Libyan security officials met with American embassy officials three days before the Benghazi consulate attacks, to warn them that their security situation was deteriorating, CNN reported today. Jamal Mabrouk, a member of the February 17th Brigade, said he and a battalion commander had met with U.S. officials and told them the situation was "frightening, it scares us."
Libyan President Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf told CBS's Face the Nation today that "The way these perpetrators acted and moved — I think we, and they're choosing the specific date for this so-called demonstration, I think we have no, this leaves us with no doubt that this was pre-planned, determined.... It was planned, definitely. It was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months ago. And they were planning this criminal act since their arrival."
In the face of these damning reports, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice baldly insisted on "This Week" that the attack was spontaneous. "Our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous, not a premeditated response to what had transpired in Cairo," Rice claimed. "We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo," Rice said. "And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons And it then evolved from there."