Did WH know about terror link hours after Libya attack?
New State Dept. e-mails come to light
- Duration 5:15
- Date Oct 24, 2012
New State Dept. e-mails come to light
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The White House is facing new questions about what it knew and why then regarding the terror attack on our US consulate in Libya.
Emails obtained by Fox News showing the State Department and the White House knew a militant group linked to al-Qaeda.
Was claiming responsibility.
Even as the US compound was still in flames.
Now we're told about 400 national security personnel receive the emails in real time.
The first email sent about 4 PM eastern on September 11 reads the regional security officer reports to diplomatic mission is under attack.
Embassy Tripoli reports approximately twenty armed people fired shots explosions have been heard as well.
Ambassador Stephens who is currently in Ben Ghazi and for chief of mission personnel are in the compound safe haven.
The seventeenth of February militia is providing the security support.
Just two hours later this email pointing to -- -- all sure -- an affiliate of al-Qaeda.
Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on FaceBook and Twitter.
And called for an attack on -- embassy Tripoli.
Now we do have a response from the White House a short while ago on Air Force One white house press spokesman Jay Carney saying quote.
There was a variety of information coming in the whole point of an intelligence community and what they do is to assess strands of information.
And make judgments about what happened.
And who was responsible.
So let's talk about it with a former member of the intelligence community Mike maker is a former CIA Covert operations officer.
And president now of diligence the global security and intelligence firm.
Mike I want to play for you first something that we heard from secretary of state Hillary Clinton just a short time ago tickle -- Posting something on FaceBook.
Is not in -- of itself evidence.
And I think it just underscores how fluid.
Was at the time and continued for some time to beat.
She's referring to that posting by an on this are all sure -- -- group claiming responsibility for that attack now you've been a CIA officer it was always my impression from the things I've read.
But what you do is an undercover officer is pulling information from lots of sources from newspapers.
May -- even from FaceBook postings.
And combine that in -- its intelligence assessments.
Right all you have to stay when when the situation.
Develops when you know when an attack begins its complete chaos.
And you're talking about an attack in Ben -- which is a thousand kilometers away from Tripoli.
And so those individuals there are not sitting around providing you know informed updates as to what's happening to them.
They're trying to save their lives and a lot of those around them so what happens -- you have the regional security officer in Tripoli who's with State Department.
He's -- become aware now this attack he's trying to make sense of -- -- trying to provide an update because State Department.
And and the White House.
Situation room are screaming for information about what is going on.
That seal the to the station in in Tripoli he's doing the same thing -- our headquarters -- in in in in the states.
They're screaming for information so you have various sources NSA is saying OK -- can we gather anything you know from -- technical communications is there anything we can do.
To assess -- all -- information flying in.
From different directions and it's and it's landing so in this chaotic in the -- you have to be very careful at the outset as to how you interpret that information.
But you have to understand -- so that you don't just -- immediately take it.
Discard some of it and say well yes it does look pretty clear that this might be a result of a spontaneous protest today it was upset about the video and go -- that that's the part that's puzzling why.
Why was it there's such a rush to go to that.
When you had the chaos and the various as Jay Carney said strands of information well and we are still six weeks out from this thing almost -- And and still they happen to determined apparently.
Who was responsible should it be taking that long.
The way -- well no it it it shouldn't be and and this is built the part that can.
Can drive you crazy is we're talking at this stage six weeks aren't as you pointed out John.
Who knew what when.
What we should be talking about is why this occurred in the first place this occurred in the first place because.
That facility a year ago wasn't properly protected one of those emails that we talked about the outset of this segment.
From the us State Department from the regional security officer mentioned you know the -- ambassador in the other personnel are safe haven -- he was a closet.
And and they also included an email the February 17 brigade is providing security support a bunch of -- on poorly trained.
-- local young Libyans who -- we've provided with weapons and used as our primary -- -- -- element.
At that point.
Much what we should be discussing is not what we knew at a certain point after this it's why this occurred in the first place that's where the screw up this so much to learn from this -- Mike Baker thanks for helping us out.
To thank you.