On the night of September 11, 2012, shortly after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi commenced, U.S. AFRICOM Commander Gen. Carter Ham met with then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey to inform them of what he had learned about the attack, Fox News reported on Monday, citing newly disclosed and partially declassified transcripts of testimony given by Gen. Ham, last year, before a House Armed Services Subcommitte. The aforementioned meeting occurred immediately before Mr. Panetta and Mr. Dempsey had met with President Obama.
In the weeks after the attacks that left four Americans dead - as the 2012 Presidential election was approaching - President Obama and his White House minions claimed that the Benghazi murders were not the result of a premeditated and coordinated terrorist attack but rather were part of a spontaneous protest that turned violent.
However, Gen. Ham, in his testimony last year, said that he knew immediately after the attack on the US consulate began that it was a premeditated and coordinated terrorist attack.
Gen. Ham discussed this matter with Sec. Panetta and Gen. Dempsey before the two met with President Obama. It goes without saying that President Obama was made fully aware, immediately, that night, that the attacks were premeditated, coordinated acts of terrorism, and not spontaneous. But of course, with the 2012 Presidential election looming, the White House clearly believed that crafting phony talking points about the Benghazi attacks was absolutely critical to the President's reelection bid
During the hearing last year, Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon asked Gen. Ham as follows:
"I have a copy of the time line that you have now... The attack started at 9:42. I don't see any mention here about a demonstration, just simply an attack. Do you know if there was some kind of demonstration before this attack?"
Gen. Ham replied:
"I am not aware of one, sir. It became pretty apparent to me, and I think to most at Africa Command pretty shortly after this attack began, that this was an attack."
Ham reiterated this assertion later in the hearing:
"I personally, and I think the command, very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack," Ham said.
When questioned whether he "would have advised as such" if he had been asked whether the attack was a premeditated and coordinated act of terror, Ham replied: "Well, and with General Dempsey and Secretary Panetta, that is the nature of the conversation we had, yes, sir."
And, no doubt, the premeditated, coordinated and terrorist element of the attack was also the nature of the subsequent conversation between President Obama, Leon Panetta and Martin Dempsey - although this was not the nature of the phony talking points that President Obama cunningly, and artfully, crafted for the US electorate.
Change you can believe in, I suppose......