After the attacks on the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama Administration moved quickly to blame the carnage on “The Innocence of Muslims” video on YouTube.


The Administration attempted to blame the violence on “an awful video that we had nothing to do with” no less than seven times, even as it became abundantly clear that the murderers who laid waste to the compound were there on a mission, and not as part of a spontaneous protest.

Now, new documents from the State Department, acquired by advocacy group Judicial Watch, show that the White House attempted to shuttle the blame onto another, more obscure YouTube video almost immediately after the attacks took place.

Judicial Watch has the text of the email [emphasis mine]:


Sent: September 11, 2012 9:11 PM

To: DSCC_Managment_Team; DSCC_Watch Team

Subject: (S//NF) [REDACTED] Libya

Per Ambassador Mull [Stephen Mull, then Executive Secretary of the State Department] after SVTS [Secure Video Teleconference System] conference:

DOD is looking at various resources.


S [then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] expected to make statements one of which may confirm KIA, notification of next of kin is pending confirmation. DCM The Hague was to call OPS when completed.

White House is reaching out to U-Tube to advise ramifications of posting of the Pastor Jon video.

(The “Pastor Jon” reference may have been to a rarely viewed video by Oregon-based Pastor Jon Courson entitled God vs. Allah, a low-key exposition of the Biblical book of Kings.)

Note the date and time stamp. Contacting YouTube “to advise ramifications” of posting a video was one of the first things the Administration did after they found out what had happened to their Ambassador and his team.

Fearless leadership, that is.

These documents also reveal a little bit more about how flawed the Administration’s “spontaneous protest” narrative was. In a September 12 “Attack Timeline,” officials close to the investigation make no mention of a protest or internet video catalyst:

At 1549 hrs, DSCC was notified that U.S. Mission Benghazi was under attack. At 1600 hrs, DSCC [Diplomatic Security Command Center] was notified by Regional Security Officer (RSO) Benghazi that armed individuals had entered the compound, and at 1614 hrs RSO Benghazi reported that an armed group had set fire to buildings inside the compound. The US Ambassador was visiting post from Tripoli, and as of 1614 hrs it was suspected that one of the buildings that had been set on fire was the building where the Ambassador was sheltering. [Redacted] Quick Reaction Force (QRF) responded from their off-compound Annex, but was turned back due to heavy hostile fire.

As of 1700 hrs, [REDACTED] QRF and host nation militia (17 February Brigade) have redeployed to the compound. One Assistant RSO (ARSO) suffered injuries from smoke inhalation. This agent was in the Principal Officer’s Residence with U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and Information Program Officer (IPO) Sean P. Smith. All three moved to the safe haven when the attack began, but had to relocate to the roof as the building caught on fire. The agent reached the rooftop but lost contact with the other two. The agent reentered the residence and found the IPO killed in action (KIA), and was unable to locate the Ambassador. The agent had given his cell phone to the Ambassador.

The new timeline also confirms prior Judicial Watch disclosures that the State Department received intelligence that Ambassador Stevens may have been alive after the attack:

The QRF and friendly militia forces were unable to locate the Ambassador, and pull back to the off-compound Annex. All classified material on the compound is secured by RSO [REDACTED] personnel. Embassy Tripoli receives a phone call from the injured ARSO’s cell phone (which had been left with the Ambassador) from a male caller saying he is at the hospital with an unresponsive male who matches a physical description of the Ambassador. [REDACTED MATERIAL]. Tripoli charters an airplane and sends it to Benghazi with six personnel onboard as a response team.

The Administration is still doing its best to keep under wraps high-level discussions on the response to the attacks—but there could be light at the end of the tunnel:

Hillary Clinton will testify this Thursday before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. We’ll keep you updated on any new revelations—especially the ones the Obama Administration would rather you not know about.

Follow Amy on Twitter @ThatAmyMiller


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