Benghazi Attack, 9/11/2012
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Table of Contents
- FOIA Search for Documents on Benghazi
- Progress Report on Benghazi Terror Attack Investigation
- The Black Vault's FAQ's on Benghazi
- Timeline of Documents and Events Relating to the Benghazi Attack
- Flashing Red: A Special Report on the Terrorist Attack At Benghazi (Official Senate Report)
- Historical government records, detailing the highly volatile situation in Libya and Benghazi
- Archived News Articles (Non-FOIA Documents, but linked for research)
- Video Archive
On September 11, 2012 in Libya, a heavily armed group executed an attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. The attack began at night in a U.S. diplomatic compound for the consulate, and ended at another diplomatic compound nearby where the U.S. intelligence was posted. Killed were U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other members of his diplomatic mission, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith and U.S. embassy security personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. Two other Americans and seven Libyans were also injured. The Benghazi attack was strongly condemned by the governments of Libya, the United States and other countries around the world.
Libyans held demonstrations in Benghazi and Tripoli, condemning the violence and holding signs such as, "Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans", and apologizing to Americans for the actions in their name and in the name of Muslims. On September 21, about 30,000 Libyans protested against armed militias in their country including Ansar al-Sharia, an Islamist militia alleged to have played a role in the attack, and stormed several militia headquarters, forcing the occupants to flee. On September 23, the Libyan president ordered that all unauthorized militias either disband or come under government control. Militias across the country began surrendering to the government and submitting to its authority. Hundreds of Libyans gathered in Tripoli and Benghazi to hand over their weapons to the government.
The attack followed the mobbing of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, which was in reaction to the anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims. On September 28, U.S. intelligence revised their initial assessment to indicate that it "was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists". Questions about whether the White House should have stated or did state this conclusion earlier and whether the site of the assault was adequately secured before and after the attack created political controversy during the US 2012 Presidential election then underway. The United States investigation of the attack is being conducted separately by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Source: Wikipedia
Note from The Black Vault: I have filed FOIA requests to multiple agencies regarding this attack. I am still awaiting additional records responsive to the attack, but have included the below records from my archives for research.
The following are documents received under the FOIA regarding Benghazi. I still have MULTIPLE requests still open and being processed, and they will be made available here when I get them.
- DoD Response for Records [2 Pages, 0.6mb]
- Benghazi "Talking Point" Timeline revisions [8 Pages, 1.7mb] - This document, released by ABC News, shows the different versions of the "talking points" relating to Benghazi. There is a drastic change over the course of 12 revisions.
- White House Releases Emails Regarding Benghazi [100 Pages, 29.12mb] - On 5/15/2013, The White House released 100 pages of emails regarding the 'talking points' that would be discussed in the days that followed the attack in Benghazi. Up until this date, the White House refused to release them to congressional investigators.
Progress Report on Benghazi Terror Attack Investigation
Last year, Speaker John Boehner asked the House committees on Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, Judiciary, and Oversight & Government Reform to investigate the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans. On 4/23/13, these five committees released their progress report, which outlines their findings and the next steps in the investigation.
- Progress Report on Benghazi Terror Attack Investigation [46 Pages, 0.99mb]
- Q: Why is the Benghazi incident important?
A: Benghazi is important because the Obama Administration has had a long, controversial history, of not labeling attacks on America as "terrorism" even though evidence shows to the contrary. For example, on November 5, 2009, Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 29 in the Ft. Hood Texas Shooting. Regardless of his ties to a terrorist Sheik in the Middle East, the incident is labeled "workplace violence."
On June 1, 2009, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad kills one, and wounds another at the Little Rock, Arkansas military recruiting office. When questioned about the shooting, Muhammad said he did so in the name of "Allah" and the killing was acceptable under Islamic Law. Yet, Muhammad is being tried as a "murderer" and with the okay of the federal government, is not being tried as a terrorist.
Why are incidents, like the ones above, never labeled as terrorism? Benghazi was originally not cited as terrorism either, but was blamed on a "spontaneous mob action" based on a YouTube video mocking the Islamic Prophet Mohammad.
- Q: Who cares if it was labeled as "terrorism" or a "spontaneous mob action" due to a video?
