After President Obama threw the intelligence community under the bus during Tuesday's debate by claiming communication failures stemmed from incomplete intel, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) today is hitting back, telling the AP they knew the hit on the American consulate in Benghazi was a terrorist act within 24 hours and reported it as such to Washington.
In essence, the CIA is saying, "Don't look at us. We know what we're doing":
It is unclear who, if anyone, saw the cable outside the CIA at that point and how high up in the agency the information went. The Obama administration maintained publicly for a week that the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was a result of the mobs that staged less-deadly protests across the Muslim world around the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on the U.S.
Those statements have become highly charged political fodder as the presidential election approaches. A Republican-led House committee questioned State Department officials for hours about what GOP lawmakers said was lax security at the consulate, given the growth of extremist Islamic militants in North Africa. [...]
Now congressional intelligence committees are demanding documents to show what the spy agencies knew and when, before, during and after the attacks.
The White House now says the attack probably was carried out by an al Qaida-linked group, with no public demonstration beforehand. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton blamed the "fog of war" for the early conflicting accounts.