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Twenty Questions

Oct 29, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 07 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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6. Did any other governments or liaison intelligence services warn us about threats in Libya in the days before the attack in Benghazi?

7. Did any of the communications from intelligence officials in Libya on September 10 include discussions of threats to the consulate in Benghazi or other U.S. interests? Will the administration make those communications available?

8. The State Department’s timeline notes that Ambassador Stevens, who participated in meetings around Benghazi on September 10, was instructed to remain in the Benghazi compound on September 11, the day of the attack? Why? Were there specific threat warnings?

9. Did any intelligence product—raw or finished—include detailed reporting on any protest outside the compound in Benghazi before the attack began?

10. If not, why did administration officials repeatedly mention alleged protests? Where did those claims originate?

11. A senior administration official told the Washington Post on September 13 that the compound in Benghazi featured a “robust American security presence.” Does the White House stand by that assessment?

12. Why did U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, who has no direct involvement in the Libya attacks and no special intelligence knowledge on Libya, appear on multiple TV shows on September 16 to claim that spontaneous protests over the video led to the attack? Was Secretary Clinton or some other high official asked to represent the administration, before Rice was sent out instead?

13. Did James Clapper, the director of national intelligence and CIA director David Petraeus clear Susan Rice’s talking points? If not, who did?

14. A September 28 statement from Clapper’s office  claiming that administration talking points had come from the intelligence community was not signed by Clapper. Why not?

15. Who was on the interagency phone call on Saturday, September 15, to prepare Rice for her TV interviews?

16. Did Rice talk to any senior Obama campaign advisers before she spoke for the administration?

17. Is there any intelligence product—raw or finished—that links the attacks in Benghazi to the anti-Islam YouTube video?

18. If not, why did President Obama himself make a direct link between the film and the attack during his September 18 appearance on the David Letterman show?

19. Will the White House release unclassified versions of the PDBs and Daily Threat Briefs for the three weeks before the Benghazi attack?

20. Will President Obama ever hold a news conference to address these and other unanswered questions about the attacks in Benghazi?

That makes 20 questions for the president, but this is no parlor game. Four lives were lost, and the credibility of the administration is at stake.

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