Obama administration officials to brief intelligence committees on Benghazi
Extensive damage at U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya following September 11th attack
November 8th, 2012
05:53 PM ET

Obama administration officials to brief intelligence committees on Benghazi

By Pam Benson

Senior intelligence, State Department and FBI officials can expect to be grilled next week as congressional hearings resume on the terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya that killed four Americans.

Lawmakers want answers to many outstanding questions surrounding the September 11 armed assault on the diplomatic facility and a CIA annex in Benghazi.

Specifically, they want to know who was responsible, whether it was planned, the intelligence reporting on the threat to Libya prior the attack, and whether security was adequate.

The Senate Intelligence Committee will conduct a closed-door hearing on November 15. Scheduled witnesses include Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director David Petraeus, Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy, FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce and National Counterterrorism Center Director Matt Olsen.

Clapper, Petraeus and Olsen will also testify behind closed doors to the House Intelligence Committee on the same day.

Rep. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of that panel, has been outspoken in his criticism of how the Obama administration depicted the attack in the days following the incident.

Rogers maintains the United States knew early on that the attack was not a spontaneous demonstration prompted by an anti-Muslim video as the intelligence community and administration officials said at first.

Petraeus in particular has been criticized by a number of lawmakers for telling members of Congress in a secret briefing three days after the attack that the incident was a spontaneous result of the protests. That was repeated by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on subsequent Sunday TV talk shows.

CNN's Barbara Starr reported that within a day or so of the attack, the intelligence community began to gather information suggesting it was the work of extremists either affiliated with al Qaeda groups or inspired by al Qaeda.

E-mails obtained by CNN last month indicated that within 30 minutes of the start of the attack, the State Department informed diplomatic officials, the White House, the Director of National Intelligence, the Pentagon and the FBI that it was underway and that Stevens was in the compound.

And just two hours later, one of the e-mails said the Libyan extremist group Ansar al Sharia was claiming responsibility on social media websites.

"Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli," the e-mail stated.

Rogers told CNN those e-mails, along with other information, demonstrate it was not spontaneous.

However, intelligence officials said any initial claim of responsibility on a social media site is not considered reliable.

In an unusual statement more than two weeks after the attack, Clapper revised the intelligence assessment saying it was now believed to be "a deliberate and organized terrorist assault carried out by extremists" affiliated with or sympathetic to al Qaeda.

During the congressional recess, the intelligence community has provided the committees with documents and other materials. The Senate committee alone has received well over 1,000 pages of documents, according to a congressional aide.

Last week, a senior U.S. intelligence official provided a detailed timeline of the attack. It covers the moment CIA officers at the nearby annex received a call for help from the mission, to how they responded, to the subsequent attack on the annex and the eventual evacuation of Americans from Benghazi. But the official did not discuss how the attack began or who might be responsible.

The FBI is investigating with help from the intelligence community. The State Department has also launched a review.

soundoff (63 Responses)
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    November 18, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
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    November 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  3. lizzytalorburton

    Today is November 15, 2012 Yesterday November 14th at the Press Conf. Obama did not explain what happened with him on 9/11 and the murders in Bengazi AGAIN HE SAYS ITS UNDER INVESTIGATION. You mean to say Mr. President that you don't know where you were on 9/11? OR WHEN YOU FOUND OUT ABOUT IT, TIMELINE? Because he knows he can be impeached for treason and dereliction of duty as he did nothing but lie and so did Hillary Clinton and that stupid Rice woman. What a crew we have running the government, bunch of liars. Hillary Clinton didn't send security to the Ambassador when he begged and pleaded for it? She's a freaking coward running away all the time from the questions, cause she and OBAMA ARE GUILTY AS SIN OTHERWISE THEY'D BE BLABBING UP A STORM, ITS SO OBVIOUS. She acts so freaking superior, WHY? TWO FREAKING IDIOTS. How can they get away with this?

    November 16, 2012 at 12:12 am | Reply
  4. lizzytalorburton

    We can't believe a word Obama, Clinton and this administration tells us and they don't tell us much. Its coverup all the way. Its just so sad that four Americans had to be tortured and murdered because Obama and Clinton didn't have the brains or empathy to provide enough security for them, they begged and begged for more security and these mean democrats didn't provide it. They were so scared and then they were tortured and murdered. Even now they have no shame about it, only coverup and denial and oh, blame Bush again for 9/11 in New York. In New York 9/11 nobody begged and pleaded for help like the Ambassador did in Libya. God, where are you, how do you let these people hold such high office in Government when they don't care about its people, just blind ambition.

