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Benghazi Gate



EXCERPTS FROM: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/c...

On Sept. 11, 2012, heavily armed Islamist militants stormed and burned the American Consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi, killing the United States ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three others: Sean Smith, a Foreign Service officer, and Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty, both former members of the Navy SEALs who helped protect diplomatic personnel.

It was the first time since 1979 that an American ambassador had died in a violent assault. The attack has raised questions about the radicalization of countries swept up in the Arab Spring and has become a significant issue in the presidential campaign. Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, offered harsh criticism of the Obama administration for being slow to label the assault terrorism and faulted its overall handling of the attack. Republicans in Congress also charged that the White House had covered up important facts and had turned down repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi before the fatal attack.

In mid-October, on the eve of the second presidential debate, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on CNN that she took “responsibility” for the failure to successfully defend against the attack. “I take responsibility” for protecting diplomats, she said. “I want to avoid some kind of political gotcha.”

Yet during the debate, President Obama said, “I’m the president. And I’m always responsible.”

Initially, American officials described the attack as part of riots that had broken out in Benghazi and Cairo on Sept. 11 in response to an American-made video promoting an anti-Muslim film called “Innocence of Muslims” that had been uploaded to YouTube. The amateurish 14-minute trailer mocked Islam’s founding prophet. For more about the video and the turmoil it incited, click here.

But later accounts provided by the State Department made no mention of a protest. Instead, they pointed to the extremist militia Ansar al-Shariah, as well as Al Qaeda’s arm in North Africa, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. For a detailed account of who said what about the attack, and when, click here. READ  MORE


Another MUST READ: Benghazi explained: Interview with an “Intelligence Insider” Pt I, II & III.


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