To be honest? I almost find this reassuring:
Within 24 hours of the 9-11 anniversary attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda–affiliated operatives were behind the attack, and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers. Three separate U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the early information was enough to show that the attack was planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya.
Nonetheless, it took until late last week for the White House and the administration to formally acknowledge that the Benghazi assault was a terrorist attack. On Sunday, Obama adviser Robert Gibbs explained the evolving narrative as a function of new information coming in quickly on the attacks. “We learned more information every single day about what happened,” Gibbs said on Fox News. “Nobody wants to get to the bottom of this faster than we do.”
I would be more alarmed if this revealed that our intelligence agencies didn’t know it was a terrorist attack. The big question is why they lied to us. Maybe you could argue they were trying to maintain some uncertainty so they could catch these bastards. But … it wasn’t exactly a secret. The Libyan government knew and said so. The commentariat knew and said so. Somewhere, out in Mongolia, there’s a yak herder who has no internet who knew. So … who did they think they were fooling.
Well, at least know they’re digging in and … oh, Christ:
More than two weeks after four Americans — including the U.S. ambassador to Libya — were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, FBI agents have not yet been granted access to investigate in the eastern Libyan city, and the crime scene has not been secured, sources said.
“They’ve gotten as far as Tripoli now, but they’ve never gotten to Benghazi,” CNN National Security Analyst Fran Townsend said Wednesday, citing senior law enforcement officials.
Some of this was departmental infighting. And I suspect some of the delay is coming from the Libyan government. But still. When 9/11 went off, we had FBI agents interrogated AQ operatives within less than a day. There is no excuse for going two damned weeks before securing the site. None.