The President knew – or should have known – that it wasn’t mob violence inspired by a film roughly 2 hours and 32 minutes after the attack had begun. That’s when the Executive Office of the President was notified that an Islamic fundamentalist group had claimed responsibility.
And he also knew – or should have known – about 30 minutes after the beginning of the attack that US personnel were under fire and might need help. It was another 6 1/2 hours before the two US personnel killed defending the “safe house” in Benghazi were killed.
Officials in the Executive Office of the President were advised at 4:05PM EDT on 11 September 2012 that the US mission in Benghazi was under attack. That was 20-30 minutes after the attack had begun. And the EOP was advised 2 hours and 2 minutes later – at 6:07PM – that Ansar al-Sharia had claimed responsibility.
One of the addresses at the EOP to which these alerts were sent was reportedly the one for the White House Situation Room.
By the next morning, per Reuters there were also indications that al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was involved as well. And the next morning, the CIA station chief in Libya reported that the attacks appeared to have been deliberate and carried out by Islamic militants vice a spontaneous mob action.
CBS News had made copies of redacted e-mails documenting the initial reports referenced above. They can be viewed here.
“What did the President know, and when did he know it?” Regarding the Benghazi attack, he knew – or should have known – everything of significance by the next morning. Yet for over a week his Administration flat-out lied to the American public about what had happened and why.
My leg’s wet. And it isn’t raining today.