A series of emails, uncovered by Reuters, indicate that the State Department and White House knew that a militant Islamic organization had claimed credit for the 9/11 invasion of our Benghazi consulate within two hours of the attack.
The emails depict the attack in real time and assert that a group called Ansar al-Sharia had claimed responsibility. In short, the White House was aware almost from the start that the assault, which resulted in the murder of four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens, had nothing to do with an alleged demonstration against a movie trailer.
This, of course, was the narrative Ambassador Susan Rice told the Sunday news programs five days later, and both the White House and State Department continued to use for weeks afterwards. That story began unravelling in recent weeks partly as the result of U.S. House committee hearings led by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.
The first email, dated 11 Sept. at 4:05 PM, reads:
(SBU) The Regional Security Officer reports the diplomatic mission is under attack. Embassy Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well. Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four COM personnel, are in the compound safe haven. The 17th of February militia is providing security support.
The operations center will provide updates as available.
The emails were obtained by Reuters from government sources upon condition of anonymity and can be read here.
Read more at Reuters.