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October 24th, 2012
10:24 AM ET

Rep. Mike Rogers on consulate attack emails: 'Somebody latched on to what they wanted to hear'

This morning on "Starting Point," Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, talks with Soledad about new CNN reporting detailing emails in the aftermath of the U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya.

Rogers says the emails confirm the consulate was a target, and was perpetrated by a terrorist affiliate of AQIM, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb

"When you look at the entire timeline, Soledad, we know that there were threat streams from AQIM, Al Qaeda in the Maghreb and Ansar al Sharia, this group that was claiming responsibility that they referenced in the e-mail, is an affiliate of that Al Qaeda group," Rogers says. "This was clearly a targeted place, somewhere they wanted to have some terrorist success on the compound. So what you saw in the e-mails in that real time was a real description. And, as you noticed, there was no talk of demonstrations or other things. And it was clearly very early identified with a terrorist affiliate of AQIM."

Soledad also asks Rogers about conflicting reporting from the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal on what exactly happened.

"I think somebody latched onto what they wanted to hear in intelligence that was provided," Rogers says. "Remember, if you're an analyst and you do this for a living, you see all of this threat information about the consulate long before the September 1th attack on the consulate. We know twice that it's been attacked, which it tells you, by the way, Al Qaeda sponsored events, they want to - they'll continue hitting the target until they're successful. We saw that with the twin towers in the '93 attack, and then if successful 9/11 attack in 2000 - their success, not ours."

Rogers adds, "take a look at all of that stream of information, and then these e-mails that you just highlighted, it's really difficult to come to the conclusion up front that it was a spontaneous, not planned, part of a protest when none of that was in the early hours of reporting. So we're still trying to figure out what happened."

What I believe happened, Soledad, is that somebody saw something that they thought was the way that they wanted to talk about it, versus what the facts on the ground were, because, think about it, even when that narrative was starting to develop, oh, this was spontaneous, it wasn't planned, it wasn't really a terrorist attack, on September 13th we had another jihadist attack on an embassy in Tunisia. It was very serious, four people killed, not Americans, we had to evacuate the embassy, and they also went and stormed the American school there. So you see this pattern of activity is really hard to come to this conclusion that was just spontaneous, and just kind of happened.


Filed under: Libya
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. T. O. Roberts

    Let's see – its now Oct 31st and no trace of any media (ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN et al except Fox News) that will be candid in their covering of this terrorist attack. Hmmm what's going on? Clearly it doesn't serve the Democrats cause for the truth to be revealed openly prior to the election. I served 20 years in the military and this is reprehensible the way this is not being covered. I salute the comments made by the father of one of the killed SEALS that said his son's blood was on their hands. There is no honor with this President. I'm ashamed of our country and the depth to which this administration has stooped. Thank God my race is just about run – I'm 70, but I rue the days ahead if my children and grandchildren have to live with such tyranny in high places.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Boattown

    Congratulations Soledad.

    You proved that you can actually do an interview without reading from a Media Matters piece or going belistic and sarcastic when talking to someone orm the other side of the aisle.

    The problem is, journalists are not supposed to conduct themselves like advocated for one of the two parties.

    Maybe this is a fresh start of what previously has appeared to be an audition for MSNBC.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. jim

    Yeeup, keep burying the story cnn.

    If this was a Republican administration that was lying andcoveringup a terrorist attack, Soledad would be all over it like she is all over free outfits from the dressing room.

    October 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Whether the Whuite House believed the attack was spontaneous, planned or part of a protest, its assessment of what happened at our consulate did not cause the attack. What cause the attack was hate that militant extremists have for the West. That is what cause the act, it was hate. The White House's assessment of what happened or the fact that it didn't rush to a microphone one hour after hearing about the attack like Romney did to try to explain what happened did NOT cause the attack. Enough now. Please go away and stop politicizing a tragedy.

    October 25, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. marsman

    Hillary is just covering her rear-end..... the President dropped the ball.
    Ambassador asked for security help and none was given.... four Americans died for no reason except dereliction of duty by White House staff AND the President (campaigning off to Vegas).
    Obama and Clinton should both not be fired but resign !

    October 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Fair & Balanced

    CNN can you please get up to speed... The obvious is that "WE THE PEOPLE" were provided lies by Rice, Carey, Biden, Obama and Hillary. The security on the ground was not there, the military was on standby but did not do anything and above all else, the so called video was a hoax put out to the American people. Everthing from Fort Hood to Lybia has been an Act of Terrorism. Let me be more clear since the President will not call it what it really is.. a Terrorist Attack on Americans at home and abroad. The Cold War is not over it was just waiting in the wings as it is now with Russia, Japan, China, Iran, Afghanistan and North Korea. If for one minute anyone thinks that the events going on around the world will not lead to corruption and koas in America they are sadly mistaken. This type of ideology is here in America and will only get worse if we do not call it what it is and become honest with ourselves. Enough debating it is time to clean up the White House and get rid of those individuals that are infringing on our future and the future of America...Pelosi, Reed, Hillary, Rice, Biden, Obama, Carey, Axelrod need to be FIRED. The are the worst people to have in a position of influence on any ticket. We are a Nation full of disgrace due to the racist remarks and lack of leadership of these individuals. So CNN stop picking a story that will salvage your ratings and stick to real reporting. You along with all of America was lied to about 9/11/2012.... it is a shame that you will not push back. Just shows that you want to straddle the fence in case of anymore Obama money or if he wins the election. SAD SAD DAY in America when our newspapers and reports can be bribed. Report actual and factual.... Lead and not follow....

    October 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Terry

    Could CNN possibly bury this any deeper? No room on the front page for a historic story of a sitting President getting caught lying to the US People about his administration getting a US Ambassador killed and covering it up?

    October 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Crytal

    Right. It's not about who did what when – but then he goes into the who did what and when. They cannot stop their spin machine. It goes on 24/7 and has taken over any other way of thinking or communicating.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Jenn McGuire

    This is the most politcized mess you could imagine. Really disgusting that politics got the better half of both Republicans and Democrats because people died. I do think it is very confusing because there was spontaneous protests going off around the arbic nations regarding the video and yet it had a expert level to the attack. No one knows yet what happened so they need to call off the political BS and get to the truth so it can be prevented in the future.

    October 24, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Linda

    So Rogers is saying the Bush Administration failed to heed intel warnings about 9/11/2001?

    October 24, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. rickyp7

    Reblogged this on Rick's Blog and commented:
    "Rogers adds, "take a look at all of that stream of information, and then these e-mails that you just highlighted, it's really difficult to come to the conclusion up front that it was a spontaneous, not planned, part of a protest when none of that was in the early hours of reporting. So we're still trying to figure out what happened."

    So, why is everyone so sure that the Obama Administration was intentionally trying to cover up what happened? If he admits they're still trying to figure out what happened, why are they so confident in bashing Obama, his leadership, and his reaction/statements regarding it? If you don't know what happened, how can you say Obama or anyone in his administration is wrong about it? THAT is what Soledad should have asked the republican.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. rickyp7

    "Rogers adds, "take a look at all of that stream of information, and then these e-mails that you just highlighted, it's really difficult to come to the conclusion up front that it was a spontaneous, not planned, part of a protest when none of that was in the early hours of reporting. So we're still trying to figure out what happened."

    So, why is everyone so sure that the Obama Administration was intentionally trying to cover up what happened? If he admits they're still trying to figure out what happened, why are they so confident in bashing Obama, his leadership, and his reaction/statements regarding it? If you don't know what happened, how can you say Obama or anyone in his administration is wrong about it? THAT is what Soledad should have asked the republican.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse | Reply

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