Fooling some of the people all of the time? 17

The lying, the  evasions, the excuses, the ducking and dodging in the accounts of what the administration allowed to happen in Benghazi last month – the murder of the US ambassador and three other Americans – go on and on.

How’s this for spin?

AP reports:

The CIA station chief in Libya reported to Washington within 24 hours of last month’s deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate that there was evidence it was carried out by militants, not a spontaneous mob upset about an American-made video ridiculing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad

Yet, on Saturday of that week, briefing points sent by the CIA to Congress said “demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault.”

The briefing points, obtained by the AP, added: “There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations” but did not mention eyewitness accounts that blamed militants alone.

Such raw intelligence reports by the CIA on the ground would normally be sent first to analysts at the headquarters in Langley, Va., for vetting and comparing against other intelligence derived from eavesdropping drones and satellite images. Only then would such intelligence generally be shared with the White House and later, Congress, a process that can take hours, or days if the intelligence is coming only from one or two sources who may or may not be trusted.

U.S. intelligence officials say in this case the delay was due in part to the time it took to analyze various conflicting accounts.

Was there even one eye-witness account that there had been a protest demonstration which “evolved” into spontaneous violence? How could there be? There was no such protest demonstration.

 One official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the incident publicly, explained that “it was clear a group of people gathered that evening” in Benghazi, but that the early question was “whether extremists took over a crowd or they were the crowd.” …

There could be no such question. The entire crowd, when it appeared, was fully armed. All witnesses testified to that. Every single one.

Beyond the question of what was known immediately after the attack, it’s also proving difficult to pinpoint those who set the fire that apparently killed Stevens and his communications aide or launched the mortars that killed two ex-Navy SEALs who were working as contract security guards at a fallback location. That delay is prompting lawmakers to question whether the intelligence community has the resources it needs to investigate this attack in particular or to wage the larger fight against al-Qaida in Libya or across Africa.

Intelligence officials say the leading suspected culprit is a local Benghazi militia, Ansar al-Shariah. The group denies responsibility for the attack but is known to have ties to a leading African terror group, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. Some of its leaders and fighters were spotted by Libyan locals at the consulate during the violence, and intelligence intercepts show the militants were in contact with AQIM militants before and after the attack, one U.S. intelligence official said.

But U.S. intelligence has not been able to match those reported sightings with the faces of attackers caught on security camera recordings during the attack since many U.S. intelligence agents were pulled out of Benghazi in the aftermath of the violence, the two U.S. intelligence officials said.

Nor have they found proof to back up their suspicion that the attack was preplanned, as indicated by the military-style tactics the attackers used, setting up a perimeter of roadblocks around the consulate and the backup compounds, then attacking the main entrance to distract, while sending a larger force to assault the rear.

Is there any way, conceivable, imaginable, by which roadblocks are  set up and simultaneous attacks launched at two points by sheer happenstance? Here and there round the consulate men idly, at the same time, without any pre-planning, just decide off their own bat to set up road-blocks? And on the same night, at the same hour, heavily armed forces approach the compound front and rear by amazing coincidence?

Who d’you think you’re fooling, Mr President?