In the previous episode, I talked about two American security guards, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty, Mr. Stevens, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, and Sean Smith, an information officer, died during the attack on September 11th, 2012. The heroes who saved the rest of faculties were not U.S military, but the Global Response Staff (GRS) personnel at the Annex of C.I.A. in Benghazi and Tripoli. What is the original plan? About 30 armed personnel who belongs to the February 17 Martyrs Brigade should be responsible for the attack, but they did not assist until the last minute. Then, what about the U.S. military? In fact, as the investigation try to find the responsible ownership, there was a divergence of account came first.
At about 3:30 a.m in Benghazi (7:30 p.m. in Washington) during the attack, Clinton issued one statement that condemned the attack, stated an American was killed. In the statement, she said‘ ‘some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet’’, which tried to connect the attacks in Benghazi with an video “Innocence of Muslims,” which is an offensive to Islam — the reason that the Egyptian protesters tearing down the United States flag at the American Embassy in Cairo during a demonstration on the 11th.
Let’s hear what President Obama says in his speech the next day, the 12th. In the speech, the president expressed his sadness and angry towards the deaths of the US embassy staff. He did not provide any detail definition for the attack but used the “acts of terror” to describe it. “Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence,” which implies the connection between the attack and the video again. Secretary Clinton made a statement on that day as well. She said “Some have thought to justify this vicious behavior along with the protests that took place at our embassy in Cairo yesterday as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. ”
Four days later, the in a television interview by Ms. Susan Rice, who was then the ambassador to the United Nations, stressed that the Benghazi attack was “spontaneous”: “… it was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo.” On September 19th, Matthew Olsen, the director for the National Counterterrorism Center, also said at a Senate hearing that the authorities believe “this was an opportunistic attack” that “evolved and escalated over several hours.” However, these accounts were inconsistent with the accounts given by Libyans, and the survivals did not buy it as well. Not until the 26th, Clinton acknowledged a possible link between Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Benghazi attack. On September 27th, the Defense Secretary, Leon E. Panetta, indicated that the attack on the mission involved “some degree of advance planning,” after the F.B.I. investigation on this attack.
Later in the investigation by House Select Committee, which I will talk about in the next episode, it found out that the protests in Cairo had little to no impact on the Benghazi Mission compound or throughout Libya. While the anti-Muslim film was one of the reasons protests were called for in Egypt, it was virtually unknown in Libya. The Obama-Clinton government had taken a lot of criticism from political opponents over their rhetoric when it comes to terrorism, and people see them tried to cover up the truth for their own benefit.