Ed Morrissey @ Hot Air:
To some extent, this wouldn’t be a surprise, if accurate. A month ago, we learned that the CIA station chief in Libya had cabled Washington that the sacking of the consulate was a terrorist attack, not a protest gone rogue. Two days after the attack itself, the Independent in the UK reported that the US had warnings up to 48 hours before the attack that the consulate had been targeted for 9/11. We learned in October that the State Department knew within two hours after the attack that Ansar al-Sharia had claimed credit for it. All of this would fit very neatly into a PDB 72 hours later that concluded the attack had been planned and coordinated by terrorists rather than a mob action, or even a spontaneous terrorist action initiated to exploit a supposed demonstration.
We certainly have heard enough to conclude that Rice’s statement on several shows that there was “no evidence” of a terrorist attack was flat-out false, regardless of whether the evidence was conclusive by the time she made those appearances. Solomon’s sources advance that part of the story by claiming that the PDB made a conclusive case that Benghazi at least two days before Obama sent Rice out to disseminate a false narrative. If those sources are accurate — and it’s worth pointing out that anonymous sources have told many conflicting tales in this scandal thus far — that puts Obama in a very bad position, especially since he personally extended that narrative in the US and at the UN in a speech that blamed “those who slander the Prophet of Islam” for the violence.
What’s interesting about Solomon’s leak, other than the data itself, is the timing. David Petraeus testified yesterday that he had almost immediately concluded that a terrorist attack had taken place, and that the official talking points given to Rice had been edited somewhere along the way from the CIA. This came at the same time as a leak from the CIA that Petraeus would be the subject of an investigation into his extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell, and a leak the day before of the talking points prepared for Susan Rice, which at first blush exonerated her from charges of lying about the attack. There is a war going on between State and the intel community, and perhaps within the intel community itself, with sources having axes to grind lobbing leaks like mortar shells into this story.