October 24th, 2012
11:38 PM ET

Doubts surface over e-mail on claim of responsibility for Benghazi attack

By CNN's Tim Lister and Paul Cruickshank

The often fiercely political debate over who knew what - and when - about the September 11 assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi has taken another turn with the disclosure of a series of e-mails sent from the State Department on the night of the attack.

But the most explosive of the e-mails - which were released late Tuesday - may have been inaccurate, a "spot report" on a rapidly evolving and highly confusing situation.

The disclosure of the e-mail has given new life to the already fevered debate over when the Obama administration learned that the attack was more than a protest that turned deadly but was the work of terrorists.

The e-mail carried the subject line: "Update 2: Ansar al Sharia Claims Responsibility For Benghazi Attack." The message said: "Embassy Tripoli reports the group has claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli."

That message was sent to a wide range of federal offices, including the FBI, from the State Department at 6:07 p.m. ET on September 11 - seven minutes into September 12 in Libya. At that time, the attack on the consulate was ongoing, and the subsequent assault on the annex building, in which two more Americans would be killed, had not begun.

Also: Some Bengazi attackers connected to al Qaeda in Iraq

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and two other Republicans in the Senate wrote Wednesday to Obama, saying: "These emails make clear that your Administration knew within two hours of the attack that it was a terrorist act and that Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan militant group with links to Al-Qaeda, had claimed responsibility for it."

However, an examination of the known Facebook and Twitter accounts of Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi reveals no such claim of responsibility. Aaron Zelin, a research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, tracks dozens of jihadist websites and archives much of what they say. He told CNN he was unaware of any such claim having been posted on the official Facebook page or Twitter feed of Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi.

Zelin, who said his RSS feed sends him any new statement from the group, provided CNN with a copy of that feed. It shows no Facebook update between September 8 and September 12, when a posting late that afternoon first referenced the attack. Zelin notes that the posting referred to a news conference the group had held earlier that day in Benghazi in which it denied any role in the assault on the consulate, while sympathizing with the attackers.

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Accompanying a posting of the news conference on YouTube, a commentary says that the attack on the consulate was "a wave of rage for Allah and his Prophet, it came from the Muslim youths."

The posting continues: "Ansar al-Sharia brigade did not officially participate as a military body, nor received any orders directed from the brigade."

The group's Twitter feed tells the same story. The account, @anssarelshariea, bears the group's logo and a tweet on September 8 - and then nothing until four days later. And at no point is there a claim of involvement in or responsibility for the attack on the U.S. Consulate compound.

Perhaps the person who reported the claim of responsibility - and the threat against the consulate - was viewing another Ansar al-Sharia site, or one supportive of the group.

In the hours following such incidents, it is not unusual for "spot reports" from agencies and overseas posts to pour in to the State Department. They typically include intercepts, what's picked up on social media, witness accounts and what's being said by local officials. They often contain raw, unfiltered information that is then analyzed for clues, patterns and contradictions.

In the case of the Benghazi attack, there were plenty of contradictions. Such situations are frequently chaotic, with claim and counter-claim by witnesses unsure of what happened when, according to U.S. officials. Building a complete picture without access to first-hand-accounts and little visual evidence can be a major challenge to government experts working from thousands of miles away.

So too have been the attempts to pin down who represents Ansar al-Shariah and their movements on the night of the attack.

Wings of Ansar al-Sharia, which means "partisans" or "supporters of Islamic law," are based not only in Benghazi but in the Libyan town of Derna, east of Benghazi. The group's leaders in Derna are thought to include Abu Sufyan bin Qumu, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee.

A different Ansar al-Sharia is affiliated with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen, and budding franchises are said to exist in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt.

As Zelin wrote last month in Foreign Policy, the groups "lack a unified command structure or even a bandleader like the central al Qaeda command....They are fighting in different lands using different means."

Wherever they may be, members of Ansar al-Shariah are united by a shared outlook, one that is implacably anti-Western and in favor of the imposition of Shariah law across the Muslim world.

The description on the Ansar al-Sharia (Benghazi) Twitter feed proclaims: "The goals of Ansar al-Sharia brigade is to implement the laws of Allah on the land, and reject the human implemented laws and earthly made constitutions. There will be nothing ruling in this country other than the laws of Allah."

Zelin said he believes that the rise of the groups heralds the end of the dominance of global jihad by a single hierarchical organization such as al Qaeda - and returns the state of jihad to the jumble that characterized it during the 1990s.

"One key difference, however, is that jihadi groups are now more ideologically homogenous," Zelin wrote in Foreign Policy.

"In the 1990s, jihadis thought locally and acted locally, while many now talk globally and act locally."

