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Déjà vu All Over Again – Who Knew What When?

Remember after the first 9/11 attacks (and how sad is it that we now have to say that?) when the left and the mainstream media went nuts about who knew what about the planned attacks and when? Conspiracy theorists abounded and even the MSM jumped in that Bush knew ahead of time and did nothing.  It was not true, as we later found out.  The FBI/CIA/NSA had ideas that something was going to happen, and that it may even have to do with planes, but had few, if any, specifics.  Well, it’s déjà vu all over again, but this time the left and the MSM aren’t asking, the rest of us are.
Let’s look at the timeline of events, true and per the White House.  They are very different. Earlier in the year there were several events that should have been a red flag to the State Department that something was being planned.  First, the Embassy in Benghazi had been attacked just a few months prior on June 6th by al-Qaeda.  Second, any anniversary of the original 9/11 attack should mean heightened security at our Embassies worldwide, and especially in the Middle East, period.  Third, on  (September 9 and 10), al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri posted videos on Jihadist forums and on YouTube urging Libyans to attack Americans to avenge the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi, the terror organization’s second-in-command.  Fourth, a report was published in August that detailed al Qaeda’s plans for Libya, including the growth of a clandestine terrorist network that has attempted to hide its presence. Fifth, Ambassador Stevens feared this growing influence and believed he was on a hit list.  Sixth, and last, Sean Smith, also killed with Ambassador Stevens, feared for his life and told friends and family just prior to the attack that fact.
There are a few other facts that have been revealed that show the timeline of what the White House knew.  First, in a Rose Garden statement the morning after the attack, the President himself referred to the attacks as terror attacks.  “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation … Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.”  The administration itself had labeled it a terrorist attack internally from the first day.  Emails, obtained by Reuters, between the White House Situation Room and various people “in the know” are now surfacing that:  the White House Situation Room got a heads up early enough that Chris Stevens may well have still been alive; and specifically mentioned that Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.  U.S. intelligence agencies monitored communications from jihadists affiliated with the group that led the attack and members of Al Qaeda who bragged about their successful attack against the American consulate and the U.S. ambassador.
A Congressional inquiry into the incident and testimony by Charlene R. Lamb, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs at the State Department; Eric Nordstrom, Regional Security Officer at the State Department; Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, US Army and Commander of the Site Security Team in Libya; and Ambassador Patrick Kennedy, Under Secretary for Management for the State Department made it painfully clear.  Lt. Col. Wood testified that while he was in his position (2/12/12 through 8/14/12), State decided not to extend his team’s work beyond August 5th, and reports that he received said that the “situation remained uncertain and reports from some Libyans indicated it was getting worse.”  He also stated that “Diplomatic security remained weak. In April there was only one US diplomatic security agent stationed there,” and he “struggled to obtain additional personnel there but was never able to attain the numbers he felt comfortable with.”  Documentation in the form of five memos from the Embassy to State dated between March 28th and September 11th bear this out.  Further testimony before the Senate by Matthew G. Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, publicly testified before the Senate that Benghazi was a terrorist attack.   
What we heard from the White House was completely different.  The first narrative was there was no security failure at the consulate, and no one asked for any extra security people. The attacks were not planned and were because of a video posted online.  Remember, Obama bragged just five days prior that al-Qaeda was on the road to defeat.  So if it was still true, I mean, really this wasn’t terrorist, it was just a spontaneous protest that went horribly wrong!  And the fact that it spread to several other countries?  Just a coincidence.  As late as September 19th, the White House was still saying the same, and anyone who questioned it or raised the possibility of terrorism were treated as if they were nuts. Even after the testimony to the contrary, VP Biden said in the Vice Presidential Debate that he and the President had no idea that the embassy had asked for help. 
The only non-déjà vu part is that the only conspiracy is the President’s attempt to lie his way out of any responsibility for not protecting our Embassy and its staff.  I think the country would have had more respect for him if he had been man enough to stand up and say “we screwed up and people died…”  Not holding my breath to ever hear that.

Suzanne Olden

Suzanne Reisig Olden is a Catholic Christian, Conservative, married mother of two, who loves God, family and country in that order. She lives northwest of Baltimore, in Carroll County, Maryland. She graduated from Villa Julie College/Stevenson University with a BS in Paralegal Studies and works as a paralegal for a franchise company, specializing in franchise law and intellectual property. Originally from Baltimore, and after many moves, she came home to raise her son and daughter, now high school and college aged, in her home state. Suzanne also writes for The Firebreathing Conservative website ( and hopes you'll come visit there as well for even more discussion of conservative issues.