    November 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  5. Skorpio

    The answer to world Islamic violence and madness is a MASSIVE CONVERSION OF MUSLIMS TO CHRISTIANITY,preferably to ANY Christian Arab church.

    November 11, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • ml1329

      A massive conversion of Muslims would not fix anything. The islamic faith is based on PEACE, and actually follows many scriptures from a christian bible. Muslims who follow the actual faith do not want violence. Muslim extremists are no different than christian extremists. We have home grown christian extremists that poisen and blow up their own followers, and twist the bible to suit their own agendas. Do not hate the faith, hate the people who twist it for evil.

      November 13, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Reply
      • Alert

        Nice Taqiyya (Lies against Kuffars). And following verses are NOT abrogated:

        Qur’an 9:29—Fight those who believe not in Allah.
        Qur’an 9:123—O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.
        Qur’an 48:29—Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves.
        Qur’an 98:6—Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikun will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures.
        Qur’an 5:51—O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.

        November 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  6. g

    What happen to the "rule of the law" ?? No one is above the law! That includes Obama. I still believe that this person NEEDS to be impeached and tried for TREASON!!!!! He won the election but let me tell you one thing Mr president , half of the people voted for you for the wrong reasons and for popularity BUT half of the American citizens did NOT vote for you either . We, the people, demand you to ANSWER all these questions about Benghazi attack . With all the lies and cover up by you , your people and the liberal media, I still believe that JUSTICE AND THE TRUTH will prevail. You are going to answer for all of these and if when you do , Welcome President Biden .

    November 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  7. keybd29

    We now by the Pentagon timeline that as of 11pm on September 11th that Obama knew the consulate was the scene of a terrorist attack. In the face of this we now know that Obama and Rice knew the popular uprising fiction was their invention. This is the heart of the Benghazi COVER UP. Doubtless there were lessor players. More troubling for me is what I think of as the Benghazi BLACKOUT. I have assiduously monitored Google news, my home page. All through the election and to this very moment the "Google algorithm" has not featured this topic, leaving me to wonder which is the greater un-American activity.

    November 10, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
  8. Rocky

    Obama does not act like a President of the United States. He acts like a Dictator and looks very drugged up or drunk or both! His eyes are like falling out of his head when he starts his preaching and criticizing.

    November 10, 2012 at 12:22 am | Reply
  9. Rocky

    All of a sudden Petraeus won't be testifying next week. And Hillary Clinton can't make it there either? If that doesn't show guilt, what does?? These people should arrested and tried for treason and that includes the biggest liar of them all, Barack Obama. Go ahead America, let them get away with it!

    November 9, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  10. storygirl2

    Wow! Now CNN decides to finally undo their blatant media blackout on this subject! Too much smoke not to be a fire on this one. Time to get out of bed with your political bedfellows and do your job. Although ..As truth comes out on this one you will not be able to hide your incompetency and disloyalty to your profession. Although I guess your job is keepers of your own political agendas. We need a third party to rise on the political scene as well as the news media. We do need more checks and balance to bring these high and lofty kingdoms down. who will lay aside their viewpoints and go after truth instead of allegiances to their own belief system.

    November 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Alert

      CNN also hid Iran's attack on US drone; before the elections. God knows what else CNN is hiding.CNN's Political agenda clearly out-weighs fair-and-balanced reporting, even on National Security! UGH!

      November 9, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  11. Mr.Jackson

    As reported by CNN, Middle East scholar, Aaron Zelin, had archived all of the facebook and twitter posts by Ansar Al Sharia between Sept 8-and Sep12. That means he took a screenshot of those pages each of those days.

    There was no posting claiming responsibility for the attack.

    Whoever sent that email to fifty government offices, while the attack was still going on, deliberately sent false information about a terrorist attack.

    I hear al lot of people demanding accountability. What do you think about someone who deliberately obstructs a terrorism investigation? It wasn't a mistake. People don't mistakenly see something that doesn't exist.

    November 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  12. CherchezLaFemme

    Can you say "President (Crazy) Joe Biden?"

    November 9, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
  13. davidfarrar

    At the time of the attack, as Obama states,"...from the first moment I was informed...I said "save the personnel"... So Pres. Obama was informed of the Benghazi attack sometime around 3:50 pm, somewhere within the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland; if the daily schedule is correct.

    Obama didn't get back to the White House until 4:50 pm. The present record reflects that Pre. Obama was told later at a 'regularly scheduled' meeting with the SecDf, the VP, and national security personnel sometime around 5:00 pm until the end of the meeting, around 5:55 pm.