CNN's Pam Benson contributed to this report

soundoff (2,000 Responses)
  1. LogicvsLibs

    I actually had to do a search to find any CNN report about Benghazi.
    CNN, you are a deep and open shame to this great nation of ours, and like a cancerous disease, you only serve to help Obama and his evil henchmen do whatever it takes to ruin America. I cannot even begin to describe just how much you turn my stomach but it is on par with the level of nausea I get in regards to Obama's unending evil and destruction.
    I hope and pray, that when this demon is finally removed from office, that you are diminished to an internet blog that nobody reads, brought up on charges and imprisoned, or even expatriated and deported to a banana republic, communist country of your liking.
    It is as if your minds and your consciences have been seared with a hot iron.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  2. ddavis

    CNN lost it's journalistic integrity long ago. They get their talking points right from the Obama campaign and the New York Times. This used to be the station that everyone would turn to. Now, their ratings are in the toilet.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
    • CtryonRice

      Can't wait when Romney is in.... what will the mainstream media do? We all have had a look behind the curtain and CNN confirms, that journalism is dead and propaganda reins.

      October 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  3. Ray camporeale

    CNN was once a credible news station,I was a big fan. Why on earth is not the Benghazi stores being reported indepth?
    The election is important,no doubt. A failure to respond to calls for help from our Americans about to be overrun and killed
    A national disgrace and requires serious attention by cnn

    October 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  4. bd

    CNN you are doing an injustice to the American People! The American People wants & deserves to know the truth about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi!

    Shouldn’t journalists protect the credibility of their work & earn the public's trust?

    Wake up CNN & cover the story!

    October 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  5. NH_Patriot

    Of any Network that refuses to cover this story and is complicit in this cover up!!!!!

    October 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • Linda Mullins

      You are right about what will work – money talks. When we refuse to buy the products that sponsor "information" that no one would buy – protests over a film, disgruntled Muslim youth, etc, these "reporters" may start telling the truth about the shameful actions that allowed and actually abetted the murder of 4 Americans. Shame on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and all the people who continue to lie about this tragedy.

      October 26, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  6. timgenster

    Hey CNN. WHY are you covering this up? 4 Americans were murdered, top government officials LIED for weeks, and your so-called news organization is hiding what happened. You're a disgrace to what real journalists should be! LAST time I visit your website is NOW!

    October 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  7. Ronald Regan

    God Bless Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. True life american heroes. Where is their MEDAL OF HONOR Obama?.....oh that means the public might hear their tragic story of cowardice and abandonment.

    They GOV knew what was going on.....THEY ALL KNEW!!!


    October 26, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  8. Timoothy

    Unbelievable that news media is not making this their top story. Obama on Leno is more newsworthy!
    This lack of journalistic integrity is disgusting.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  9. RJ

    CNN–take the feedback on this site and start doing your job. These men did not have to die, and by you not reporting the facts, you are culpable in the ongoing cover-up. This is not some silly political issue, but the loss of Americans serving our country that were left out to dry. And the President had the audacity at the debate to act insulted that he didn't do everything in his power to protect his people. Hold this administration accountable to their actions and not simply report on their good sounding words. This is a disgrace and ALL americans–DEMOCRAT and REPUBLICAN should be equally outraged at this! Become a news organization again

    October 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  10. Tony T

    Do a search on Charles Woods Father of slain Navy Seal and you will find what websites and news outlets are supposed to be doing. Shame on CNN!!!

    October 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  11. Tony T

    Thank you to all our men and women in the miltary that serve our country and are posting their comments here. We should all be outraged at the liberal media like CNN and others for covering up this story. Not covering the comments of Charles Woods the father of the Navy Seal who was killed in Lybia is a travesty.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  12. herbsthewerd

    It's not even on the front page. They put it in Politics.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  13. Jim

    I've looked at most of the new sources, and at my local news and found very little on this subject. What I can say is that most of the media wont talk about it, and when they do they would never tell the truth because it would hurt Obama. What I think they should say is, "People of America" rise up, throw this bum in jail for treason, round up his herd of sheep and place them in jail as well. Of course they wont, they are just like Chris Matthews, they just get a tingle up their leg every time their lord and master, the mighty Obama speaks.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  14. herbsthewerd

    ABC just put up a story! About time!

    October 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  15. Ron from Michigan

    cnn and the rest of the media are a disgrace! Not one word about the new information on Libya. The mainstream media needs to report on the truth about our troops.......Such a sad country we live in. DO SOME REAL REPORTING, AND QUIT PROTECTING THE PRESIDENT!

    October 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      It's a cover-up and the main stream media has failed to stay on top of this!

      October 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  16. Berner

    I guess is you want actual coverage of the news you need to turn to Fox:


    CNN is assisting BHO in covering up this latest failure of his regime.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  17. Jasamjay

    Is it any wonder why CNN has become a second rate news source? Report the news CNN. Not your talking points. How bright do you have to be to understand that your ratings would skyrocket if you just reported the news instead of filtering it. Oh, and you could finally go to bed with some self respect. Freedom of the press is intended to protect the people, not the politicians.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  18. hombre

    '...a commentary says that the attack on the consulate was "a wave of rage for Allah and his Prophet, it came from the Muslim youths."'

    Oh yeah. Those angry Muslim youths who just happened to have a mortar for killing ex-SEALs and cans of diesel fuel to burn up the Ambassador and Mr. Smith.

