NEW INFO: Military Briefed Obama on Benghazi ‘Attack,’ Not Demonstration
Newly declassified documents show that President Obama’s closest military advisors knew within 15 minutes that a terror attack was taking place in Benghazi.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) was at some of the classified Benghazi briefings in June.
According to the newly declassified transcripts, he asked, “So no one from the military was ever advising, that you are aware of, that this was a demonstration gone out of control, it was always considered an attack on the United States?”
Marine Corps Col. George Bristol answered, “Yes, sir, we referred to it as the attack.”
Wenstrup had another key exchange with Gen. Carter Ham, then-head of AFRICOM which had jurisdiction of Libya:
WENSTRUP: “As a military person, I am concerned that someone in the military would be advising that this was a demonstration. I would hope that our military leadership would be advising that this was a terrorist attack.”
HAM: “Again, sir, I think, you know, there was some preliminary discussion about, you know, maybe there was a demonstration. But I think at the command, I personally and I think the command very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack.”
WENSTRUP: “And you would have advised as such if asked. Would that be correct?”
HAM: “Well, and with General Dempsey and Secretary Panetta, that is the nature of the conversation we had, yes, sir.”
Wenstrup, an Iraq War veteran, spoke with Bill Hemmer today about the hearings on Benghazi and the new revelations.
The new information calls into question why the administration characterized the attack as a response to an anti-Islam video for weeks afterward.
“How did it move, Congressman, from that type of framing to a video that was told to the American people?” Hemmer asked.
“I’d love to know who was in the room that had those conversations that said, ‘this is what we’re gonna tell the American people took place.’ I would really like to know the depth of that conversation. … I didn’t think there could possibly be anyone in the military that was sitting down, advising that this is what took place. A demonstration, as opposed to an attack,” said Wenstrup.
Watch the video above for the full interview.