WHITE HOUSE DENIES IT WAS FOREWARNED OF LIBYA ATTACK
By GEOFF HOLTZMAN
Talk Radio News Service
The Obama administration on Friday refuted a report by a British media outlet suggesting that American officials failed to act on known intelligence warning of an attack earlier this week on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
The ambush carried out by Libyan militants, who were allegedly retaliating to an American-made film mocking the Islamic Prophet Mohammed, resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador John Christopher Stevens.
Citing “senior diplomatic sources,” The Independent’s Kim Sengupta wrote that “the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and “lockdown”, under which movement is severely restricted.”
However, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney flatly denied the story when asked about it during a briefing with reporters on Friday.
“There was no intelligence that in any way could have been acted on to prevent these attacks,” he said. “The report is false.”
Some other key takeaways from Carney’s briefing:
He reiterated the administration’s official view that the attack in Libya, and the uprisings at other U.S. embassies in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Great Britain, were sparked by the American-made filmInnocence of Muslims, which mocks the Islamic Prophet Mohammed.
“This is a fairly volatile situation, and it is in response not to U.S. policy…it is in response to a video, a film that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting. “This is not a case of protests directed at the United States,” Carney added.
He also shot down speculation that the attack in Libya may have been pre-meditated by militants with ties to al Qaeda.
“We have no information to suggest that it was a pre-planned attack.”
Carney also attempted to walk back Obama’s comment to Telemundo on Wednesday that he does not consider Egypt to be an ally or an enemy of the U.S.
“Let me be clear; Egypt is a critical strategic partner of the United States…the president’s interview withTelemundo was not in any way an effort to change our relationship with Egypt.”
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