    I will believe Baghdad Bob before CNN and the rest of the Obamamedia.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  19. delindadewick

    This isn't about politics – it's about the lives, and deaths, of four brave Americans. CNN should not be a co-conspirator in the "its political" game.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  20. Robert Lee

    I hope for your sake (CNN) that you have the moral integrity to report this. It is well known that you are a mouthpiece for your Messiah President Obama, but this goes beyond politics. This is leaving good men hung out to dry. Those men deserved to be backed up whatever the political cost, and the truth needs to come out. Speaking as a Marine infantryman, It is sickening to think that you are that much of sniveling little weasels that you would dishonor them by ignoring it. There is no excuse whatsoever. Nobody care's about MSNBC. We realize that they are completely anti-american and do not try and hide it. If you want to even have one shred of credibility of your so-called independent reporting, you will do YOUR DUTY as journalists and report what everybody needs to know.. STOP PLAYING GAMES

    October 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  21. Kim

    "Journalism can never be silent: That is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.”
    – Henry Anatole Grunwald, Time Magazine's 60th anniversary issue, Fall 1983. So Time, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, why are you silent?

    October 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  22. NH_Patriot

    SHAME on you CNN.........SHAME. I shall spend next week calling your sponsors ot remind them of how you are accomplices in the LIBYA COVERUP, during which American Navy SEALS were killed and it is of a direct result of the actions or Barack Obama and his minions.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • Berner

      You got it right, amazing to see CCN ignore the story of the repeated calls for help that went unanswered and the coverup that followed.

      This W-House is the most corrupt since Nixon's

      October 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  23. daniel

    CNN- be Journalist fo rcrying out loud! DO YOUR JOB! PLEASE!

    October 26, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  24. Shannon

    CNN. Please REPORT about Benghazi. Don't leave out critical information about our troops! This IS NOT a political stance it is a moral one!

    October 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  25. Kim

    CNN, not doing it's job in reporting this story has become a part of the Administration's cover-up. You are now a co-conspirator.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  26. mary alden

    Shame on you and the rest of the main stream media. You are damaging this country by not reporting news because it might be damaging to Obamas reelection. It makes you look like an arm of o's campaign, not a news channel. The only saving grace for you is the fact that msnbc is worse but not by much. Do your self a favor and get off o's bandwagon!

    October 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  27. David Harris

    Thanks for the "explain away the e-mail" story CNN, but we're not buying it. Don't go down with the ship, CNN ! There is still time to save your "reputation" for investigative news.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  28. USAF B

    When is CNN going to bring the information I and many others have heard and read. The Administration denied these exSeals THREE Times when they asked for help. They had the mortar on a laser and they waited for help. And this Administration had our miitary awaiting the order to help to Stand Down. This network is losing alot of credibility over this. Is CNN so determined to have Obama get re-elected that you won't report very important information all Americans should know? I am beginning to think so.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Reply
    • Chuck U. Farley

      Right after the NYT gives CNN permission. You know, when hell freezes over.

      October 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  29. JP

    CNN is so far left that they won't cover this because they realize the damage that it's going to cause the current Administration and their re-election bid. I'm still in disbelief that the Administration may have allowed 4 Americans to die without helping them.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  30. Concerned Citizen

    How can CNN's latest post on this subject be from Oct 24? And the absurd headline implies that there are "doubts" about the main email. Where are your reporters? Where are your anchors? Are you so in the bag for Obama that you forgo reporting on the biggest news story of the year? No doubt, in the near term, you will follow Newsweek down the mainstream media drain.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  31. WhyArentYouCoveringLibya

    CNN, why aren't you putting this on page one? Didn't you used to be a news organization?

    October 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • Lulane

      CNN should be ashamed! You are not journalists. You are hacks for the Democrats. Everyone should read FoxNews' website and hear what the father of one of the killed soldiers has to say about the Obama white house. Shame!!!!

      October 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
      • Amy

        I just listened to the father on Fox News and I'm speechless and angry. I can't believe CNN is not covering this – are they truly an arm of the White House at this point and will only cover what they say to cover? only report stories that put the President in a positive light? I think it's time to seriously rethink what you're doing or you are going to lose a lot of viewers.

        October 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  32. davidc

    why is CNN not reporting on new info regarding 2 to 3 requests made by the navy seal in real time for backup at the consulate in Bengazi on the night of 9/11.....appears CNN does not want to do their duty in getting to the bottom of what happened in Bengazi......and who made the decision to tell the navy seal(s) to stand down and not go to aid the consulate......

    October 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • camoguy72

      CNN has no credibility. There is BREAKING NEWS about the DEATH of American heros and they've got NOTHING.

      October 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Reply
    • change

      They would report on it, but can't find anyplace on their homepage where they can be sure nobody will see it.

      October 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  33. C Emma

    CNN You are doing an injustice to the American People. Cover the story!!!

    October 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  34. Geek34

    You are a news organization. Do your f**ing job! Start by getting your head out of the administration's behind

    October 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
    • Maria

      Tell it like it is !!!!

