'serious concerns' and relays her worries that members of Congress will use the talking points to criticise the State Department for 'not paying attention to Agency warning so why would we want to feed that either?  Concerned …' 

09.14.12 @9:24 PM EST:  Even after CIA officials cut all references to Ansar al-Sharia and make minor tweaks, Nuland responds that the problems remain and that her 'superiors are unhappy.'  The changes, she writes, do not 'resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership.'  As a result, State Department leadership, she advises, is contacting National Security Council officials directly.

09.14.12 @9:34 PM EST:   Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes sends an email saying the State Department’s concerns needed to be addressed.  'We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation.  We thus will work through the talking points tomorrow morning at the Deputies Committee meeting.'

09.14.12:  State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland claims that 'at no time did we contract with a private security firm in Libya, which flatly contradicts the Blue Mountain contract that it inked on 05.03.12.

09.15.12:  Obama blames video for violence in his weekly radio address.

09.15.12 @AM:   The Deputies Committee convenes meeting at the White House.  The Committee consists of high-ranking officials at the agencies with responsibility for national security​—​including State, Defence, and the CIA​—​as well as senior White House national security staffers.  Some participants are present in person, while others join via a Secure Video Teleconference System.  During the meeting, Mike Morrell, deputy director of the CIA, makes broad changes to the draft afterwards. At the behest of the Deputies Committee, he cuts all or parts of four paragraphs of the six-paragraph talking points—148 of its 248 words. Gone are is the reference to 'Islamic extremists,' the reminders of agency warnings about al-Qaeda in Libya, the reference to 'jihadists' in Cairo, the mention of possible surveillance of the facility in Benghazi, and the report of five previous attacks on foreign interests. 

09.15.12:  After Deputies Committee meeting, small group of officials from both the State Department and the CIA work to modify the talking points to their final form to reflect the decision reached in the Deputies meeting.

09.15.12 @15:52 (09.15.12 @9:52:  At the behest of the White House and State Department, Deputy Director of the CIA makes the edits, which strike any and all suggestions that the State Department had been previously warned of threats in the region, that there had been previous attacks in Benghazi by al-Qaeda-linked groups in Benghazi and eastern Libya, and that extremists linked to al-Qaeda may have participated in the attack on the Benghazi Mission.  Also excluded are details about the wide availability of weapons and experienced fighters in Libya, an exacerbating factor that contributed to the lethality of the attacks.  The final version is sent out to various parties via email.

09.15.12 @  11:26 AM EST:   The CIA releases the final version of the talking points – deleting all references to al-Qaeda and to the security warnings in Benghazi prior to the attack.

09.15.12 @  11:26 AM EST:   Final talking points are sent to Ambassador Susan Rice.

09.15.12:   General Petraeus, Director of the CIA, is surprised by the revised talking points that edit out all mentions of al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Sharia, terror, and the warnings that the Agency had provided to state.

09.15.12 @2:44 PM EST:  In an email to Chip Walter, head of the CIA’s legislative affairs office, Petraeus expresses frustration at the new, scrubbed talking points, noting that they had been stripped of much of the content his agency had provided. Petraeus notes that the policymakers had even taken out the line about the CIA’s warning on Cairo. The CIA director declines to pick a fight with the White House and seems resigned to the propagation of the administration’s preferred narrative. The final decisions about what to tell the American people rest with the national security staff, he reminds Walter, and not with the CIAPetraeus says, however:  'I would just as soon not use them, but it’s their [the White House] call.'

09.15.12:  Federal authorities take Nakoula Basseley Nakoula in for an interview about possible probation violations related to the distribution of the film, 'The Innocence of Muslims,' on the internet.

09.16.12 @2:38 (09.16.12 @8:38 AM EST):   In an email with the subject line 'Update: 9-16-12,' William V Roebuck, a senior official on the ground in Libya, informs Beth Jones and other senior leaders at the State Department that there was no demonstration prior to the attack.

09.16.12:   Libyan President says Benghazi was a terror attack that was preplanned.

09.16.12:   Ambassador Susan Rice appears on 5 Sunday news shows and blames the video.  One example from ABC News' 'This Week With George Stephanopoulis':

'What this began as was a spontaneous, not a premeditated, response to what happened transpired in Cairo...We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people, came to the embassy to — or to the consulate rather — to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo. And then, as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons.'