    Whatever the reason for this two hour delay, Ambassador Stevens paid for it with his life.

    ex animo
    davidfarrar

    November 9, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
    • Mr.Jackson

      The reason for the delay is because the security detail "saw nothing unusual" when armed men set up checkpoints and sealed off the neighborhood around 8pm. According to local residents, reported by AP!

      The security guys saw nothing unusual, but SIX different news organizations each independently interviewed eyewitnesses who saw a large protest against the video gather around 9pm.

      The security guys miraculously survived, but the Ambassador and the FSO they were supposed to be protecting, didn't.

      The safe house was six minutes away.

      Maybe if the "security guys" had reported the UNUSUAL events going on at 8pm, the Ambassador could have been moved to safety, and the military back-up would have gotten there at 11pm instead of 1am, and maybe they would have gotten to the compound at 3am instead of 5am, and maybe NOBODY would have died.

      November 9, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • Alert

      "Whatever the reason for this two hour delay, Ambassador Stevens paid for it with his life."

      Bad as it is, loss of ambassador Steven'ssecurity was sealed when Obama admin refused security at repeated requests. Following it's natural course, the loss ofAmbassador Stevens was followed by a full-scale cover-up from White House down, including the State Department.

      As they say, fish starts to rot from the head.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  14. Chuk

    Issa can go to h*ll. His attempt to politicize the hearing by illegally leaking hearing data to help Romney did NOT work! The "hearing" is just a farce.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
    • Sultros

      God forbid anyone QUESTION Obama and his people on this. Issa is doing his duty and you should too, by questioning the President and holding him accountable IF there are mistakes and unethical behavior. We cant do that if we dont ask questions and have these hearings. Dont be a cheerleader, be informed. If you dont want to be a slave, stop thinking like one.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:08 am | Reply
  15. tangledthorns

    The media won't be able to cover for Obama on this anymore.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:23 am | Reply
    • Mr.Jackson

      They aren't covering for Obama.

      They are keeping a lid on this story because they have information that contradicts the Fox News narrative and they are allowing the Administration to investigate based on what is already known.

      If they had information that confirmed the narrative being published by Fox News and neocon think tanks, they would publish it. GAURANTEED.

      November 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
      • storygirl2

        Really?? Even International news has pieces on it!! Do you think that CNN is incapable of being flawed liked its right wing counterpart?? Thats what happens when people believe these talking heads are what they appear to be to us. You are a propaganda puppet. Its dangerous not to be well rounded in these times.

        November 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
      • Mario

        Tanglethorns:

        you wrote: Mr.Jackson
        They aren't covering for Obama.

        They are keeping a lid on this story because they have information that contradicts the Fox News narrative and they are allowing the Administration to investigate based on what is already known.

        If you did not see the 3 hour hearings on the Benghazi security issue, you would not know that Fox reported what we learned there. You seem to be defending something you know NOTHING about. So instead of making statements, get informed. The Benghazi hearing is easily found on youtube. Watch it, listen and learn. This whole thing stinks. The problem is that too many people can't watch what happens and rely on spin doctors to tell them versions of the truth. You people ought to (for the love of country) get informed. It's not that difficult. You just have to care, Now watch the hearing and decide for yourself. It was a coverup...

        November 9, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  16. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    I don't know which is more laughable - the right wing witch hunters determined to find a vast conspiracy or the wing nut portion of the electorate who fails to grasp the notion that working in American embassies in unstable parts of the anti-America world is inherently DANGEROUS. Gee, where were the Republicans demanding explanations and holding hearings after the WORST ATTACK EVER ON AMERICAN SOIL killed 3,000 of our citizens. Oooops, sorry, forgot....don't talk about 9/11 unless it benefits us politically, right Mayor Rudi?

