Intel Source Challenges Obama's Account of Deadly Consulate Attack
September 17, 2012
An intelligence source on the ground in Libya told Fox News that there was no demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi prior to last week's attack -- challenging the Obama administration's claims that the assault grew out of a "spontaneous" protest against an anti-Islam film.
"There was no protest and the attacks were not spontaneous," the source said, adding the attack "was planned and had nothing to do with the movie."
The source said the assault came with no warning at about 9:35 p.m. local time, and included fire from more than two locations. The assault included RPG's and mortar fire, the source said, and consisted of two waves.
The account that the attack started suddenly backs up claims by a purported Libyan security guard who told McClatchy Newspapers late last week that the area was quiet before the attack.
"There wasn't a single ant outside," the unnamed guard, who was being treated in a hospital, said in the interview.
These details appear to conflict with accounts from the Obama administration that the attack spawned from an out-of-control protest. The Libyan president also said Sunday that the strike was planned in advance.
U.S. officials, in response to the claim that there was no demonstration at the time of the attack, told Fox News there was a small protest earlier in the day -- but they did not dispute that there was no significant or sizeable demonstration at the time.
But a senior Obama administration official told Fox News on Monday morning that the Libyan president's comments are not consistent with "the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community," which has been investigating the incident, and are accordingly not credible.
"He doesn't have the information we have," the U.S. official said of Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif. ""He doesn't have the (data) collection potential that we have."
The Libyan leader told CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that the government in Tripoli harbors "no doubt" that the Sept. 11 attack that killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was "preplanned, predetermined." That assessment conflicted directly with the preliminary conclusion offered on Sunday by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who appeared on all five Sunday morning talk shows.