      October 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  35. jason

    The C.I.A./seals had the mortar position lased and were begging for help hours after the first reports of the attack were called in, were the drones overhead armed? If they were the push of a button could have saved their lives! This is a total disgrace and by the way great reporting Communist News Network.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  36. Geek34

    Regardless of who wins this stupid election, we have an administration that understood threats against its citiizens, watched the attack in real time, gave an order to stand down, and is now trying to cover it up. Few will remember this election years from now. What will be remembered is the treason committed by our elected officials and complicity of the media that is supposed to report news instead of being a government mouthpiece. This is worse than watergate.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  37. MKL in MO

    Okay Folks, I am raising the flag on this one.... the BS FLAG. CNN – DO YOUR JOB! Investigate and report! You are doing a huge disservice to those who were killed and the American People. We deserve to know the truth and those brave men's families deserve to know the truth. Who made the call to Stand Down? Again, CNN, Do your job!

    October 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  38. conchytonker


    October 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • conchytonker

      you'll have to copy and paste...

      October 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  39. Cathy

    You can't bury this! This news organization out to be ashamed of themselves. This is unreal.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  40. JH

    This is criminal! Those responsible for the "stand down" order need to be held accountable. The lies that keep coming from the Obama camp ( or should we say regime) are an outrage! What kind of message has been sent to other nations that pose a threat to our safety and security - you can bet they have taken notice on the current administration's position. It is time for Obama and his team to "step down". Do I hear impeachment! Whose side is Obama and Biden on? All Americans should take note of this event when they are voting. Shame on CNN, ABC, MSNBC, NBC, and CBS for the biased media position.

    God Bless all those standing up to protect America and our interests!

    October 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  41. JB Lee

    Why is everyone ignoring that our troops were ready to go in and do their job in Benghazi? They were obviously told to stand down. We have the best military in the world and could have sent help anytime during the 8 hour standoff. The two Navy Seals that tried to protect our embassy and gave their lives to do so were the only people in the entire chain of command that showed any courage or heart. I want to know who sent the order to stand down. Since it involved telling several military emergency response systems not to respond, it could logically only be the President Obama's choice. I am thoroughly disgusted with this action and consider it treasonous. I want an explanation now. Why are you not covering this angle of Benghazi?

    October 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • conchytonker

      CNN and other mainstream media sources refuse to cover thsi breaking news story: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/26/cia-operators-were-denied-request-for-help-during-benghazi-attack-sources-say/

      October 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • Maria

      I'm with you on this one JB Lee, why is CNN not covering the most important story, the true American Heroes. I think Obama lied to We the People and has been lying since he took office fur years ago. I don't understand the main stream media infatuation in covering for him and loving everything hi says or does. It seems the guy can do not wrong. Wow, how sad. The majority of the journalist have gone socialist!!! They have no clue what is like to live in a Communist country.

      October 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  42. Jim Hendrix

    While Obama lied...good men died.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Do You Care

      Amazing! Not ONE mention on your front page at cnn.com about the murder and cover up of 4 dead Americans at the hands of our government! It is one thing to be a left leaning organization - but to intentionally ignore the worst crime any President and his administration has ever committed is unconscionable !!! This makes watergate look like a spiff between 2 kids in kindergarten. Shame on ALL of you for helping to cover up the crime of the century by a Kenyan born Muslim president. DO YOU CARE ??? NO !!! SHAME ON YOU !!! What if this had happened under a republican president? You would have been ALL over it !!! What if this had been one of your sons or daughters?

      October 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  43. Chris

    I can understand why a massage parlor in San Francisco (I think) charging $350 to slap people is bigger news than 4 Americans being killed, when some of them could have been saved, and the administration covering it up.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Jim Hendrix

      Chris...you are a wise person

      October 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  44. DavisD

    I can't believe what I'm seeing. CNN has got to be the official apologist network for the Obama administration.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  45. ohio don

    Wolf and gang, credibility gone folks. Actually's been going for some time. It would be intersting to see how Candy would try to spin Obama out of this one. This though, is not a political story. This is an American tragedy. Cover it!

    October 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  46. Nancy

    CNN is a JOKE! Hillary has provided proof that she requested extra security days before the attack! Obama needs to step away from his talk show circuit and start providing answers to the families of the slain and to WE THE PEOPLE! You Obama supporters should consider a write-in campaign for Hillary. At least she's COMPETENT!

    October 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
    • Jim Hendrix

      You are 100% correct Nancy!

      October 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
      • Brandon

        I agree Nancy right on the money. These left wing news organizations days are numbered. Your not reporters your Obama henchmen. Enjoy the ride down with him.

        October 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  47. barry allan

    what happened in Libya is horrible. imagine for a moment, that your son or daughter was one of those killed in the attack, then a president and secretary of state cover up the facts and lie to everyone? how would you feel? how about putting aside your love affair with this president and covering a story like real journalists, so that these survivors can receive some clarity and closure about their dead loved ones! stop playing politics and start playing journalism. this isnt about 1 party or the other; its about getting the truth out because 4 american heros are dead.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  48. Donna G.

    CNN, and most other main stream media, should be ashamed at the lack of Benghazi coverage they're providing. There's been a major update and verified information, and FOX is the only station covering it. This is exactly why CNN's ratings are so low and why they're going down the tubes. CNN is clearly protecting Obama on this. After all, Candy Crowly helped the president during the debate so why would CNN want to be objective?

