Sharyl Attkisson broke the story on CBS news with the following brief report. PDF of the emails is here.
SHARYL ATTKISSON (voice-over): The e-mails contain the earliest descriptions so far of what happened at Benghazi the night of the attack. At 4:05 p.m. Eastern time on September 11, an alert from the State Department operations center was issued to a number of government and intelligence agencies - included were the White House Situation Room, the office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI: 'U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi under attack. Approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well. Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four chief of mission personnel are in the compound safe haven.'
The Big Three network morning news shows gave the story a few seconds at most. Contrast that with the 88 minutes they spent in one week rehashing Romney's "47%" comment.
Of course the obvious reason for the paucity of coverage is that this latest revelation is damning to the Obama Administration coverup of their blatant attempt to point the finger of blame for the attacks away from their negligence of the security needs of our diplomatic personnel and their desire to avoid tarnishing Obama's political claim that Al Queda was on the run. Another email in the same batch was sent with the heading "Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack." Ansar is an Al Queda affiliation group.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded to the news by saying that "There were emails about all sorts of information that was becoming available in the aftermath of the attack." OK, if you have conflicting sources of information what are they? These are not ordinary emails which someone might read the next day. They are near real time bulletins of an ongoing security crisis. Alarm bells surely were ringing all over the government as indicated by the wide distribution of these emails to the top levels of our national security apparatus. Not once in this story have we seen or heard of ANY source which contradicts that this was a terrorist attack and one with links to Al Queda.
Yet, five days after the attack, claiming that it was based on intelligence reports UN Ambassador Susan Rice acting as the sole Administration spokesperson appeared on five Sunday news shows and said some variation of her words here from Meet the Press:
SUSAN RICE: "The best information that we have available to us today our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of-- of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. What we think then transpired in Benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. They came with heavy weapons which unfortunately are readily available in post revolutionary Libya. And it escalated into a much more violent episode. Obviously, that’s-- that’s our best judgment now."That's a highly detailed and specific response. Just one problem. Not one word of it is true. WHY? Again, who told her to say these things and to repeat them over and over? It's unfortunate that this story didn't break prior to the last presidential debate. It might have forced Obama to actually answer this and other questions.
Meanwhile, to his stump speech on the campaign trail Obama has returned to suggesting that Al Queda is on the run. Really? Running to fill the void Obama left in our security perhaps. Obama also said "There’s no more serious issue on a presidential campaign than trust. Trust matters." This coming from the man who, along with his Administration, hasn't been telling the truth about what happened in Libya!