US officials have disclosed that the CIA station chief in Libya told Washington less than a day after the attack on the Benghazi US Consulate that there was evidence the deadly assault was carried out by militants rather than a spontaneous mob upset about an anti-Islam film.
It's unclear if anyone outside the CIA saw the Libya station chief's report or even how high up the information went in the agency, reports The Boston Herald.
It is well-known that the Obama administration publicly maintained the knowledge that the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, which killed the US Ambassador and three other Americans, was caused by a mob that staged protests across the Muslim world.
The administration's statements have since become fodder for those against them to criticize the approach, especially in light of the upcoming election.
A Republican-led House committee spoke with State Department officials for hours about the attack and what they considered poor security at the Libyan consulate, especially given the rise in extremist Islamic militants in the area, notes USA Today.
The consulate attack was brought up at the most recent presidential debate, where Republican challenger Mitt Romney said that President Obama refused to call the incident a terrorist attack for two weeks. Obama countered that he called it an act of terror the day after the attack occurred. Part of the President's Rose Garden speech stated:
"No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for."