A: If the Benghazi incident was immediately labeled as "terrorism" the mainstream media would have been forced to ask certain questions, like "Why did you miss this?" "Why didn't you increase security on September 11th, the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks?" "Could you have planned better?" etc. But as a "spontaneous mob action" - those questions would never be asked, and the incident would probably blow over.
Accusations of "weak foreign policy" coupled with "inadequate security measures" could have plagued the Obama administration, especially since this was within 60 days of arguably the closest Presidential races in American history. Could this have been a stalling tactic to take the Administration past the November elections?
- Q: But it came out in the Presidential debate that Obama did label it as "terrorism" on September 12th in the White Hose Rose Garden, and Obama himself did not disagree with the moderator. Case closed, right?
A: Wrong. Obama never attributed the Benghazi attacks to "terror," "terrorism," or an "act of terror". What Obama said was that, "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve on this great nation..." towards the end of the speech, however, he was speaking about the 9/11/01 attacks, and his visits to victims and family members. He had switched topics in the context of his speech while making this comment.
Below, in the archive, you can watch the video for yourself and see Obama's real words about the attack on September 12th, and how on multiple occasions he, along with Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State, do not acknowledge the incident a "terrorist" attack.
- Q: Ok, it's now labeled as "terrorism." So why does it matter?
A: The fact that it is now labeled as "terrorism" and was not a "spontaneous mob actions" offers up a new set of questions, since the Benghazi issue will not go away. Could they have helped the 4 men that were killed? Were there assets on the ground that could have been there in time?
Although some elements in the intelligence community are claiming we could not have done anything different, many disagree. Multiple news agencies across the globe, including FoxNews, are uncovering stories and facts that may show motive for a cover-up.
Without retyping the work and analysis done, here is a source for reference that analyzes the two timelines now released by the CIA on November 1st, and the Pentagon on November 9th.
Military Timeline From Night Of Benghazi Attack Begs More Questions
- Q: FoxNews? They lie and are biased. So I won't believe it.
A: Unfortunately, I believe you should not be so quick to dismiss the evidence. Without debating that FoxNews is or isn't biased, the material above is sourced with official timelines by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon. The discrepancies are outlined in the article, using these official documents and records only. Dismissing those based on the fact that you believe FoxNews is biased is a complete disservice and shun to the documented truth along with the lives of the 4 men who died on 9/11/12.
- Q: Ok, so what else points to a cover-up?
A: On September 14th, 2012, only days after the attack, CIA Director General David Petraeus told the CIA's official story: it was due to the internet video, and not due to a "terrorist" plot. This, was at least how according to Congressman Peter King recalled the testimony.
However, on November 16, 2012, Petraeus testified behind closed doors, and said that the CIA knew almost immediately that the attack was not based on any video, was a terrorist attack, and there were links to Al Qaeda. These "talking points" were given from the CIA for White House Spokespeople and personnel. Yet, something happened. According to not only Petraeus, but also according to the testimony of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and acting CIA Director Mike Morell, no one knew how the "talking points" were changed.
Someone outside of our intelligence community altered the official line which "fundamentally changed" the scope of the story, and the cause of the Benghazi attacks. Why?
- Q: What does The Black Vault conclude?
A: With the evidence outline above, and below, as of January 20th, 2013, I won't put an official line on what exactly this all means. But in my mind, the evidence speaks for itself.
It is a huge injustice to not only the four men who died on 9/11/12, but the American people to ignore the evidence. This issue is wildly ignored by the mainstream media, and for that reason, the Obama Administration has easily avoided the topic for more than 2 months.
It is my opinion based on the above, and below, that the entire issue was stalled with false stories and stonewalling, which took the Administration past the November elections. Someone in the Obama administration, altered the official line of the intelligence community, and gave a different tone and scope to the cause of Benghazi.
The legal ramifications and political backlash, if any, will be drawn out for years with legal proceedings, bureaucracy, stalling, and just like the Fast and Furious scandal under the Obama Administration, probably "Executive Privilege." But, in my mind, the facts remains - this is a cover-up. But how high does it go?
