J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Ambassador to Libya
FOIA Document Archive
Benghazi Attack, 9/11/2012
( Discuss this topic on The Black Vault Message Forums )
Table of Contents
The Black Vault's FAQ's on Benghazi
Timeline of Documents and Events Relating to the Benghazi Attack
Flashing Red: A Special Report on the Terrorist Attack At Benghazi
(Official Senate Report)
Historical government records, detailing the highly volatile situation in
Libya and Benghazi
Archived News Articles (Non-FOIA Documents, but linked for research)
On September 11, 2012 in Libya, a heavily armed group executed an attack
on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. The attack began at night in a
U.S. diplomatic compound for the consulate, and ended at another
diplomatic compound nearby where the U.S. intelligence was posted. Killed
were U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other members of
his diplomatic mission, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer
Sean Smith and U.S. embassy security personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone
Woods. Two other Americans and seven Libyans were also injured. The
Benghazi attack was strongly condemned by the governments of Libya, the
United States and other countries around the world.
Libyans held demonstrations in Benghazi and Tripoli, condemning the
violence and holding signs such as, "Chris Stevens was a friend to all
Libyans", and apologizing to Americans for the actions in their name and in
the name of Muslims. On September 21, about 30,000 Libyans protested
against armed militias in their country including Ansar al-Sharia, an Islamist
militia alleged to have played a role in the attack, and stormed several
militia headquarters, forcing the occupants to flee. On September 23, the
Libyan president ordered that all unauthorized militias either disband or
come under government control. Militias across the country began
surrendering to the government and submitting to its authority. Hundreds of
Libyans gathered in Tripoli and Benghazi to hand over their weapons to the
The attack followed the mobbing of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, which
was in reaction to the anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims. On September
28, U.S. intelligence revised their initial assessment to indicate that it "was a
deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists".
Questions about whether the White House should have stated or did state
this conclusion earlier and whether the site of the assault was adequately
secured before and after the attack created political controversy during the
US 2012 Presidential election then underway. The United States
investigation of the attack is being conducted separately by the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, the State Department, the Committee on Oversight
and Government Reform, and the Committee on Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs. Source: Wikipedia
Note from The Black Vault: I have filed FOIA requests to multiple
agencies regarding this attack. I am still awaiting additional records
responsive to the attack, but have included the below records from my
archives for research.
The Black Vault's FAQ's on Benghazi
1. Q: Why is the Benghazi incident important?
A: Benghazi is important because the Obama Administration has had
a long, controversial history, of not labeling attacks on America as
"terrorism" even though evidence shows to the contrary. For example,
on November 5, 2009, Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and
wounded 29 in the Ft. Hood Texas Shooting. Regardless of his ties to
a terrorist Sheik in the Middle East, the incident is labeled "workplace
On June 1, 2009, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad kills one, and
wounds another at the Little Rock, Arkansas military recruiting office.
When questioned about the shooting, Muhammad said he did so in the
name of "Allah" and the killing was acceptable under Islamic Law. Yet,
Muhammad is being tried as a "murderer" and with the okay of the
federal government, is not being tried as a terrorist.
Why are incidents, like the ones above, never labeled as terrorism?
Benghazi was originally not cited as terrorism either, but was blamed
on a "spontaneous mob action" based on a YouTube video mocking
the Islamic Prophet Mohammad.
2. Q: Who cares if it was labeled as "terrorism" or a "spontaneous
mob action" due to a video?
A: If the Benghazi incident was immediately labeled as "terrorism" the
mainstream media would have been forced to ask certain questions,
like "Why did you miss this?" "Why didn't you increase security on
September 11th, the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks?"
"Could you have planned better?" etc. But as a "spontaneous mob
action" - those questions would never be asked, and the incident
would probably blow over.
Accusations of "weak foreign policy" coupled with "inadequate security
measures" could have plagued the Obama administration, especially
since this was within 60 days of arguably the closest Presidential races
in American history. Could this have been a stalling tactic to take the
Administration past the November elections?