On Face the Nation:

'We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.'

On CNN's 'State of the Union' with Candy Crowley:

'There was a hateful video that was disseminated on the Internet. It had nothing to do with the United States government, and it's one that we find disgusting and reprehensible. It's been offensive to many, many people around the world. That sparked violence in various parts of the world, including violence directed against Western facilities including our embassies and consulates.'

09.17.12:   Nuland defends Rice’s performance during the daily briefing at the State Department. 'What I will say, though, is that Ambassador Rice, in her comments on every network over the weekend, was very clear, very precise, about what our initial assessment of what happened is. And this was not just her assessment, it was also an assessment you’ve heard in comments coming from the intelligence community, in comments coming from the White House.' 

09.18.12:   Carney again blames video for violence.

'Our belief based on the information we had was that it was the video that caused the unrest in Cairo and the video that — and the unrest in Cairo that helped — that precipitated some of the unrest in Benghazi and elsewhere.'

09.19.12:  National Counter-terrorism Center (NCTC) Director Matt Olsen testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee that our diplomats died 'in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy.'

'They were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy. ... At this point, what I would say is that a number of different elements appear to have been involved in the attack, including individuals connected to militant groups that are prevalent in eastern Libya, particularly the Benghazi area, as well we are looking at indications that individuals involved in the attack may have had connections to al Qaeda or al Qaeda affiliates, in particular al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb." Olson also said U.S. officials had no "specific evidence of significant advanced planning.'

09.19.12:   Carney again says no evidence attack was preplanned:

 'Based on the information that we had at the time and have to this day, we do not have evidence that it was premeditated. It is a simple fact that there are, in post-revolution, postwar Libya, armed groups, there are bad actors hostile to the government, hostile to the West, hostile to the United States. And as has been the case in other countries in the region, it is certainly conceivable that these groups take advantage of and exploit situations that develop, when they develop, to protest against or attack either Westerners, Americans, Western sites or American sites. ... Right now I'm saying we don't have evidence at this point that this was premeditated or preplanned to coincide on a -- to happen on a specific date or coincide with that anniversary. '

09.20.12:   Carney again blames video for violence. 

09.20.12:   Obama again blames video for violence at townhall event broadcast on Univision:

'Well, we're still doing an investigation, and there are going to be different circumstances in different countries. And so I don’t want to speak to something until we have all the information. What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.'

09.21.12:   Clinton says Benghazi was a terrorist attack:

'It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.  What happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack, and we will not rest until we have tracked down and brought to justice the terrorists who murdered four Americans.'

09.21 .12:  Obama and Clinton appear in ads on Pakistani television condemning the YouTube video at a cost of $70,000.

09.24.12:   On ‘The View,’ Obama says investigation ongoing, again blames video.

09.25.12:   Obama speech to UN blames video, refers to video 6 times, terror only once relative to Iran.

09.25.12: Clinton starts to blame al-Qaeda:

'What is happening inside Mali is augmented by the rising threat from violent extremism across the region. For some time, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other groups have launched attacks and kidnappings from northern Mali into neighboring countries. Now, with a larger safe haven and increased freedom to maneuver, terrorists are seeking to extend their reach and their networks in multiple directions. And they are working with other violent extremists to undermine the democratic transitions under way in North Africa, as we tragically saw in Benghazi.'

09.26.12:   Carney says Benghazi was a terrorist attack. 

09.27.12:  US Federal authorities arrest Nakoula Basseley Nakoula in Los Angeles charging 8 counts of probation violation.  Some of the charges relate to statements he made relative to the film and the alias 'Sam Bacile,' but none is for the use of the internet.  He is denied bail  He is put in solitary confinement, denied bail, and has his first hearing set for the day after the American presidential elections.

09.27.12:   Panetta labels Benghazi a terrorist attack. 

 'It was a terrorist attack. ... As we determined the details of what took place there and how that attack took place, it became clear that there were terrorists who had planned that attack.'

09.27.12:  CNN National Security Analyst Fran Townsend reports that a law enforcement source told her that 'from day one, we had known clearly that this was a terrorist attack.'