    October 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • Jim Hendrix

      Donna G....you are right on.

      October 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
    • Now I get it!

      CNN = Obama Cover-up

      October 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
    • doesntmatter

      Maybe you also should ask about what happened 9/11..every politician lie, WAKE UP!!!, look at the american people being divided between two stupid parties. Whoever wins election will not have a say in foreign politics and policies, thatis run by the CIA..do your research...

      October 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  49. Earl DeGroot Cheyenne, Wyoming

    CNN needs to start aggresssively covering this story!! The story should not be ingnored simply because there is an election around the corner. Ignoring such a big story damages your credibility!!

    October 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • Nancy

      LMAO....they lost their credibility a while ago!

      October 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  50. sparx

    Hey, Soledad ... tell us again how there is no evidence of a coverup in Benghazi??

    October 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  51. Ruben

    CNN – at any cost? Such a shame.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  52. TRFjr

    CNN are you for real? Are you actually going to put what is left of you Journalistic Integrity and your Ratings to ignore reports that are not favorable to Obama to help his reelection

    October 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • Jim Hendrix

      Excellent comment TRFjr

      October 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  53. Gregory

    This newest information should sicken Americans to think that we could have saved these men and chose not to and then the Obama administration decided to cover it up with a flimsy lie.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  54. David

    The audacity of not even covering this story like it's big news is simply appalling...

    CNN – You have lost a viewer "forever". Period.

    You keep trying to bury stories like, and we'll keep burying American Heroes...


    October 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
    • Danny

      The blackout on this story by CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS is breath taking! It looms larger than Watergate when you take into account the aspect of murder in this event. The White House continues its Alfred E. Newman shoulder shrug saying "What? Me worry?" while the families mourn and Americans wait for truth. They watched this event real time with the same drones that gave them a ring side seat to Osama's execution. They watched this one too and refused to bring aid. They ignored repeated early requests for protection by a frightened Ambassador. We should be discussing, no DEMANDING, impeachment of both Barrack and Joe. Yes, Joe, this too is "a big F-'ing deal!"

      October 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
      • Pet Packer

        just heard that the one seal guy that (he and the other), ignored stand back orders and went to the aid of the other two, left behind a wife and a 3 MONTH OLD BABY ...... You people that think obama is soooo great need to really let this sink in ..... He and his bunch took away a Husband and a Daddy of a precious lil girl that will never know her Daddy, and know that a president of theUnited States and his cronies had him MURDERED ....

        October 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  55. Linda

    Shame on you CNN-especially Cooper.I always admired you,but no more.Why isn't CNN furious about Benghazi& Obamas coverup-Oh,wait–have to keep hush hush. No wonder you have less& less audiences.You are getting as bad as NBC&MSNBC

    October 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  56. Tony

    Get real. This Obama administration is a failure and you know it. REPORT IT AS IT IS.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  57. yankee lover

    The way that CNN and the rest of the mainstream news media has essentially ignored the Benghazi story is unfathomable to me. How long will you folks bury this story to aid the presidents re-election? History is always the fairest judge and someday my 4 granddaughters will read about how this president and his administration lied to the American people and then attempted to cover it up. They will also read how most of the national news media buried their collective heads in the sand to help ensure a presidents re-election. My granddaughters will shake their heads in disbelief just as I am doing today.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  58. Pam Rowel

    I came to your web site just to see if you were covering the story about Americans calling for help and were denied. Of course you aren't! I knew you wouldn't. I can't believe you still have the audacity to call yourself a news organization. No wonder your ratings are down.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
    • tasajb

      Of course they aren't covering it, because it's not true news. FOX has been pulling out lie after lie on this story since it started. Every single time, thorough reports around the world take their time to get time-lines and dates and FACTS lined up and then report them. Not just on CNN, but all over the globe. Then, we see ONCE AGAIN, that the FOX story is a knee-jerk reaction story with no basis in verifiable fact. The terrorist group the administration supposedly lied about denied all responsibility hours before the attacks were even over.

      October 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
      • Danny

        Since when are redacted copies of REAL e-mail messages and first person accounts of the events implicating your President "knee jerk reactions by Fox News?!" Denial is still more than a river in Egypt.

        October 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  59. TRFjr

    Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were part of a small team who were at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When they heard the shots fired, they radioed to inform their higher-ups to tell them what they were hearing. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. An hour later, they called again to headquarters and were again told to “stand down.”

    Woods and Doherty, who were ultimately killed in the attacks, bravely defied the order to stand down and risked their lives to get to the Consulate:

    Woods, Doherty and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the Consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The quick reaction force from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the Consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.

    At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.

    Why are you not reporting on this CNN?

    October 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      I TOTALLY agree.. how come CNN – shame on you – for not reporting on these facts. Your lack of reporting on this is shameful to those of us who are TRUE Americans. To what country/politics is your allegiance, CNN?

      October 26, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Reply
    • pkf

      It's a phoney story.

      If you lasered a mortar crew firing on your position you would return fire; not ask for permission.

