National Intelligence director pleads incompetence

Extremists from groups linked to al Qaida struck the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in a “deliberate and organized terrorist attack,” the top U.S. intelligence agency said Friday, as it took responsibility for the Obama administration’s initial claims that the deadly assault grew from a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islam video.

The unusual statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence appeared to have two goals: updating the public on the latest findings of the investigation into the assault, and shielding the White House from a political backlash over its original accounts.

“In the immediate aftermath (of the assault), there was information that led us to assess that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo,” spokesman Sean Turner said in the statement. “We provided that initial assessment to executive branch officials and members of Congress, who used that information to discuss the attack publicly.”

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which coordinates and sets policies for the 16 other U.S. intelligence agencies, is led by retired Air Force Gen. James Clapper, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in August 2010.

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It looks to me like Clapper is falling on his sword to protect Obama.  His statement still makes no sense in light of the fact that the intelligence was pretty clear in the first 24 hours that this was a planned terrorist attack sponsored by an al Qaeda affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia.  Yet days later the administration since ambassador rice out to mislead the country about the attack and Obama persisted in pushing the false narrative well beyond the time frame Clapper is talking about.  Perhaps that was because he was skipping intelligence briefings and too busy to read the news, but campaigning is no excuse for this kind of incompetence by a President or his staff.

IBD shows a timeline that suggest Clapper is not coming clean on what was known and when they knew it.


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