    November 9, 2012 at 7:58 am | Reply
    • 94M

      Gary,
      I'm sorry you feel this way, but as a person who was stationed at an embassy in the Middle East and still have many friends there, I want our leaders to find out why there was not more security available to them, the events that led up to the attack and steps they are going to do to try and prevent this from happening again. This should not be brushed under the rug, our leadership whether Democrat or Republican should learn lessons from this and if there were calls from Tripoli for more security the persons who denied their requests should explain why the requests were denied.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:51 am | Reply
      • Mr.Jackson

        Instead of asking why we didn't land forces on the streets of another country, or why we didn't build a military complex to carry out a covert operation, you should be asking why the "securty detail" miraculously survived this ferocious onslaught, but the Ambassador and the FSO they were protecting, didn't. You should also be asking why these same security guys saw "nothing unusual" when the residents in the neighborhood saw armed men setting up checkpoints and sealing off the neighborhood an hour and a half before the attack, and numerous eyewitnesses saw an angry rowdy protest of at least a hundred people outside the gate.
        By the way, the "no protest" story comes from these same individuals who failed to get the Ambassador to a safe house six minutes away. THEY'RE LYING

        November 9, 2012 at 11:37 am |
      • storygirl2

        Well said. A valid question. So sorry some have to make it about Right or Left instead of truth! Its dangerous when a society is afraid to ask questions of accountability. History shows that repeatedly.

        November 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • sambo

      so your take is that while 4 Americans pleaded for their lives in real time to the situation room and Obama put on his warm jammies and went to bed in a safe house protected by armed secret service agents and the next day flew off to Florida to campaign for re election that this is a witch hunt???? how about bringing Obama to trial for the murder of these Americans?

      November 9, 2012 at 8:56 am | Reply
      • Mr.Jackson

        They were killed by terroists, not president Obama.

        I guess you think if anyone gets killed in a driveby, that the police murdered them?

        November 9, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Sultros

      And here we have another slave to the Regime. Take a good look people. This is what is wrong with this country. If there was no wrong doing, there is nothing to worry about. Wrong doings, no matter who commits them, no matter which side, must be investigated and people must be held accountable. Why do you hate accountability so much? You can minimize all you want, be a total fool, but dont expect the rest of the country to turn a blind eye when the President is engaged in tyranny and lies.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply
    • Sacchi

      Mr Bush didn’t blame an American video for 9/11/2001, he called it a terroristic attack right away, and declared war on terrorist right away too . Mr Barak Osama blamed an American Video for the 9/11/2012 attack. Hilarious Clinton asked forgiveness for this video to the Muslims. She said that mr Osama didn’t know it was a terrorist attack. Than on the 2nd debate We realize he knew. Mr. Bush didn’t lie, Obama and its admin did!!!!! This is the difference! Shame on Barak Osama and his administration.

      November 12, 2012 at 6:32 am | Reply
  17. NATHAN wIMBERLY

    Another right wingnut witch hunt, like Eric Holder. The only thing that Americans remember or care about this is that Mitt the twit fumbled his 3 AM call. The election proved that.

    November 9, 2012 at 6:47 am | Reply
    • Alert

      Thanks for bringing up Eric Holder, who had Agent Brian Terry killed! Obama Admin has a legacy of getting American servicemen killed and covering-up!
      As for Bengazi, Obama admin is covering-up the cover-up!

      November 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  18. ?

    i bet the attackers worked in the embassy since, they killed the ambassador, they prolly knew where he was on the inside

    November 9, 2012 at 12:16 am | Reply
    • kyle

      in this incident I would have to say it was the government but what better way to hide your military saying it is a muslim affiliate nice way of saying sorry isn't it Oh your plane got shot downbut it was one of are gangs sorry (haha)

      November 9, 2012 at 5:30 am | Reply
  19. Mr.Jackson

    House Intel Chair Mike Rogers attended a "counter-jihad" meeting with Robert Spencer, Karl Rove and others Apr30-May1 2012. Spencer is involved in anti-muslim activism with ALL of the people who financed, made, circulated, advertised and promoted the anti-muslim video.
    Rogers is coming to the meeting armed with the email that FALSELY claims Ansar Al Sharia claimed responsibility on facebook and twitter? No wonder he didn't invite the FBI!
    Don't be fooled! This GOP investigation isn't to "get facts." They want to find out how much the Administration knows. They already know who is behind the whole thing. They are trying to figure out what kind of evidence there is so they can start trying to discredit it.

    November 9, 2012 at 12:15 am | Reply
  20. Rocky

    Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should be tried and convicted of treason for knowing at the time that the Ambassador and the two Seals and the other person were being murdered and did NOTHING TO PROTECT THEM. Barack Obama acts more like a rock star so full of himself, than the President of the United States. He rounded up all of the high schoolers in the country to vote for him. And we will live to regret it, like the fall of Rome, the ruination of America by Barack Obama.

    November 8, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Reply
    • Daniel

      What does Hillary know about Al-Qaeda? This clearly shows that she has NO ability to think for herself / or analyze a situation. Like a school kid, she blindly repeats what she has been told to say – actually to be politically correct. Please don't hurt the feelings of the terrorists – it's okay if the Ambassador is killed....sic... if they can't take care of Ambassadors – How can they take care of ordinary American citizens?