      October 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
      • TRFjr

        Goes to show what you know about military equipment. the laser that was pointed is for targeting reasons so guided weapons fired from other locations can follow the laser to the target

        October 26, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • RightNow

      Yeah. Come on. Why aren't you reporting on this important news?? Heroes died on that day! Those same heroes who should have gotten help.

      October 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  60. Geek34

    Why would anyone, for any reason, give the order to stand down...this is insane!

    October 26, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Reply
    • hp

      Insane to you and me, WAKE UP to reality!

      October 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  61. JoAnn

    As a long time CNN viewer, may I say that your lack of emphasis and bias coverage of this horrific event is discusting? Even with your unabashed, continuing efforts to cover for the failures of this Administraion, I have been loyal to you. Come on, these are American lives that were lost! You have lost one more viewer.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  62. Letty

    I am disgusted that CNN is not being true journalist. You work for this administration, not for the people. How sad. I use to watch CNN years ago, I changed to FOX about over a year ago. What I love about FOX is that they drill not just dems but also republicans when need be. No wonder your rating are going down the toilet.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  63. LL

    Come on people, you're being too hard on the media's fine investigative journalists. Look at how quickly they got to the bottom of how much Ann Romney paid for a blouse, and how diligently they got the information out to the public.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  64. Jz

    This is beyond fathomable for me. I went to ABCNews and there isn't one report on this. Not One! At least CNN thinks they tried! I understand being in the bag for Obama but this is criminal. The Administration knew and did nothing!!! CNN, ABCnews, Brian Williams you re a bunch of frauds.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  65. Dolores Bussey

    What has happened to good, reporting and journalism. CNN has become in my opinion irrelevant thus ratings are poor. I as a black female am so disappointed with you're covering or I should say covering up of the incident in Benghazi. Fox is fair and balanced I will watch them always from now on. You call yourself A News Channel. You are protecting the president. The truth will always come to light. I pray that all of you their at CNN will stop suppressing the Truth!!! You all will one day give an account to the Great Commander In Chief (The Lord Jesus Christ) for all your falsehood, or suppressing the truth.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  66. Linda Vitullo

    CNN, There is new information on the Benghazi attacks today. Where is your coverage?! CIA requesting to move in and help was DENIED! Obama and his team should be ashamed! Where is our leader? Obama, what is your explanation? CNN, your roll is to report, but that wouldn't help Obama's re-election right? There is blood on the hands of this White House and CNN is ignoring it to the benefit of the Obama campaign. Not a great day to be an American.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • JH

      This is criminal! Those responsible for the "stand down" order need to be held accountable. The lies that keep coming from the Obama camp ( or should we say regime) are an outrage! What kind of message has been sent to other nations that pose a threat to our safety and security - you can bet they have taken notice on the current administration's position. It is time for Obama and his team to "step down". Do I hear impeachment! Whose side is Obama and Biden on? All Americans should take note of this event when they are voting. Shame on CNN, ABC, MSNBC, NBC, and CBS for the biased media position.

      God Bless all those standing up to protect America and our interests!

      October 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  67. Phil St.Pierre

    I just heard that Leon Panetta said it was to dangerous to attempt to rescue the 4 AMERICANS ,Yeah! Tell that to the Marines

    October 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  68. Sonia

    I have been watching your channel to see the coverage on Benghazi. Where is it ? What happened to the days when you could count on the news networks to report news. Shame on you for putting your political views ahead of reporting this.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Reply
    • JL

      Exactly. Shame shame, I came for the same reason.

      October 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  69. pthor

    This is absolutely CIMINAL that only FOX news is reporting this travesty! The Whitehouse denied our hero's help while watching them be murdered!!!

    October 26, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  70. Anne Verebely

    I guess you pick what news you report – never mind the 4 people's families who need to know the truth & the cover up & different stories from the State Dept & WH. It was a movie, it was terror, it wasn't a movie, it wasn't a terror...it's all about electing Obama. Here's why your ratings is in the toilet. Biased reporting!

    October 26, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  71. Debbie

    II feel such sadness and anger that our Government watched the Libya situation in real time, and refused the requests three times for help from the people there at our Embassy even though we had Drones, etc. that could have tried to help these people. The fact that President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others have tried to cover this up because of the Election Campaign is shameful. Truth eventually comes to light. The fact that CNN hasn't had this front and center on your news is shamful also. God Bless those families who lost loved ones in this Libya situation.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  72. Jettman

    Guess it is true. The media really is in the tank for Obama.

    I hate to believe it, but it sure seems to be the case.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  73. deerjerkydave

    The media went bananas over the Valerie Plame story, and nobody died! But under Obama we have policies that are getting people killed, whether it is Fast and Furious or inappropriate security in Benghazi. Where is the media now?

    October 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
    • janet sciacca

      Exectly, why are we even wasting our time on this website, CNN is a joke.

      October 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Reply
    • loveinChrist

      AMEN! This administration along with CNN, and the rest of the mainstream media is an utter disgrace!!!! We the people are going to remember this coverup and who, meaning YOU CNN and others that helped mislead this nation about the security of not only our people abroad but our nation as a whole. This administration can"t tell us the truth because they don"t know what truth is. They have told us so many lies, their lies just keep complementing each other, each lie bigger than the last.

