About two weeks ago, David Kirkpatrick wrote in the New York Times that the Benghazi attack was the result of a spontaneous reaction to an anti-islam video trailer — echoing the debunked Susan Rice talking point (repeated by both President Obama and Hillary Clinton).
Now even the US State Department is saying that’s untrue. According to Catherine Herridge at Fox News,
The State Department on Friday for the first time blamed specific groups and militants for the 2012 Benghazi attack, designating them as terrorists — a move that further undermines initial claims the attack was spontaneous.
The department announced that it was labeling Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi and Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah as terror organizations, in part over their role in the Benghazi attack.The State Department also labeled as terrorists Sufian bin Qumu, head of the Darnah branch and a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, and Ahmed Abu Khattalah, head of the Benghazi branch.
Khattalah granted interviews after the incident and according to his Guantanamo file, has historic ties to the al-Qaida network, including training at “Usama bin Laden’s Torkham camp.”
Why this sudden change in tune from the State Department? And is it the typical DC beltway two-step to issue a statement on a Friday so it won’t be noticed?
Seems to me this State Department statement completely refutes and makes irrelevant the “report” by David Kirkpatrick — as if it were relevant anyway.
What does the statement actually mean? The new terror designation bars anyone from providing or trying to provide “material support or resources” to those organizations and individuals, and freezes any assets they have in the U.S. The State Department has also announced it is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of anyone involved in the Benghazi attack.
Earlier this week we shared a letter sent to Speaker of the House John Boehner requesting a select committee, with subpoena powers, to specifically investigate Benghazi. I’d hate to see our country more concerned with an off-ramp in New Jersey than the deaths of four Americans.
Something horrific happened in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Ty Woods, and Glenn Doherty, and the victims’ families and survivors deserve the truth.
The State Department statement just confirmed this was a terrorist attack. Now we must be vigilant in resolving why Ambassador Stevens was there and why he was placed in the middle of Islamic terrorist territory, without requisite and requested security forces.