This accusation [that the administration is lying about Benghazi] not only misses the mark but also demonstrates how profoundly the accusers misunderstand how intelligence works. In fact, the White House's evolving timeline for what happened in Benghazi is proof of precisely the opposite of what the breathless accusers suggest -- it is a sign of a normal, healthy intelligence process.--Aki Peritz,
To believe that the initial statements about what happened in Benghazi were a lie, one has to assume: (1) The administration had all the facts, even as the situation was evolving; (2) the administration chose to tell a deliberately false story about those facts; and (3) the story it told was consistent, with no administration official contradicting the official line. There is little evidence to support any of these three pillars of the Republican case against the White House.
First, it's clear that Obama was presented with a changing and muddied intelligence picture. The administration still hasn't finished gathering the evidence, and it had even less in the hours just after the attack.
Second, the criticisms of the administration's response are limited to parsing, not refuting the facts as they've stated them. Were the assailants "extremists" or "terrorists"? Either way, America is committed to finding them and bringing them to justice.
Third, the evolution of the explanation itself is an indication of candid and careful re-assessment, not of a consistent lie. An administration forthright enough to tell the world when its first findings were wrong should be applauded, not pilloried.
Finally, our government is too vast and far too leaky to support such a conspiracy. We aren't seeing a cover-up; rather, we are seeing the mundane workings of the intelligence community as it is attempting, however imperfectly, to keep up with fast-moving events.