09.28.12:   Diplomatic Security Chief Financial Officer Robert Baldre tells Assistant Secretary Eric Boswell in an email that:

‘I do not feel that we have ever been at a point where we sacrificed security due to a lack of funding...Typically Congress has provided sufficient funding.’ 

09.28.12: Statement by Shawn Turner, spokesman for Director of National Intelligence James Clapper:

'In the immediate aftermath, there was information that led us to assess that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo. We provided that initial assessment to executive branch officials and members of Congress, who used that information to discuss the attack publicly and provide updates as they became available. Throughout our investigation, we continued to emphasize that information gathered was preliminary and evolving. As we learned more about the attack, we revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists.'

10.01.12:  Carney claims the White House and the rest of the administration has been nothing but honest with Congress and the American people:

'I can tell you that from the moment our facility was attacked in Benghazi, the president's focus has been on securing our diplomats and facilities in Libya and around the world, and on bringing the killers to justice. At every step of the way, the administration has based its public statements on the best assessments that were provided by the intelligence community. As the intelligence community learned more information, they updated Congress and the American people on it.'

10.02.12:   Carney blames intelligence community for misinformation. 

10.03.12:   FBI arrives at Benghazi compound, stays for 3 hours. 

10.03.12:   Clinton vows cooperation with House investigation.

10.04.12:   FBI team arrives on the unsecured, crime scene in Benghazi.

10.04.12: Secretary Clinton announces that she has convened an Accountability Review Board, headed by Thomas Pickering, a retired U.S. ambassador, and Admiral Mike Mullen, to examine the facts and circumstances of the attacks and to report findings and recommendations.  A notice - 'Convening of an Accountability Review Board To Examine the Circumstances Surrounding the Deaths of Personnel Assigned in Support of the U.S. Government Mission to Libya in Benghazi, Libya on September 11,2012' - appears in the Department of State, Federal Register.

10.09.12:   Senior State Dept official: No warning of attack. 

10.09.12:   The State Department holds a conference call briefing for reporters in which Department officials publicly acknowledged that there had been no protest outside the Benghazi diplomatic facility prior to the assault. 

'That is a question that you would have to ask, have to ask others. That was not, that was not our conclusion. I'm not saying that we had a conclusion.'

The background briefing contains detailed information about the attack, including how dozens of armed men stormed the complex as Stevens and two security team members took refuge in a fortified room.

'The lethality and the number of armed people is unprecedented," one official said. "There had been no attacks like that anywhere in Libya -- Tripoli, Benghazi or anywhere -- in the time that we had been there. And so it is unprecedented, in fact, it would be very, very hard to find precedent for an attack like (it) in recent diplomatic history.'

10.10.12:  Senior State Department officials appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

10.10.12:  Under Secretary of State for Management Pat Kennedy, in congressional testimony says:

'No one in the administration has claimed to know all the answers. We have always made clear that we are giving the best information we have at the time, and that information has evolved.'

10.10.12: Carney blames intelligence community for misinformation.  In, responding to questions about whether administration officials had misled the public because they did not want to acknowledge a terrorist attack, he says:

'The president of the United States referred to it as an act of terror immediately after it occurred.  I never said we don't know if it's terrorism. There was an issue about the definition of terrorism. This is by definition an act of terror, as the president made clear.'

10.10.12:   Gen Ham testifies SST did not need to leave Libya.

10.10.12:  Obama in an ABC interview says:

 'The information may not have always been right the first time. And as soon as it turns out that we have a fuller picture of what happened, then that was disclosed.'

10.11.12:   Biden: not aware of requests for security in Libya.

'We weren't told they wanted more security there.'

10.12.12:  Carney is asked to respond to Biden's comments"

'The vice president was speaking about himself, and the president and the White House. He was not referring to the administration, clearly, since there was a public hearing for four and a half hours where it was discussed openly by individuals working at the State Department requests that were made.'

10.15.12:  In an interview with CNN, Clinton says: 

'I take responsibility. I'm in charge of the State Department's 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. The president and the vice president wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They're the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision.'

10.16.12:  Obama claims to have called the Benghazi a terrorist attack in the Rose Garden and demands that Romney show where he didn’t. Falsely, Candy Crowley backs up Obama’s account.

