But sources told ABC News that intelligence officials on the ground immediately suspected the attack was not tied to the movie at all. The attackers knew Ambassador Stevens had been trying to flee — to a so-called safe house half a mile away. That building was hit with insurgent mortars — suggesting the terrorists knew what they were doing.
As of Thursday afternoon, officials from the Obama administration were not even 100 percent certain that the protest of the anti-Muslim film in Benghazi occurred outside the U.S. diplomatic post.
In a closed-door briefing with top officials, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described the mortar attack on the safe house as suggesting that the terrorist attack was one of opportunity, not pre-meditation, since the mortars were not used to attack the consulate earlier in the day.
So, as the attack on the consulate unfolded, the ambassador and his staff attempted to move to a pre-planned safe house. It turned out, however, that the safe house was under attack by indirect fire from crew served weapons.
Knowing this, Jay Carney told the press and the world…
“Let’s be clear, these protests were in reaction to a video that had spread to the region.”
Protests in reaction to videos do not include an assault on the consulate with a synchronized mortar attack on the expected escape and evasion safe house. The Administration knew that with absolute certainty as they told the world otherwise.