- 8/27/12 - Travel Warning, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Bureau of Consular Affairs, in regards to Libya [2 Pages, 113kb] - Specifically mentions Benghazi with increased violence.
- 9/11/12 - Statement on the Attack in Benghazi, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, Department of State [1 Page, 90kb] - Blames internet video for attack. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- 9/12/12 - Statement by the President on the Attack in Benghazi [1 Page, 96kb] - Written Statement released by the President. No mention of video. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- 9/12/12 - Statement by the President on the Attack in Benghazi, Rose Garden Speech [Video] - No mention of "terror" or "terrorism" in relation to Benghazi. Says "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve on this great nation..." at the end of the speech, however, he was speaking about the 9/11/01 attacks, and his visits to victims and family members.
- 9/12/12 - Remarks on the Deaths of American Personnel in Benghazi, Libya, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, Department of State [3 Pages, 90kb] - The video of this speech, is below in the Video Archive. Blames internet video for attack. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- 9/12/12 - Press Statement on the Deaths of American Personnel in Benghazi, Libya, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, Department of State [2 Pages, 101kb]-
Blames internet video for attack. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- 9/12/12 - Remarks on the Deaths of American Personnel in Benghazi, Libya, Susan Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations , U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Department of State [3 Pages, 98kb] - Blames internet video for attack. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- 9/12/12 - Briefing by Senior Administration Officials to Update Recent Events in Libya [3 Pages, 98kb] - Will not answer if internet video was cause of attack. Will not anser if there is a "terrorism" link.
- 9/13/12 - State Department Daily Press Briefing [21 Pages, 180kb] - Confirms blaming internet video for attack. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- 9/13/12 - Statement on the Deaths of Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty in Benghazi, Libya, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, Department of State [2 Pages, 101kb]- No mention of video. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- 9/14/12 - Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney [17 Pages, 166kb] Blames internet video as attack. Denies any "concrete evidence" of a "terror" link that would show "[the attack] to not being in response to the film."
- 9/14/12 - Remarks at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony to Honor Those Lost in Attacks in Benghazi, Libya, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State [3 Pages, 99kb] Blames internet video as attack. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- 9/14/12 - Remarks at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony to Honor Those Lost in Attacks in Benghazi, Libya, President Barack Obama [2 Pages, 125kb]- No mention of video. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- 10/09/12 - Background Briefing on Libya [13 Pages, 140kb]-
Said video was not their conclusion for attack..No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- 10/10/12 - On-The-Record Briefing by Under Secretary Kennedy [4 Pages, 110kb] - WATCH VIDEO - No mention of video. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- 10/12/12 - Hearing on Benghazi Security Issues, Testimony Before the House Oversight Subcommittee, Patrick Kennedy, Under Secretary for Management [4 Pages, 108kb]- No mention of video. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- 10/12/12 - Hearing on Benghazi Security Issues, Testimony Before the House Oversight Subcommittee, Charlene Lamb, Deputy Assistant, Secretary of State [8 Pages, 124kb] - No mention of video. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- 10/12/12 - Hearing on Benghazi Security Issues, Prepared Statement Before the House Oversight Subcommittee, Eric Allan Nordstrom, Regional Security Officer, Tripoli, Libya from September 21, 2011-July 26, 2012 [12 Pages, 191kb]-
No mention of video. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- 10/15/12 - Interview With Margaret Brennan of CBS, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State [4 Pages, 108kb] - No mention of video. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- 11/09/12 - Daily Press Briefing, Victoria Nuland, Spokesperson [19 Pages, 190kb]- No mention of video. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
- Flashing Red: A Special Report on the Terrorist Attack At Benghazi [31 Pages, 0.4mb] - While our country spent September 11, 2012, remembering the terrorist attacks that took place 11 years earlier, brave Americans posted at U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, were fighting for their lives against a terrorist assault. When the fight ended, U.S. Ambassador to Libya John C. (Chris) Stevens and three other Americans were dead and U.S. facilities in Benghazi were left in ruin. We must remember the sacrifice that these selfless public servants made to support the struggle for freedom in Libya and to improve our own national security. While we mourn their deaths, it is also crucial that we learn from how they died. By examining the circumstances of the attack in Benghazi on September 11th, we hope to gain a better understanding of what went wrong and what we must do now to ensure better protection for American diplomatic personnel who must sometimes operate in dangerous places abroad.