3. Q: But it came out in the Presidential debate that Obama did
label it as "terrorism" on September 12th in the White Hose
Rose Garden, and Obama himself did not disagree with the
moderator. Case closed, right?
A: Wrong. Obama never attributed the Benghazi attacks to "terror,"
"terrorism," or an "act of terror". What Obama said was that, "No acts
of terror will ever shake the resolve on this great nation..." towards
the end of the speech, however, he was speaking about the 9/11/01
attacks, and his visits to victims and family members. He had
switched topics in the context of his speech while making this
Below, in the archive, you can watch the video for yourself and see
Obama's real words about the attack on September 12th, and how on
multiple occasions he, along with Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of
State, do not acknowledge the incident a "terrorist" attack.
4. Q: Ok, it's now labeled as "terrorism." So why does it matter?
A: The fact that it is now labeled as "terrorism" and was not a
"spontaneous mob actions" offers up a new set of questions, since the
Benghazi issue will not go away. Could they have helped the 4 men
that were killed? Were there assets on the ground that could have
been there in time?
Although some elements in the intelligence community are claiming
we could not have done anything different, many disagree. Multiple
news agencies across the globe, including FoxNews, are uncovering
stories and facts that may show motive for a cover-up.
Without retyping the work and analysis done, here is a source for
reference that analyzes the two timelines now released by the CIA on
November 1st, and the Pentagon on November 9th.
Military Timeline From Night Of Benghazi Attack Begs More Questions
5. Q: FoxNews? They lie and are biased. So I won't believe it.
A: Unfortunately, I believe you should not be so quick to dismiss the
evidence. Without debating that FoxNews is or isn't biased, the
material above is sourced with official timelines by the Central
Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon. The discrepancies are outlined
in the article, using these official documents and records only.
Dismissing those based on the fact that you believe FoxNews is biased
is a complete disservice and shun to the documented truth along with
the lives of the 4 men who died on 9/11/12.
6. Q: Ok, so what else points to a cover-up?
A: On September 14th, 2012, only days after the attack, CIA Director
General David Petraeus told the CIA's official story: it was due to the
internet video, and not due to a "terrorist" plot. This, was at least how
according to Congressman Peter King recalled the testimony.
However, on November 16, 2012, Petraeus testified behind closed
doors, and said that the CIA knew almost immediately that the attack
was not based on any video, was a terrorist attack, and there were
links to Al Qaeda. These "talking points" were given from the CIA for
White House Spokespeople and personnel. Yet, something happened.
According to not only Petraeus, but also according to the testimony of
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and acting CIA
Director Mike Morell, no one knew how the "talking points" were
Someone outside of our intelligence community altered the official line
which "fundamentally changed" the scope of the story, and the cause
of the Benghazi attacks. Why?
7. Q: What does The Black Vault conclude?
A: With the evidence outline above, and below, as of January 20th,
2013, I won't put an official line on what exactly this all means. But in
my mind, the evidence speaks for itself.
It is a huge injustice to not only the four men who died on 9/11/12,
but the American people to ignore the evidence. This issue is wildly
ignored by the mainstream media, and for that reason, the Obama
Administration has easily avoided the topic for more than 2 months.
It is my opinion based on the above, and below, that the entire issue
was stalled with false stories and stonewalling, which took the
Administration past the November elections. Someone in the Obama
administration, altered the official line of the intelligence community,
and gave a different tone and scope to the cause of Benghazi.
The legal ramifications and political backlash, if any, will be drawn out
for years with legal proceedings, bureaucracy, stalling, and just like
the Fast and Furious scandal under the Obama Administration,
probably "Executive Privilege." But, in my mind, the facts remains -
this is a cover-up. But how high does it go?
Timeline of Documents and Events Relating to the Benghazi
1. 8/27/12 - Travel Warning, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Bureau of
Consular Affairs, in regards to Libya [2 Pages, 113kb] - Specifically
mentions Benghazi with increased violence.