      November 9, 2012 at 1:43 am | Reply
  21. krm1007 ©™

    let's see if Obama gets drone going.

    November 8, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  22. Scott Anthony

    Benghazi does not even come close to Bush's 9/11. There are attacks all the time on American installations throughout the world. The only thing that makes this come to light is Mitt Romney jumped on it for political reasons. He was not he president yet he jumped in inappropriately and called it a terrorist attack before he had enough facts to support it. I used to be a Republican but now I am an independent. The Republican party is now controlled by a bunch of idiots. If Reagan were alive today he would not qualify to be a Republican by their current standards. They turn their back on Colin Powell who is one of the few sane Republicans left. They get mad at the Governor of New Jersey for acting civil around the President. The same party has Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair and showing blatant disrespect for the President of the United States. This Country elected Obama not Romney. Instead of trying to get something on him why don't you focus on your broken party and fix it before you become extinct like the dinosaurs. This Country needs both Republicans and Democrats. They need to work together for the good of the country and quit acting like spoiled kids who didn't get their way.

    November 8, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Reply
    • Gbox

      9/11 does not come close to Benghazi in comparing responsibility. Unlike the Bush administration, the Obama team had specific warnings before 9/11/12, and a specific target! Even worse, repeated calls during the attack were denied. Then, after the attack came the coverup and lies.

      November 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  23. lklem

    The Obama Administration will lie and lie about this Libya Incident. Then they will find some person to take the blame, fall on his/her sword to protect the Obama Administration. The number of secuirty leaks in the administration resembles a cive. Lies just keep flowing through while the truth will not be known.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  24. Padraig

    When the investigation starts identifying the indiviuals who are responsible executive priveledge will stop the investigation. CNN as well as the other media have an agenda and that is to ensure their candidate that they support win. This time they were successful. So on the integrity meter they don't register.

    The other possibility is there could be a wind storm which will take the headlines and move the reporting of this investigation to the back burner.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  25. roger smith

    I'm of average intelligence and I knew Obama was lying the first time he spoke of Ben Ghazi. I assume those more intelligent than I ,knew before he spoke. But then again if the electorate will re elect Obama with the current economic disaster looming and not credit him for our demise ,we can only imagine what they think when the Ben Ghazi lie is proven. I just wish i could figure out why he looks like like Frank Marshall Davis.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  26. michael

    I want President Obama, to reassemble hearings on 9/11 and criminally prosecute George Bush, and Dick Cheney for lying to the American public costing American lives! We lost almost 3,000 American lives on the homeland, over 4,000 military and even over 100,000 civilian Iraqi lives! If, the Bengazi episode demands criminal prosecution of the president (which all the evidence from the CIA points to the contrary), then George Bush and Dick Cheney are toast!

    November 8, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  27. Ana

    I totally agree. CNN had no reports about this incident until after the elections. I guess covering every little detail of the election was more important than reporting what happened to the American ambassador and the two navy seals.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  28. Cspike

    Boycott the MSM!

    November 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  29. Seriously???

    All the main stream media outlets are complicit in the Benghazi coverup and in getting their guy back into the White House. The lack of coverage of all things unfavorable to Obama is stunning. Journalism is dead.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • storygirl2

      Responsible journalism is dead as they do not care about truth only their keeping their kingdoms they built thriving. I would say "Yellow Journalism" has been taken to new levels.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  30. Julie Lamar

    HOLD OBAMAS ass to the fire on this. It is an outrage for all !!!

    November 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  31. Anne

    shame on you CNN!

    November 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      Shame, why!? Why woud you say something stupid as that.... That's all I have to say. Justice needs to be served, and served to all..... Thats clearlly a cover up

      November 8, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Reply
      • Anne

        shame on CNN for reporting this after the election

        November 9, 2012 at 12:11 am |
  32. Kiss

    Now that the election's are over I expect CNN to do more reporting on this issue, also where is the news if Iran firing on our drones A WEEK AGO. We know you covered for your boy, the media you be ashamed of yourselves but you have no shame, no integrity, no morals. thanks for having a big hand in destroying America.

    November 8, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Reply
    • Julie Lamar

      CNN is shameful.... Bet this is edited!!!! I hope Obama goes down with this. I feel sorry for the spot that all soldiers are put in having him classified as their "leader" They will now NEVER feel safe!!!

      November 8, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Reply

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