“Obama officials’ spin on Benghazi attack mirrors Bin Laden raid untruths” by Glenn Greenwald [Guardian]

In a familiar pattern, White House claims about what motivated the killing of the US ambassador in Libya are now contradicted

by Glenn Greenwald
20 Sept. 2012

[Excerpted]

Almost immediately after President Obama announced the killing of Osama bin Laden, top government officials, including then-CIA Director Leon Panetta and top terrorism adviser John Brennan, made numerous false statements about what took place. That included the claim that Bin Laden was killed after he engaged in a “firefight”, that he used his wife as a human shield to protect himself, and that he was living in luxury in a $1m mansion.

None of those claims, central to the story the White House told the world, turned out to be true…

…We now see exactly the same pattern emerging with the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya and the killing of the US ambassador. For a full week now, administration officials have categorically insisted that the prime, if not only, cause of the attack was spontaneous anger over the anti-Muhammad film, The Innocence of Muslims…

…As it turns out, this claim is almost certainly false. And now, a week later, even the US government is acknowledging that, as McClatchy reports this morning [my emphasis]:

“The Obama administration acknowledged for the first time Wednesday that last week’s assault on the US consulate compound in Benghazi that left the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans dead was a ‘terrorist attack’ [sic] apparently launched by local Islamic militants and foreigners linked to al-Qaida’s leadership or regional allies…

…Worse, it isn’t as though there had been no evidence of more accurate information before Wednesday. To the contrary, most evidence from the start strongly suggested that the White House’s claims – that this attack was motivated by anger over a film – were false. From McClatchy:

“The head of Libya’s interim government, key US lawmakers and experts contend that the attack appeared long-planned, complex and well-coordinated, matching descriptions given to McClatchy last week by the consulate’s landlord and a wounded security guard, who denied there was a protest at the time and said the attackers carried the banner of Ansar al-Shariah, an Islamist militia.”

Indeed, Libya’s president has spent the week publicly announcing that there is “no doubt” the attack was planned well in advance and had nothing to do with the video.

CBS News reported Thursday morning that there was no anti-video protest at all at the consulate. Witnesses insist, said CBS, “that there was never an anti-American protest outside of the consulate. Instead, they say, it came under planned attack.” That, noted the network, “is in direct contradiction to the administration’s account of the incident.” The report concluded: “What’s clear is that the public won’t get a detailed account of what happened until after the election.”

The Obama White House’s interest in spreading this falsehood is multi-fold and obvious…

Full article link here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/20/obama-officials-spin-benghazi-attack?INTCMP=SRCH

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