2. 9/11/12 - Statement on the Attack in Benghazi, Hillary Clinton,
Secretary of State, Department of State [1 Page, 90kb] - Blames
internet video for attack. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
3. 9/12/12 - Statement by the President on the Attack in Benghazi [1
Page, 96kb] - Written Statement released by the President. No
mention of video. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
4. 9/12/12 - Statement by the President on the Attack in Benghazi, Rose
Garden Speech [Video] - No mention of "terror" or "terrorism" in
relation to Benghazi. Says "No acts of terror will ever shake the
resolve on this great nation..." at the end of the speech, however, he
was speaking about the 9/11/01 attacks, and his visits to victims and
5. 9/12/12 - Remarks on the Deaths of American Personnel in Benghazi,
Libya, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, Department of State [3
Pages, 90kb] - The video of this speech, is below in the Video Archive.
Blames internet video for attack. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
6. 9/12/12 - Press Statement on the Deaths of American Personnel in
Benghazi, Libya, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, Department of
State [2 Pages, 101kb]-
Blames internet video for attack. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
7. 9/12/12 - Remarks on the Deaths of American Personnel in Benghazi,
Libya, Susan Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United
Nations , U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Department of State [3
Pages, 98kb] - Blames internet video for attack. No mention of
"terror" or "terrorism"
8. 9/12/12 - Briefing by Senior Administration Officials to Update
Recent Events in Libya [3 Pages, 98kb] - Will not answer if internet
video was cause of attack. Will not anser if there is a "terrorism" link.
9. 9/13/12 - State Department Daily Press Briefing [21 Pages, 180kb] -
Confirms blaming internet video for attack. No mention of "terror" or
10. 9/13/12 - Statement on the Deaths of Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A.
Doherty in Benghazi, Libya, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State,
Department of State [2 Pages, 101kb]- No mention of video. No
mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
11. 9/14/12 - Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney [17 Pages,
166kb] Blames internet video as attack. Denies any "concrete
evidence" of a "terror" link that would show "[the attack] to not being
in response to the film."
12. 9/14/12 - Remarks at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony to Honor
Those Lost in Attacks in Benghazi, Libya, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of
State [3 Pages, 99kb] Blames internet video as attack. No mention of
"terror" or "terrorism"
13. 9/14/12 - Remarks at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony to Honor
Those Lost in Attacks in Benghazi, Libya, President Barack Obama [2
Pages, 125kb]- No mention of video. No mention of "terror" or
14. 10/09/12 - Background Briefing on Libya [13 Pages, 140kb]-
Said video was not their conclusion for attack..No mention of "terror"
15. 10/10/12 - On-The-Record Briefing by Under Secretary Kennedy [4
Pages, 110kb] - WATCH VIDEO - No mention of video. No mention of
"terror" or "terrorism"
16. 10/12/12 - Hearing on Benghazi Security Issues, Testimony Before
the House Oversight Subcommittee, Patrick Kennedy, Under Secretary
for Management [4 Pages, 108kb]- No mention of video. No mention
of "terror" or "terrorism"
17. 10/12/12 - Hearing on Benghazi Security Issues, Testimony Before
the House Oversight Subcommittee, Charlene Lamb, Deputy Assistant,
Secretary of State [8 Pages, 124kb] - No mention of video. No
mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
18. 10/12/12 - Hearing on Benghazi Security Issues, Prepared
Statement Before the House Oversight Subcommittee, Eric Allan
Nordstrom, Regional Security Officer, Tripoli, Libya from September
21, 2011-July 26, 2012 [12 Pages, 191kb]-
No mention of video. No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
19. 10/15/12 - Interview With Margaret Brennan of CBS, Hillary Rodham
Clinton, Secretary of State [4 Pages, 108kb] - No mention of video.
