I just don't see anything in there that says, "it was the video that caused it." She references the Egyptian protest, which was about the video, but she did not say that the protest in Libya was about the video. She also clearly says that there's an ongoing investigation, and that what she was about to say was not definitive.She didn't just reference the protest. She referenced it as being assessed as the main impetus for the incident.
That's a very, very unfair interpretation of what she said. She never once said that the attacks were caused purely by the video, or that the video was the prime motive in the attacks. She only referenced the video in terms of the Cairo protest. This is a far cry from saying that the consulate attack was a pure result of the video, as she never once ascribes the video as the reason why "more extreme elements" came to the consulate and performed a coordinated attack. If the embassy in Egypt was being surrounded for another reason, then the assessment as to why the Libya consulate attack occurred would not change, one bit. It would still be a copy-cat event. But that ignores the evidence that the video did have some
role in the event (below)
Besides, before and
after she made those comments, she was clear in saying there is an on-going investigation, and that what she was saying was preliminary and subject to change and revisals depending upon the results of the investigations. That is not
the hard claim that people say she made, that she was saying the attack was due to the video's.
And assuming the stuff I've read here and there is valid, the claim by her that at the time they had no evidence that it was premeditated is dubious
The latest intelligence reports being given is that there still isn't any evidence that the event was planned in advance. The intelligence reports are still saying that this was an opportunistic attack.
Here's a pretty good article dealing with the topic:http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/10/cutting-through-fog-benghazi-brief-qa
But why did anyone think there was anything "spontaneous" about this in the first place? In fact, the assault on the consulate was preplanned by "Al Qaeda elements," as Libyan President Mohammed Magarief said, wasn't it?
No. The LA Times reports that Magarief was mistaken: "The assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi last month appears to have been an opportunistic attack rather than a long-planned operation, and intelligence agencies have found no evidence that it was ordered by Al Qaeda, according to U.S. officials and witnesses interviewed in Libya…The attack was 'carried out following a minimum amount of planning,' said a U.S. intelligence official…A second U.S. official added, 'There isn't any intelligence that the attackers pre-planned their assault days or weeks in advance.' Most of the evidence so far suggests that 'the attackers launched their assault opportunistically after they learned about the violence at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo' earlier that day, the official said."
Bottom line: There were conflicting reports on the ground, and that was reflected in conflicting and sometimes confused reports from the White House. I don't think anyone would pretend that the Obama's administration's response to Benghazi was anywhere near ideal. Nevertheless, the fact is that their statements were usually properly cautious; the YouTube video really did play a role; the attack was opportunistic, not preplanned; and it doesn't appear to have had any serious connection with Al Qaeda. It's true that it took about 10 days for all this to really shake out, but let's be honest: 10 days isn't all that long to figure out what really happened during a violent and chaotic attack halfway around the world. I get that it's a nice opportunity for Republicans to score some political points in the runup to an election, but really, there's not much there there.
I've really linked to all of this information already.