White House claims that the U.S. Embassy in Libya was attacked in a "spontaneous" protest against an anti-Islam film are being rebuked by multiple sources, and some are raising questions about the president's grasp of foreign policy.
Multiple and new reports describe an entirely different scenario that led to the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three embassy staff members than the account recently distributed to media outlets by the White House, according to a Fox News report.
An intelligence source on the ground in Libya told Fox News no demonstration was in progress outside the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi before terrorists waged an assault on the American compound.
The report flies in the face of the Obama administration's claims that the assault was a "spontaneous" reaction that sprang from a protest against an anti-Islam film.
"There was no protest and the attacks were not spontaneous," the source said, adding the attack "was planned and had nothing to do with the movie."
According to the source as reported by Fox News, the attack came without warning around 9:35 p.m. local time, and included attacks at two locations that included RPG's and mortar fire.
Reportedly, the description of events matches up to a Libyan security guard who last week told McClatchy Newspapers the area was quiet and there was no protest taking place when the assault took place.
"There wasn't a single ant outside," the unnamed guard, who was being treated in a hospital, said in the interview.
The eye witness accounts are in total conflict with the portrayal of events by the Obama administration. After American media began reporting that the attack was a spontaneous response from a violent protest, the Libyan president also said Sunday that the murders were planned well in advance of the assault.
After being asked by Fox News reporters, U.S. officials now claim that there was no demonstration at the time of the attack, but there was a small one earlier that day. The officials did not did not deny reports that there was no demonstration before the assault when speaking to Fox News.
Meanwhile, mainstream media has hyped the anti-Islam film protest angle for days as new violence has spread across the Middle East and North Africa resulting in many deaths and injuries.
Regarding the Benghazi murders happening on the eleventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, it was only a coincidence, according to the senior U.S. official quoted by Fox on Monday: "It is coincidental. All evidence we have points to this video being the spark of these events. In all of the intel and traffic, there was no one out there saying, 'Oh, it's September 11th, we must avenge...'"
But Libya’s president does not agree with the White House media line.
"Of course. No doubt. The whole operation was prepared and it took advantage of the movie as justification. If you take into account the weapons used, like RPGs and other heavy weapons, it proves that it was pre-planned. It's a dirty act of revenge, and has nothing to do with religion," Libyan Interim President Al-Magariaf told Al Jazeera.
"He doesn't have the information we have," the U.S. official said of Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif. ""He doesn't have the (data) collection potential that we have."
However the senior U.S. official interviewed by Fox News added that the White House version is "the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community at this point," and that Susan Rice, who was on television this weekend delivering the White House account, "was not out there volunteering her own opinions."