Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday claimed social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, where al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist groups, within hours via postings, claimed responsibility for the attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya should not be considered “evidence” that al-Qaeda had been behind the Libya attacks.
“Posting something on Facebook is not in and of itself evidence,” Clinton said. “And I think it just underscores how fluid the reporting was at the time and continued for some time to be.”
The White House knew that an obscure anti-Muhammad video had nothing to do with the attacks two hours after the Benghazi attacks, because the State Department had sent an e-mail to those in the White House Situation Room saying militant al-Qaeda groups were behind the attacks.
But Clinton also downplayed those e-mails, trying to absolve herself of blame by saying her critics were “cherry picking one story here or one document there”
Her comments echoed those of White House press secretary Jay Carney, who said on Wednesday, “there was a variety of information coming in” after the attacks and “there were emails about all sorts of information.”
Republican Senators John McCain (AZ), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) wrote a letter to President Barack Obama stating the “emails make clear that your Administration knew within two hours of the attack that it was a terrorist act and that Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan militant group with links to Al-Qaeda, had claimed responsibility for it.”
“This latest revelation only adds to the confusion surrounding what you and your Administration knew about the attacks in Benghazi, when you knew it, and why you responded to those tragic events in the ways that you did,” they wrote. “The American people have the right to know what information your Administration was receiving about the attacks in Benghazi once they began, when you received it, how you reacted to it, and why you and other members of your Administration continued for days after the attack to speak about it in ways that increasingly seem at odds with intelligence and other reporting that you had available to you.”