Senators Demand Answers: Why Did Susan Rice Insist Video Caused Benghazi Attack?
in response to a video that Muslims find offensive."
--"The reason why there is unrest is because of the film; this is in response to the film."
--"But the unrest that we've seen is in reaction to a film with which the United States government had no involvement."
Sept. 14 (late afternoon): State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland tells a daily press briefing: "I am going to frustrate all of you infinitely by telling you that now that we have an open FBI investigation on the death of these four Americans, we are not going to be in a position to talk at all about what the U.S. government may or may not be learning about how any of this happened - not who they were, not how they happened, not what happened to Ambassador Stevens, not any of it - until the Justice Department is ready to talk about the investigation that it's got.
"So I'm going to send you to the FBI on any of those kinds of questions, and they're probably not going to talk to you about them while the investigation is open."
Sept. 16: Rice does the round of Sunday talk shows:
On ABC's This Week:
"First of all, It's important to know that there's an FBI investigation that has begun and will take some time to be completed. That will tell us with certainty what transpired. But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous - not a premeditated - response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.
". What happened this week in Cairo, in Benghazi, in many other parts of the region was a result - a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated, that the U.S. government had nothing to do with, which we have made clear is reprehensible and disgusting."
On CBS' Face the Nation:
"Based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy - sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that - in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent ... We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned."
On NBC's Meet the Press:
"Putting together the best information that we have available to us today our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of - of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. What we think then transpired in Benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding."
On Fox News Sunday:
"But what sparked the recent violence was the airing on the Internet of a very hateful very offensive video that has offended many people around the world."
Sept. 17: Nuland tells a press briefing: "Ambassador Rice outranks me, as does my own boss, so she is often at liberty to say more than I am . the comments that Ambassador Rice made accurately reflect our government's initial assessment."
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Keywords: Libya, terroist attack, Susan Rice, Leon Panetta, Benghazi, Patrick Goodenough
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