The Endless Benghazi Coverup

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by Karl Rove,

from The Wall Street Journal,

Susan Rice’s latest claims about the attacks are no more credible than the ones she made in 2012.

The worst part of National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s comments on Sunday’s “Meet The Press” was that she expressed no regret for saying that the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on U.S. outposts in Benghazi were “absolutely” the result of protests against a “very hateful, very offensive video that has offended many people around the world.” (She made these comments while she was ambassador to the United Nations, less than a week after four Americans were killed.)

Almost as bad was Ms. Rice’s statement that she was merely sharing “the best information that we had at the time.” That is a contemptible falsehood. The government knew long before Ms. Rice went on five Sunday television shows that the assaults were carefully planned terrorist attacks unconnected to a video.

Gen. Carter Ham, then head of Africa Command, knew “this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack” within minutes of learning about the assault, according to testimony he gave last June to the House Armed Services Committee that was declassified this month. Gen. Ham almost immediately informed Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey before their previously scheduled Oval Office meeting with President Obama. Mr. Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee last year that he informed Mr. Obama of the attack. “There was no question in my mind this was a terrorist attack,” he testified.

Deputy Chief of Mission Greg Hicks, America’s No. 2 diplomat in Libya, told congressional investigators in April 2013 that “I never reported a demonstration.” Instead, “everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning.”

Acting Assistant Secretary of State Beth Jones sent an email to State Department officials on Sept. 12, 2012, confirming that she had told the Libyan ambassador to the U.S. that Ansar al-Shariah, a terrorist group, “conducted the attacks.” The CIA station chief in Libya sent an email three days later to the deputy director of the CIA and others at the agency that the attacks were “NOT, NOT an escalation of protests.”

Yet Ms. Rice continues to insist that she gave the best available intelligence.

In the months since the Benghazi attacks, the role of then-Deputy CIA Director Mike Morell in shaping the administration’s response raises important questions that need answers. What contact did Mr. Morell have with the CIA station chief and Mr. Hicks? Did they tell him it was a terrorist attack? If so, what did he say or direct them to do?

The Obama administration and Mrs. Clinton desperately want Benghazi to go away, and the mainstream media continues ignoring it. But four Americans are dead. While Ms. Rice claims she has no regrets about misleading the country, she should. Americans are owed the truth, most of all the families of those who died in Benghazi in the service of their country.

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