No mention of "terror" or "terrorism"
20. 11/09/12 - Daily Press Briefing, Victoria Nuland, Spokesperson [19
Pages, 190kb]- No mention of video. No mention of "terror" or
Flashing Red: A Special Report on the Terrorist Attack At
Benghazi (Official Senate Report)
1. Flashing Red: A Special Report on the Terrorist Attack At Benghazi
[31 Pages, 0.4mb] - While our country spent September 11, 2012,
remembering the terrorist attacks that took place 11 years earlier,
brave Americans posted at U.S. government facilities in Benghazi,
Libya, were fighting for their lives against a terrorist assault. When
the fight ended, U.S. Ambassador to Libya John C. (Chris) Stevens
and three other Americans were dead and U.S. facilities in Benghazi
were left in ruin. We must remember the sacrifice that these selfless
public servants made to support the struggle for freedom in Libya and
to improve our own national security. While we mourn their deaths, it
is also crucial that we learn from how they died. By examining the
circumstances of the attack in Benghazi on September 11th, we hope
to gain a better understanding of what went wrong and what we must
do now to ensure better protection for American diplomatic personnel
who must sometimes operate in dangerous places abroad.
Historical government records, detailing the highly volatile
situation in Libya and Benghazi
1. Conflict with Libya: Use of Military Force Against Terrorism, 8 Feb
1994 [30 Pages, 1.1mb] - The United States attack on Libya on April
15, 1986 was the culmination of a series of developments in U.S.
foreign policy and military strategy intended to combat international
terrorism. It was the culmination of the U.S. attempt to use both non-
military and military methods to combat terrorism. This paper
examines the use of military force as an appropriate means to combat
terrorism. In particular, the 1986 conflict with Libya is examined
concentrating on the following aspects: whether operational level
objectives contributed to achievement of strategic goals; and the use
of military force as an effective instrument in the war against
terrorism. This paper concludes that the use of military force (along
with the European non- military responses) was an effective
instrument in the war against terrorism as measured by the decrease
in Libyan sponsored attacks from 1986 to 1991. However, the U.S.
attack on Libya is still an isolated event and does not provide a
sufficient basis for a doctrine of military retaliation against terrorism.
2. Libya: A Future Arab Democracy [43 Pages, 0.6mb] - Libya has
overthrown its long time dictator Muammar Gadhafi with the aid of
both Western and Arab militaries. The United States acted under the
authority of U.N. mandate 1973 as part of a broad coalition of both
NATO and Arab Nations primarily in a supporting role. In Libya, as in
its neighbors Egypt and Tunisia, the successful revolution has now
established transitional governments who’s effectiveness is yet to be
determined. Unlike other Arab nations, Libya possesses a combination
of vast oil reserves, a small and balanced population, and a relatively
high education level in its citizens. These factors all bode well for the
establishment of a lasting representative government. If successful,
Libya can not only secure its borders, and deny safe haven to
terrorism as is the declared interest of the United States, but also
serve as a positive economic and political influence on the region.
Egypt remains the most significant and strategic nation in the region,
but the benefits of a successful Libya and the relatively low cost at
which it may be achieved should not be overlooked.
3. Libya: Unrest and US Policy [43 Pages, 0.7mb] - Over 40 years ago,
Muammar al Qadhafi led a revolt against the Libyan monarchy in the
name of nationalism, self-determination, and popular sovereignty.
Opposition groups citing the same principles are now revolting against
Qadhafi to bring an end to the authoritarian political system he has
controlled in Libya for the last four decades. The Libyan government’s
use of force against civilians and opposition forces seeking Qadhafi’s
overthrow sparked an international outcry and led the United Nations
Security Council to adopt Resolution 1973, which authorizes “all
necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians. The United States
military is participating in Operation Unified Protector, the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military operation to enforce the
resolution. Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and other partner
governments also are participating. Qadhafi and his supporters have
described the uprising as a foreign and Islamist conspiracy and are
attempting to outlast their opponents. Qadhafi remains defiant amid
continuing coalition air strikes, and his forces continue to attack
opposition-held areas. Some opposition figures have formed an
Interim Transitional National Council (ITNC), which claims to
represent all areas of the country. They seek foreign political
recognition and material support.
4. A Nation at the Periphery: Libyan Regionalism Revisited [43 Pages,
0.6mb] - This article places the current Libyan conflict in historical
perspective by focusing on the dynamics between the country’s two
main regions (Tripolitania and Cyrenaica) during key moments of the
20th century. Particular attention is given to the different way each of
the two regions approached the early period of Italian colonialism,
from 1911 to 1923. The paper shows that historical relations between
the two regions are characterized by both independence and
interdependence and that this pattern is reemerging as the country
transitions to a new era.