      October 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply
    • hereinwashington

      here here dave. this is not even mentioned on MSNBC, and not a top story here. MSNBC is only talking about the 'right wing hate party', 2% GDP increase lifts obama', and how women and LGBT hate Romey. CNN will mention the story only spin it to debunk the truth. Hard to find the truth when the media lies as much as the administration.

      October 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  74. janet sciacca

    CIA operators were denied request for help during Benghazi attack, sources say

    Hillary Clinton, can now be remembered as responsible for the killing of our 4 Americans in Benghazi. Why is CNN not covering this? because they are in the back room trying to figure out a way to not report on it.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/26/cia-operators-were-denied-request-for-help-during-benghazi-attack-sources-say/#ixzz2AQgr7iIu


    October 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  75. Jettman

    I just came over to CNN to see if they had found any journalistic integrity yet.

    Guess not.

    Come on CNN, good men died while the government fwatched in real time...Someone has ailed them. That part is obvious. This is a chance to restore some of your integrity. Do your job as a free press!

    October 26, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • janet sciacca

      CNN is NOT reporting the news anymore. waste of time.

      October 26, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  76. Ragtopman

    WOW CNN your can't you see that the people want the truth. I guess I'll head over to FOX NEWS

    October 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  77. Paul Lorien

    I will admit I am a conservative and I find Fox way to biased most of the time. I flip between channels . I find CNN too liberal, but they are worthy of watching once in awhile. This is so alarming that they are not going to cover this story. As a father of a young enlisted Marine, I am totally eraged that calls for help went unanswered. Those that denied the help deserve to go to jail. My heart goes out to the parens whose children tha USA let be murdered.

    October 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply
    • K_Ippolito

      I agree. I think Fox is too Right and CNN is too left, but you can not deny that help was asked for 3 times. Very sad.

      October 26, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  78. Cristina

    I guess it is true... how disappointing; I though that at least CNN would cover this story. What a shame!!!

    October 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Reply
    • J-9

      The scurrilous actions of this administration certainly belie the new campaign message of the President...trust. How can we trust a man who would deny support to Americans in a firefight? How can we trust a man who would then lie and obfuscate in order to be reelected? Trust!?? Certainly not this President. Where are you CNN?

      October 26, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  79. Holly

    I was in college during Desert Storm. Your presence and reporting was unmatched...and quite frankly brave.
    What happened to you? How did you go from showing the American public the facts to shielding the administration?

    Never in recent history has a sitting president, the Commander and Chief, sat by and WATCHED Americans die...in real time. Never.
    If you cannot report this...then you must not be getting your paychecks from anyone with American interests.
    Freedom of press? Hardly. You have chained yourselves to a lie. Why? What on earth could be your motivation for your obvious compliance to the current administration?

    How does it feel to have blood on your hands? You.Are.A.Disgrace.

    October 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  80. sflmom

    It is shameful the lack of coverage given to the Libya attack. How horrible, what a piece of work you journalist are it makes my stomach turn. I cried when I heard this man Charles Woods describe his meeting with the administration at Andrews next to the body of his son. The POTUS could not look him in the eye and his demeanor was cold, Clinton saying something about the video and Biden telling the father of hero how big his balls were... are you kidding me?
    But what is your lead today on international news the Italian prime minister and his four yr sentence. Shame on all of you... God Bless those four American heros that died for a President and people that don't deserve their loyality or sacrafice.

    October 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  81. Geek34

    The government was watching the attack on the consulate through drones and did nothing.

    The president slept that night as the attacks were going on.

    The next day the president, according to him and Candy Crowley, called this a terror attack. He then flies to Vegas to raise money for his campaign.

    For the next two weeks the president, the Un ambassador and others in the administration pin this attack on some stupid video. In giving this video free publicity, they actually pi$$ of muslims all over the world that didn't even know the video existed.

    The maker of the video gets arrested for "parole violation", and we still do not know if making a stupid youtube video is a parole violation. Until someone convinces me that making a youtuve video is a parole violation, this man's 1st ammendmant rights have been violated.

    The maker of the video is then muzzled, and he cannot talk until after the election. Again, Unless there is a law that says you cannot interview a prisoner, this man's 1st ammendment rights are violated.

    Media like CNN are trying to sweep this under the rug to get their man elected. As far as I am concerned, the media has failed us.

    October 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
    • Chad

      Fox reported a bit ago that there were 3 requests for help from the CIA guys on the ground. I'll usually check anything new like this on another newsource to see how much there is to it and you guys have NOTHING???? This is a disgrace to that brave seal that reportedly disobeyed orders to try and save our ambassador. I will never watch cnn again or check your website I'm so disgusted.

      October 26, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  82. Jeff

    Not reporting what is happening with the Benghazi incident makes you part of the cover-up!

