My head is spinning this morning as a story out of the LATimes headlined “No evidence found of Al Qaeda Role in Libya Attack” (which would be true because Ansar al-Shariah is not the same as Al-Qaeda though they are sympathetic) then goes on to say:
WASHINGTON — The assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi last month appears to have been an opportunistic attack rather than a long-planned operation, and intelligence agencies have found no evidence that it was ordered by Al Qaeda, according to U.S. officials and witnesses interviewed in Libya.
It goes on to mention the controversy and then talks about Republicans saying it was al-Qaeda and Obama should have said that, but in reality, all anyone is saying is “militants” and “planned” and “not connected to any riot going on”.
This story is effing amazing in it’s ability to spin for Obama.
Republicans have zeroed in on possible Al Qaeda ties to the Sept. 11 attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, and have criticized the Obama administration for not saying early on that it was an act of terrorism. But after five weeks of investigation, U.S. intelligence agencies say they have found no evidence of Al Qaeda participation.
A second U.S. official added, “There isn’t any intelligence that the attackers pre-planned their assault days or weeks in advance.” Most of the evidence so far suggests that “the attackers launched their assault opportunistically after they learned about the violence at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo” earlier that day, the official said.
The lack of a firm Al Qaeda link could constrain U.S. military options.
Here’s how the story ends.
Republicans began portraying the attack as the work of Al Qaeda, and they accused the administration of deliberately seeking to downplay that possibility.
Now, however, said another official with access to the intelligence, “it may turn out that the initial assessment was not that far off.”
The CIA station chief in Libya reported to Washington within 24 hours of last month’s deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate that there was evidence it was carried out by militants, not a spontaneous mob upset about an American-made video ridiculing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, U.S. officials have told The Associated Press.
Let’s say it again. LATimes – In.The. Tank.
UPDATE: Apparently there are others in the tank as well as the highly respected Stephen Hayes writes on this story.
The Obama administration appears to be mounting yet another version of its campaign to push back on claims that it misled on the intelligence related to the attacks in Benghazi on 9/11/12. But the new offensive by the administration, which contradicts many of its earlier claims and simply disregards intelligence that complicates its case, is raising fresh questions in the intelligence community and on Capitol Hill about the manipulation of intelligence for political purposes.