- Conflict with Libya: Use of Military Force Against Terrorism, 8 Feb 1994 [30 Pages, 1.1mb] - The United States attack on Libya on April 15, 1986 was the culmination of a series of developments in U.S. foreign policy and military strategy intended to combat international terrorism. It was the culmination of the U.S. attempt to use both non- military and military methods to combat terrorism. This paper examines the use of military force as an appropriate means to combat terrorism. In particular, the 1986 conflict with Libya is examined concentrating on the following aspects: whether operational level objectives contributed to achievement of strategic goals; and the use of military force as an effective instrument in the war against terrorism. This paper concludes that the use of military force (along with the European non- military responses) was an effective instrument in the war against terrorism as measured by the decrease in Libyan sponsored attacks from 1986 to 1991. However, the U.S. attack on Libya is still an isolated event and does not provide a sufficient basis for a doctrine of military retaliation against terrorism.
- Libya: A Future Arab Democracy [43 Pages, 0.6mb] - Libya has overthrown its long time dictator Muammar Gadhafi with the aid of both Western and Arab militaries. The United States acted under the authority of U.N. mandate 1973 as part of a broad coalition of both NATO and Arab Nations primarily in a supporting role. In Libya, as in its neighbors Egypt and Tunisia, the successful revolution has now established transitional governments who’s effectiveness is yet to be determined. Unlike other Arab nations, Libya possesses a combination of vast oil reserves, a small and balanced population, and a relatively high education level in its citizens. These factors all bode well for the establishment of a lasting representative government. If successful, Libya can not only secure its borders, and deny safe haven to terrorism as is the declared interest of the United States, but also serve as a positive economic and political influence on the region. Egypt remains the most significant and strategic nation in the region, but the benefits of a successful Libya and the relatively low cost at which it may be achieved should not be overlooked.
- Libya: Unrest and US Policy [43 Pages, 0.7mb] - Over 40 years ago, Muammar al Qadhafi led a revolt against the Libyan monarchy in the name of nationalism, self-determination, and popular sovereignty. Opposition groups citing the same principles are now revolting against Qadhafi to bring an end to the authoritarian political system he has controlled in Libya for the last four decades. The Libyan government’s use of force against civilians and opposition forces seeking Qadhafi’s overthrow sparked an international outcry and led the United Nations Security Council to adopt Resolution 1973, which authorizes “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians. The United States military is participating in Operation Unified Protector, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military operation to enforce the resolution. Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and other partner governments also are participating. Qadhafi and his supporters have described the uprising as a foreign and Islamist conspiracy and are attempting to outlast their opponents. Qadhafi remains defiant amid continuing coalition air strikes, and his forces continue to attack opposition-held areas. Some opposition figures have formed an Interim Transitional National Council (ITNC), which claims to represent all areas of the country. They seek foreign political recognition and material support.
- A Nation at the Periphery: Libyan Regionalism Revisited [43 Pages, 0.6mb] - This article places the current Libyan conflict in historical perspective by focusing on the dynamics between the country’s two main regions (Tripolitania and Cyrenaica) during key moments of the 20th century. Particular attention is given to the different way each of the two regions approached the early period of Italian colonialism, from 1911 to 1923. The paper shows that historical relations between the two regions are characterized by both independence and interdependence and that this pattern is reemerging as the country transitions to a new era.
** Pleae note: A SPECIAL thanks is given to all news agencies below for their work in covering the Benghazi attack. Although The Black Vault has transitioned to only using excerpts from news articles for archival purposes, the below articles are used in their entirety for the sake of archival and historical purposes - which in this case - is believed to be 'fair use' on The Black Vault.
