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Attack on U.S. Consulate in Libya Deemed Terrorism

A designation long in coming, finally comes

Adam Chandler
September 20, 2012
American Consulate in Benghazi Following Last Week's Attack(AP)
American Consulate in Benghazi Following Last Week's Attack(AP)

It’s been over a week since a heinous attack on the American consulate in Benghazi took the lives of four civil servants including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Within hours it became evident that the attack came not out of rage over a incendiary film, but as a result of a brazen premeditated assault. But the White House held off on acknowledging this until…today.

“It is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack,” the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters traveling on Air Force One on Thursday. “Our embassy was attacked violently and the result was four deaths of American officials.”

Yesterday, Matthew G. Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made similar remarks during a Congressional hearing, but it wasn’t until today that both the State Department and White House weighed in. We’ll no doubt hear more about this in the coming days, but for now, the Times added this:

Obama administration officials initially said the attack had not been planned in advance. But, with the election less than two months away, they have come under criticism from Republican lawmakers who say the administration is playing down a threat for which it was unprepared.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.