    October 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  83. Dale

    As a Canadian who enjoys American politics, I am stunned by the apparent willingness of CNN to bury this story. There is no other explanation other than their concern about Obama's re-election. I look to CNN for unbiased, professional journalism and I'm afraid it is in short supply.
    Some of your journalists cannot even hide theiir contempt for individuals they interview with whom they disagree, ie: Soledad O'Brien and Carol Costello. What has happened to real news when a senate candidate who said something stupid about abortion gets10X more airtime than Libya yesterday.
    Where are the real journalists who dig for the truth no matter where it lands?

    October 26, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  84. Brandon

    If you want any real news turn to Fox news channel.

    October 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Reply
    • Press

      This administration knew the attack on Benghazi was a terrorist attack and not spontaneous yet three times they refused assistance to the heroic Americans who aided OUR Ambassador at the cost of their own lives. Where are you CNN?

      October 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • janet sciacca

      You got that right!

      October 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  85. Brandon

    I have lost all respect for your "news" organization. When are you going to be journalists and stop being campaigners for Obama. Obama and his administration have lied to cover up the fact that they let american heroes die. I only turn your channel on nowadays to see just how biased you are. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    October 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  86. Janet

    HONESTLY...CNN is politicizing the Benghazi terrorism by NOT reporting the truth and the breaking news! Pretend George Bush was president – you never had difficulty presenting breaking news when he was our leader.

    October 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  87. Chris

    This is even worse than Watergate. On top of the coverup, you have 4 Americans dead and apparently 3 different requests for help were denied. But let's focus on imprtant things like "UFO sighting in Kentucky." Embarrassing

    October 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  88. Old Big Dog

    I know most CNN readers/posters despise Fox News but if you have any concern for this issue you at least need to check it out. Have an open mind and make your own decision regarding what you see.

    Help Was requested and denied by the White House – Fox News reports from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by U.S. officials - who also told the CIA operators twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador's team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/26/cia-operators-were-denied-request-for-help-during-benghazi-attack-sources-say/#ixzz2AQbQMJcb

    October 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  89. Scott

    CNN – Censored News Network. Nothing negative here about the Obama messia ...

    October 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Reply
    • Pet Packer

      Just heard the father of one of our murdered Sons, he's an Attorney and said the coverup and events of how this was handled by the admin that night, is as close to criminal as it gets.... so, why don't clinton, biden, obama, etc. be held responsible and tried for murder ...... kinda treason? .... legally, I don't know but these people that caused these 4 Sons be murdered "need to be held CRIMINALLY responsible" and proscecuted.

      October 26, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  90. tamtag

    black hawk down....no back up

    October 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  91. Phil

    Wow CNN, You have betrayed the America people with your bias reporting. Where is the TRUTH?????

    October 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Reply
    • Pet Packer


      October 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
    • Sandy

      Where is YOUR coverage on this subject?????
      Biggest issue going and CNN reporters are afraid to report on it. Shame on you guys...4 PEOPLE DIED !!! where is your reporting???

      October 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Reply


    October 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  93. brent taylor

    As a former member of the military, I simply can not believe I could be under attack for hours, call for help three times and be left to die. The fact that CNN and the rest of the liberal media is not all over this is unbelievable. How can any news outlet ignore this story. Do you have no sham? Put yourself in the shoes of men under fire, fighting for there lives. They are there trying to recover arms that can take down airliners. They are there protecting the lives of all of us. The call goes out for help and help is told to stand down???? HOW CAN CNN IGNORE THIS???????

    October 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  94. CDMO3

    Whjy is CNN not headlining the Benghazi story? This is huge and you should be all over it! What is wrong with you people? YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED TO CALL YOURSELVES A NEWS AGENCY!!!

    October 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  95. Caitlyn Smiuth

    CNN is slow in the uptake of this news story because they are too worried about covering the presidents a$$. This says to me and to others that by not covering this story in full CNN is condoning the presidents lying and disrespecting the brave men that died in Benghazi. CNN needs to get a grip, and me and everyone else that REALLY cares about the truth and whats going on in the world are switching over to FOX NEWS!!!!!!!!!!

    October 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Reply


    October 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  97. John Bashe

    Hey CNN – If you have even a tiny shred of journalistic integrity left at this network, RUN THE WHOLE BENGHAZI STORY. And don't bury it in some obscure link.
    Watergate was a major scandal that brought down a President, but NOBODY DIED.
    So why isn't this your lead story? 4 brave men died and the apparently the administration made a concious decision to leave them and the other Americans there to fend for themselves. I suspect Obama's first concern was to not offend any Muslims. And since when do we need to ask a ragtag 3rd world country for permission to rescue our people ?

    In the beginning .......
    CNN = Cable News Network
    Then there was .....
    CNN = Clinton News Network
    And now ..........
    CNN = Cowards News Network


    October 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Reply


      October 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
      • TEASTONE


        October 26, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  98. Geek34

    We're very close to being a nation run by state media

    October 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  99. Steve Hill

    3 times the defenders of Benghazi called for help, with the White House watching through 2 drones circling the compound,
    and 3 times THEY heard NO. 6 weeks later those dead patriots are hearing NO again from CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC.
    WHY!! Is Barack Obama so important to these news agencies that they will stand on the sidelines???

    October 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  100. American

    CNN, you guys are not a news organization, your'e an Obama deflection machine!

    October 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Reply
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