State Dept. Labeled Libya Attack Coordinated Terrorism Within 24 Hours

From Fox News: In a briefing to Capitol Hill staffers delivered the day after the deadly Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the killings appeared to be the result of a terrorist attack. Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy -- who exercises responsibility for all department personnel, facilities, and operations, and who is one of the department's most respected civil servants, having served in his position under both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations -- delivered the assessment in an unclassified, half-hour conference call with staff aides to House and Senate lawmakers from relevant committees, and leadership offices, on the evening of Sept. 12. Capitol Hill sources described the call to Fox News. That a State Department official of Kennedy's rank -- one with direct oversight of the installations and people targeted in Benghazi -- reached such a conclusion so swiftly stands in stark contrast to the opposing narrative pressed at that time, and for several days afterward, by other top officials at State, the White House, and the intelligence agencies.

Four days after Kennedy's conference call, for example, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice appeared on five Sunday morning talk shows to insist that the attacks were neither coordinated nor premeditated, but were rather the result of a spontaneous mob action, inspired by an anti-Muslim video on the Internet, that spun out of control. Rice has since told lawmakers that her comments reflected "the intelligence community's best, current assessment as of the date of my television appearances," and a spokesman to the Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, has said in a statement that the intelligence community "revised our initial assessment to ... (conclude) that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists."

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