Archived News Articles (Non-FOIA Documents, but linked for
1. 11/27/2012, Politico: Rice: We didn't intend to mislead on Benghazi
2. 11/27/2012, USA Today: GOP senators criticize Susan Rice after
3. 11/27/2012, CNN: CNN Poll: Americans rate W.H. response to
Benghazi attack and Petraeus resignation
4. 1/27/2012, RedState: The Benghazi-Syria Connection
5. 11/27/2012, CBS News: Susan Rice to meet with McCain on Benghazi
6. 11/20/2012, CBS News: Office of the DNI cut "al Qaeda" reference
from Benghazi talking points, and CIA, FBI signed off
7. 11/16/2012, FoxNews: Intel officials unable to say who changed CIA
talking points on Libya, lawmaker says
8. 11/16/2012, The Wall Street Journal: Flashback: What Susan Rice
Said About Benghazi
9. 11/16/2012, Reuters: In Benghazi testimony, Petraeus says al Qaeda
role known early
10. 11/16/2012, Washington Post: Clinton to testify before Congress about
11. 11/15/2012, Time: Benghazi’s Real Scandal: Why Is the Libyan
Investigation Such a Mess?
12. 11/14/2012, FoxNews: Petraeus agrees to testify on Libya before
13. 11/11/2012, FoxNews: Military timeline from night of Benghazi attack
begs more questions
14. 11/10/2012, The Washington Examiner: House asks Clinton to testify
on Benghazi, but she declines due to scheduling conflict
15. 11/10/2012, Department of Defense (DoD): DOD Releases Detailed
Timeline for Benghazi Response
16. 11/10/2012, TownHall.com: Lessons of the Battle of Benghazi
17. 11/09/2012, The Washington Post: Pentagon says troops meant for
Benghazi response would have been late
18. 11/08/2012, FoxNews: Benghazi attack suspect list expands to include
19. 11/07/2012, Reuters: Congress to continue probes of Benghazi attacks
20. 11/02/2012, Human Events, by Pat Buchanan: The smoking gun of the
21. 11/02/2012, NewsMax: McCain: WH Covering Up Benghazi to
22. 11/02/2012, NewsBusters: ABC and CBS Ignore Their Own Reporters
As Benghazi Blackout Reaches 7 Days
23. 11/02/2012, Associated Press: Pentagon foresaw possibility that
attacks on US posts in Benghazi might lead to hostages
24. 11/02/2012, The Miami Herald: Marco Rubio On Benghazi: 'There's
Classified Information That People Should Know'
25. 11/01/2012, Chicago Tribune: CIA officials in Libya made key
decisions during Benghazi attacks
26. 10/30/2012, The Examiner: Unreleased video shows Obama admitting
Benghazi attack was planned
27. 10/30/2012, The Atlantic Wire: Pentagon Denies Fox News Benghazi
28. 10/30/2012, Creators.com: Benghazi: Symbol of Obama's Leadership
29. 10/27/2012, USA Today: Obama rebuffs Benghazi questions
30. 10/26/2012, Christian Science Monitor: Benghazi attack: Urgent call
for military help ‘was denied by chain of command’
31. 10/26/2012, WND: Now Reuters contradicts itself on Benghazi attacks
32. 10/26/2012, Washington Times: Benghazi-gate continues: CIA
operators were told to 'stand down'
33. 10/26/2012, Washington Examiner: Obama twice dodges Benghazi
34. 10/26/2012, Canada Free Press (Editorial): Benghazi: the Great Media
Whitewash…. a National Disgrace
35. 10/26/2012, Canada Free Press (Editorial): Benghazi Lies: A Free
Nation Hangs in the Balance
36. 10/26/2012, Washington Times (Editorial): OLIVER NORTH: Obama’s
37. 10/25/2012, Forbes: Benghazi: Obama's Actions Amount To A
Shameful Dereliction Of Duty