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. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.
Here's what Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said on Sunday, September 16th, on Face the Nation:
Bob, let me tell you what we understand to be the assessment at present. First of all, very importantly, as you discussed with the President, there is an investigation that the United States government will launch led by the FBI, that has begun and–
BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): But they are not there.
RICE: They are not on the ground yet, but they have already begun looking at all sorts of evidence of– of various sorts already available to them and to us. And they will get on the ground and continue the investigation. So we'll want to see the results of that investigation to draw any definitive conclusions. But based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy
The qualifier of an ongoing (but at that point not yet on the ground) FBI investigation has been used to defend Rice's statements, and the administration has insisted over the last few weeks her statements and the view of the administration in the days after the attack on the Benghazi consulate were informed by the intelligence available. Yet, as we noted here on Reason on September 14:
A report in The Independent relying partially on anonymous sources suggests the United States had warnings about the Tuesday's attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the assault on the embassy in Cairo…
The Independent paints a crisis as a result of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, reporting sensitive documents going missing, including lists of Libyans working with the U.S. and some related to oil contracts. None of the safe houses around the country are considered safe anymore. A link to Al-Qaeda is suspected…
The Administration latched onto the YouTube clip of Innocence of Muslims. The FBI was reported to be
investigating its alleged creator within days. He was taken into custody late last month. Appearing at the United Nations less than two weeks after the Benghazi attack, the president condemned those who "slander the prophet of Islam."
The link between the attack on the Benghazi consulate and America's intervention in Libya's civil war, brought up by former presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich at hearings on the Benghazi attack, has as yet to surface in either tonight's debate or the Biden-Ryan debate that included questions on Libya.
Between Mitt Romney's interventionism and Barack Obama's interventionism, next Monday's debate on foreign policy will leave those looking for an adult conversation on the architecture and consequences of U.S. foreign policy sorely lacking.
UPDATE: Via commenter Bam!, Candice Crowley admits Romney was "right in the main" but "wrong on the words" on the issue. The president and his administration's response in the weeks after the attack were muddled and often pinned to the YouTube video despite that not being the reality.