'The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened; that this was an act of terror. And I also said that we're going to hunt down those who committed this crime.  I am ultimately responsible for what's taking place there because these are my folks, and I'm the one who has to greet those coffins when they come home.'

10.18.12:   General Ham relieved of AFRICOM command.

10.18.12:  Obama tells Jon Stewart on Comedy Central's 'The Daily Show':

'The government is a big operation and any given time, something screws up. And you make sure that you find out what's broken and you fix it.  When four Americans get killed, it's not optimal. We're going to fix it. All of it.'

When Stewart asked about 'confusion' over the Benghazi attack, the president lays out what he learned from the situation:

'(We) weren't confused about the fact that four Americans had been killed. I wasn't confused about the fact that we needed to ramp up diplomatic security around the world right after it happened. I wasn't confused about the fact that we had to investigate exactly what happened so it gets fixed. And I wasn't confused about the fact that we're going to hunt down whoever did it.'

10.18.12:  Obama:

 'Every piece of information we get -as we got it -we laid out for the American people.'

10.18.12:  Several officials say instead of calling it 'spontaneous' - it might have been better phrased as: 'the attack had not been long planned'; or 'there were no signs of an upcoming attack on September 11th.' They claim that Rice relied on talking points provided by the CIA that were not edited by the White House.

10.24.12:   Carney: Ansar al-Sharia claims require investigation. 

10.26.12:   Journalists find memos, letters in looted compound. 

10.26.12:   Obama: Not aware of requests for security in Libya.

10.26.12 @6:31 PM EST:   President Obama twice refuses to answer questions as to whether Americans in Benghazi were denied requests for help; says he is waiting for the results of investigations before making any conclusion.  After being asked if Americans were denied help - twice, he gives the following answers: 

'[T]he election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened. These are folks who served under me who I had sent to some very dangerous places. Nobody wants to find out more what happened than I do...we want to make sure we get it right, particularly because I have made a commitment to the families impacted as well as to the American people, we’re going to bring those folks to justice. So, we’re going to gather all the facts, find out exactly what happened, and make sure that it doesn’t happen again but we’re also going to make sure that we bring to justice those who carried out these attacks.'


'Well, we are finding out exactly what happened.  I can tell you, as I’ve said over the last couple of months since this happened, the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to. Number two, we’re going to investigate exactly what happened so that it doesn’t happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice. And I guarantee you that everyone in the state department, our military, the CIA, you name it, had number one priority making sure that people were safe. These were our folks and we’re going to find out exactly what happened, but what we’re also going to do it make sure that we are identifying those who carried out these terrible attacks.'

10.27.12:   Rear Adm Gaouette relieved of Middle East command. 

11.01.12:  According to a Fox News report, citing an unnamed source, CIA officers working at an annex about a mile from the mission were told by officials in the CIA chain of command to "stand down" after receiving a call from the mission asking for help.  A senior intelligence official, reportedly, tells Congress, in camera, that 'There were no orders to anybody to stand down in providing support.'  This will be contradicted by Gregory Hicks and Lt Col Wood.

11.04.12:  CBS releases previously unaired edit of 09.12.12 60 Minutes interview where Obama refuses to call Benghazi a terrorist attack and acknowledges that he did not call it one in the Rose Garden.

KROFT: Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word terrorism in connection with the Libya Attack, do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?

OBAMA: Well it’s too early to tell exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans.  And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other. 

KROFT: It’s been described as a mob action, but there are reports that they were very heavily armed with grenades, that doesn’t sound like your normal demonstration.

OBAMA:  As I said, we’re still investigating exactly what happened, I don’t want to jump the gun on this.   But your right that this is not a situation that was exactly the same as what happened in Egypt.  And my suspicion is there are folks involved in this. Who were looking to target Americans from the start.  So we’re gonna make sure that our first priority is to get our folks out safe, make sure our embassies are secured around the world and then we are going to go after those folks who carried this out.

KROFT: There have been reports, obviously this isn’t the first time…there have been attacks on the consulate before. There was an attack against the British ambassador. Do you…this occurred on Sept. 11. Can you tell me why the ambassador was in Benghazi yesterday? Was it to evaluate security at the consulate?

