The stenographers at Politico duly note the administration’s furrowed brow.
The Obama administration is flatly denying a blaring British newspaper report that the U.S. diplomats in Libya were killed as a result of a “continuing security breach,” and that “credible information” about possible attacks had been ignored.
A U.S. official told POLITICO: “There’s no intelligence indicating that the attack in Benghazi was premeditated.”
Later in the story, the spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence weighs in on the record:
“This is absolutely wrong. We are not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent.”
Maybe, maybe not. We do know that there was specific information about a threat to the embassy in Cairo, and the US was not ready for that. We also know that the DNI works for the president and has a vested interest in protecting him (one of the many reasons that stovepiping our intelligence through a single point of failure was never a good idea). We also know from Charlie Martin’s great post last night, that the president limits his daily intel briefing intake to the bullet point summary and does not show even cursory curiosity into the threats the nation faces. He doesn’t think that he needs to have a dialog about threats with the experts who assess them.
A curious president might note that we were attacked at symbols of American power, on the anniversary of 9-11, in the two countries most identified with US influence during the so-called Arab Spring. A curious president might put two and two together and see those attacks as the Islamists’ way of saying “Thank you.” A curious president might figure out by now that these attacks had nothing to do with a movie.