Timeline of a Disaster: Benghazi, Our President, and an Epic Failure to Lead

A chronology of events leading up to and after the Benghazi attacks as compiled by the Heritage Foundation (italics mine) :

PRIOR to September 11th, 2012

April 6: IED thrown over the fence of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

April 11: Gun battle erupts between armed groups two-and-a-half miles from the U.S. Consulate, including rocket-propelled grenades.

April 27: Two South African contractors are kidnapped by armed men, released unharmed.

May 1: Deputy Commander of U.S. Embassy Tripoli’s  Local Guard Force is carjacked, beaten, and detained by armed youth.

May 1: British Embassy in Tripoli is attacked by a violent mob and set on fire. Other NATO embassies attacked as well.

May 3: The State Department declines a request from personnel concerned about security at the U.S. Embassy in Libya for a DC-3 plane to take them around the country.

May 22: Two rocket-propelled grenades are fired at the Benghazi office of the International Committee of the Red Cross, less than 1 mile from the U.S. Consulate.

June 6: A large IED destroys part of the security perimeter of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Creates hole “big enough for 40 men to go through.”

June 10: A car carrying the British ambassador is attacked in Tripoli. Two bodyguards injured.

Late June: The building of the International Red Cross attacked again and closed down, leaving the U.S. flag as the only international one still flying in Benghazi, an obvious target.

August 6: Armed assailants carjack a vehicle with diplomatic plates operated by U.S. personnel.

September 8: A local security officer in Benghazi warns American officials about deteriorating security.

September 11: Protesters attack the U.S. Cairo embassy. U.S. Embassy releases statement and tweets sympathizing with Muslim protesters/attackers.

September 11: U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya is attacked, Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans are killed.

September 12: Secretary Clinton and President Obama issue statements condemning both the video and the attacks.

September 12: U.S. intelligence agencies have enough evidence to conclude a terrorist attack was involved.

September 13: Press Secretary Jay Carney condemns video and violence at a news conference. (ONE day after intelligence agencies had enough evidence to prove the attack was a pre-planned act of terror.)

September 14: Carney denies Administration had “actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent.” (TWO days after intelligence agencies had enough evidence to prove the attack was a pre-planned act of terror.)

September 14: The bodies of slain Americans return to Andrews Air Force Base. President Obama again blames the YouTube video. (TWO days after intelligence agencies had enough evidence to prove the attack was a pre-planned act of terror.)

September 16: U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appears on Sunday talk shows and says the attacks were provoked by the video, exclusively. (FOUR days after intelligence agencies had enough evidence to prove the attack was a pre-planned act of terror.)

September 16: Libyan President Mohamed Magarief says, “no doubt that this [attack] was preplanned, predetermined.”

September 17: State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland refuses to call attacks an act of terror. (FIVE days after intelligence agencies had enough evidence to prove the attack was a pre-planned act of terror.)

September 19: CNN reports having found Ambassador Stevens’s diary, which indicates concern about security threats in Benghazi.

September 19: Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Matthew Olsen tells Congress the attack in Libya was “terrorism.”

September 20: Carney tries to back up Olsen, says it was “self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.” (Six days after he denied the very same thing.)

September 20: Obama refuses to call attack terrorism, citing insufficient information. (NINE days after intelligence agencies had enough evidence to prove the attack was a pre-planned act of terror, and on the SAME DAY as his press secretary Jay Carney called it a”self evident” terrorist attack. )

September 21: Secretary of State Clinton, at meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister, says, “What happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.”

September 25: On ABC’s “The View,” Obama says, “we don’t have all of the information yet so we are still gathering.” (FOURTEEN days after intelligence agencies had enough evidence to prove the attack was a pre-planned act of terror, and FOUR days after Hillary Clinton and Jay Carney call it an “act of terror.”)

September 25: To the U.N. assembly, Obama blames “A crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.” (FOURTEEN days after intelligence agencies had enough evidence to prove the attack was a pre-planned act of terror.)

September 26: Libya’s Magarief on the “Today” show says, “It was a preplanned act of terrorism directed against American citizens.”

September 26: Published reports show U.S. Intel agencies and the Obama Administration knew within 24 hours that al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist were involved.

September 27: Innocence of Muslims filmmaker Mark Basseley Youseff (aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula) is arrested and denied bail on the charges of “probation violation.”

September 28: Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr., issues a statement backing the Obama Administration’s changing story about the Libyan attack. Says facts are evolving.

October 2: Carney declines to comment on reported requests from diplomats in Libya for additional security, citing the State Department’s internal investigation.

October 11: Vice President Biden blames the intelligence community for what he called “lack of evidence.” (TWENTY-THREE days after intelligence agencies had enough evidence to prove the attack was a pre-planned act of terror.)

October 11: Vice President Biden claims they had no knowledge of a need for more security in Benghazi. (TWENTY-TWO days after CNN broke the story of Ambassador Stevens’ journal, which in fact DID reveal such a request.)

October 15: David Axelrod blames the U.S. State Department (i.e. Hillary Clinton) for the attacks. (ONE MONTH, FOUR days after intelligence agencies had enough evidence to prove the attack was a pre-planned act of terror.)

(Note: the last two entries on the timeline were post-Heritage posting of this, and were added by me)

October 15: Hillary Clinton takes the blame for the Benghazi attacks, yet stipulates that security can’t always keep Americans working abroad safe.

Secretary Clinton said yesterday that the buck stops with her- but does it? Correct me if I am wrong, dear public, but did the U.S. elect Hillary Clinton commander-in-chief on November 6th, 2008? At the end of the day, the State Department doesn’t run the government. The buck stops with President Barack H. Obama. To imply that she was so incredibly cavalier as to not keep the president informed of the escalation of events leading up to the attacks in Benghazi would say a lot about her abilities- but let’s not kid ourselves. Hillary Clinton isn’t that stupid. President Barack Obama, on the other hand, has spent his presidency capitulating and apologizing to the Muslim world- with the exception of the Bin Laden raid (the success of which was based almost exclusively on information gleaned during the Bush years), which meant primarily to score political points, the President has done nothing to deal with the rising tide of Islamic extremism in the Middle East. Why would he make an exception in Libya? Except this time he got caught- this time four people very publicly died. To be specific, they were taken, tortured, and THEN killed. And unfortunately for President Obama and company, this happened just two short months before his precious reelection. The president and his administration spent over a month blaming everything from an independent film to lack of intelligence to now, the State Department. The very same intelligence community and State Department, by the way, in which Vice President Biden placed so much confidence when it came to discussing Iran in the debate last week, stating that “we WILL know” if Iran were to come close to achieving nuclear capability. Which is it?

If, as this administration has now so desperately tried to claim, intelligence wasn’t sufficient enough to come to a conclusion, then they should have kept their mouths shut. ZERO intelligence led to the video, and yet they paraded it around for WEEKS.  Let’s say for just a moment it WAS the video exclusively that sparked the attacked. Shouldn’t the president have known about it? If an independent film can make it halfway around the world and spark such outrage, it would seem a far reach to think that the most powerful government in the world wouldn’t have a clue as to what was coming. It wasn’t the video, as the timeline well demonstrates– but either way you slice it, it’s bad.

Go back and ready through that timeline again. Those words paint quite the picture that when considered, demonstrates a frightening lack of leadership from the most powerful office in the world. While many make reference to this as President Obama’s Watergate (or “Benghazi-gate” as has been floated around), keep in mind that in Watergate, nobody died. This time, they did.

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