OBAMA: 'Well keep in mind, Chris Stevens is somebody that was one of the first Americans on the ground when we were in the process of saving Benghazi and providing the opportunity for Libyans to create their own democracy. So this is somebody who had been courageous, had been on the ground, had helped to advise me and Secretary Clinton when we were taking our actions against Muammar Qaddafi. And is somebody who is very familiar with the train. He was doing the work that he does as a diplomat helping to shape our policies in the region at a time when things are still fairly fragile. But I think it’s important to note that we have a Libyan government in place that is fully cooperative, that sees the United States as a friend that recognizes we played an important role in liberating Libya and providing the Libyan people an opportunity to forge their own destiny. And in fact we had Libyans who helped protect our diplomats when they were under attack. But this is a country that is still rebuilding in the aftermath of Qaddafi. They don’t necessarily always have the same capabilities that countries with more established governments might have in helping to provide protection to our folks. But beyond that, what I want to do is make sure that we know exactly what happened, how it happened, who perpetrated this action, then we’ll act accordingly.'

11.06.12:  United States Presidential election. 

11.07.12:  Nakoula pleads guilty to four of the charges and is sentenced to one year in prison.

11.19.12:  The Spokesman for the Director of National Intelligence says that it was the intelligence community - not the White House, State Department or Justice Department - who was responsible for the substantive changes made to the talking points distributed for government officials who spoke publicly about the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. Emails released on 05.15.13 prove that this is demonstrably untrue.

11.28.12: Carney says that the ONLY change that the White House and State Department made to talking points was to change ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic mission.'' 

 ‘Those talking points originated from the intelligence community. They reflect the IC’s best assessments of what they thought had happened. The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.’

11.28.12:  An Egyptian court sentences Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, several other Coptic Christians, and the Florida-based, anti-Islam pastor, Terry Jones, to death in abstenia for defaming Islam.

01.07.13:  Tunisian authorities release Ali Harzi for lack of evidence.  The FBI had questioned Harzi in December, 2012, but the interrogation did not result in sufficient information for the FBI to stop his release. 

01.08.13: In the White House Daily Press Briefing, White House Spokesman, Jay Carney, says:  

'Secondly, because the process was one of declassifying classifiedinformation, and in that process the talking points that were provided toAmbassador Rice to members of Congress and to others, including myself inthe executive branch, were written in the way that was presented byAmbassador Rice.'

01.23.13:  Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and screeches 'With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. If it was because of a protest or if it was because guys out for a walk decided to go kill some Americans. What difference, at this point, does it make?'  [Nice strawman there.  The attack was not the result of the video or 'guys out for a walk,' who 'decided to go kill some Americans.' 

02.07.13:  Panetta testifies that, after he and General Dempsey are finished with the 5:30 meeting--the meeting from 5 to 5:30-- they weren’t in contact with the White House.  Q: 'Did you communicate with anyone else at the White House that night?'  'No,' says Panetta. 

02.07.13:   Martin E Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testifies that he had no contact with the White House after the 5:00 PM EST meeting with Obama and that he was 'surprised' at Clinton's testimony.

03.13.13:   FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the Benghazi investigation is complicated by the lack of security in eastern Libya.

o5.08.13:  Gregory Hicks testifies under Oath - unlike Clinton - that 'The You-Tube video was a non-event in Libya.'

05.10.13:  The dam breaks as the White House press corps turn on Carney and the White House, en masse:


 I will update the timeline as additional information becomes available.

Related Reading:

10 Reasons Why The 'Blame Benghazi On Budget Cuts' Meme Doesn't Pass The Smell Test

Benghazi: The Pentagon Sets Off The Bullshit Detector


Anonymous said...

Wow Terrific job.


gh said...

Hi Sophie.

You keep posting "american-made SAM-7" missiles on hot-air but the missiles in Libya are Soviet SA7s.

I'd email but you said you prefer comments.

Sophie Ro, PHUP said...

I am not talking about the weapons that Qaddafi acquired from the Soviets. I am referring to the weapons that we gave them during the Libyan action.

I am including the words used by media outlets. Some reports came from Turkey itself.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sophie!

Thanks for all the work you've done putting this together. It's a great reference. Over the weekend I saw this at Heritage.

I linked to it at HA, and Axe asked me to send it on to you.

It only goes to the end of September 2012, and needs more photos, including Susan Rice making the talk show rounds, and Obama and Hillary with the coffins and families.