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Early Uncertainty On Libya Account

30 Oct 2012

Early Uncertainty On Libya Account

The Wall Street Journal reports that “The night before [U.S. ambassador to the U.N.] Susan Rice went public with the administration’s assessment that the Sept. 11 U.S. consulate attack in Libya grew out of a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muslim video, intelligence analysts were receiving new information that contradicted the account … Some intelligence came in on Saturday evening that … prompted the office of the Director of National Intelligence to begin to question the agencies’ initial conclusions, intelligence officials said. Despite their growing uncertainty, intelligence officials didn’t feel they had enough conclusive, new information to revise their assessment. Ms. Rice wasn’t warned of their new doubts … Rice based her comments on talking points provided to her the previous day by the CIA and based on consultations with the office of the DNI … The talking points, which were initially written for congressional committees and top administration officials, said ‘the currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex’ … The talking points also said there were ‘indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”

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