- 05/14/2013, Washington Post: Obama’s claim he called Benghazi an ‘act of terrorism’ - Four Pinocchios
- 05/10/2013, CBS: Emails reveal a flurry of changes to Benghazi talking points
- 05/06/2013, CBS: Diplomat: U.S. Special Forces told "you can't go" to Benghazi during attacks
- 04/29/2013, FoxNews: Benghazi: Threats against ‘Whistleblowers’ Alleged
- 11/27/2012, Politico: Rice: We didn't intend to mislead on Benghazi
- 11/27/2012, USA Today: GOP senators criticize Susan Rice after meeting
- 11/27/2012, CNN: CNN Poll: Americans rate W.H. response to Benghazi attack and Petraeus resignation
- 1/27/2012, RedState: The Benghazi-Syria Connection
- 11/27/2012, CBS News: Susan Rice to meet with McCain on Benghazi
- 11/20/2012, CBS News: Office of the DNI cut "al Qaeda" reference from Benghazi talking points, and CIA, FBI signed off
- 11/16/2012, FoxNews: Intel officials unable to say who changed CIA talking points on Libya, lawmaker says
- 11/16/2012, The Wall Street Journal: Flashback: What Susan Rice Said About Benghazi
- 11/16/2012, Reuters: In Benghazi testimony, Petraeus says al Qaeda role known early
- 11/16/2012, Washington Post: Clinton to testify before Congress about Benghazi attack
- 11/15/2012, Time: Benghazi’s Real Scandal: Why Is the Libyan Investigation Such a Mess?
- 11/14/2012, FoxNews: Petraeus agrees to testify on Libya before congressional committees
- 11/11/2012, FoxNews: Military timeline from night of Benghazi attack begs more questions
- 11/10/2012, The Washington Examiner: House asks Clinton to testify on Benghazi, but she declines due to scheduling conflict
- 11/10/2012, Department of Defense (DoD): DOD Releases Detailed Timeline for Benghazi Response
- 11/10/2012, TownHall.com: Lessons of the Battle of Benghazi
- 11/09/2012, The Washington Post: Pentagon says troops meant for Benghazi response would have been late
- 11/08/2012, FoxNews: Benghazi attack suspect list expands to include Egyptians
- 11/07/2012, Reuters: Congress to continue probes of Benghazi attacks
- 11/02/2012, Human Events, by Pat Buchanan: The smoking gun of the Benghazi cover-up
- 11/02/2012, NewsMax: McCain: WH Covering Up Benghazi to 'Ridiculous' Extent
- 11/02/2012, NewsBusters: ABC and CBS Ignore Their Own Reporters As Benghazi Blackout Reaches 7 Days
- 11/02/2012, Associated Press: Pentagon foresaw possibility that attacks on US posts in Benghazi might lead to hostages
- 11/02/2012, The Miami Herald: Marco Rubio On Benghazi: 'There's Classified Information That People Should Know'
- 11/01/2012, Chicago Tribune: CIA officials in Libya made key decisions during Benghazi attacks
- 10/30/2012, The Examiner: Unreleased video shows Obama admitting Benghazi attack was planned
- 10/30/2012, The Atlantic Wire: Pentagon Denies Fox News Benghazi Report
- 10/30/2012, Creators.com: Benghazi: Symbol of Obama's Leadership
- 10/27/2012, USA Today: Obama rebuffs Benghazi questions
10/26/2012, Christian Science Monitor: Benghazi attack: Urgent call for military help ‘was denied by chain of command’
- 10/26/2012, WND: Now Reuters contradicts itself on Benghazi attacks
10/26/2012, Washington Times: Benghazi-gate continues: CIA operators were told to 'stand down'
- 10/26/2012, Washington Examiner: Obama twice dodges Benghazi question
- 10/26/2012, Canada Free Press (Editorial): Benghazi: the Great Media Whitewash…. a National Disgrace
10/26/2012, Canada Free Press (Editorial): Benghazi Lies: A Free Nation Hangs in the Balance
- 10/26/2012, Washington Times (Editorial): OLIVER NORTH: Obama’s Benghazi failure
- 10/25/2012, Forbes: Benghazi: Obama's Actions Amount To A Shameful Dereliction Of Duty
Eldensword wrote 4 Days Ago (positive)1Thanks to The Black Vault for this extensive and comprehensive breakdown of these events! I'm finally "caught up" on it all and now conversley, caught up into it all. What a shame our political leadership has become over the decades. Dang it, Ron, we want you back!0 points