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Why the Benghazi terrorist attack still dogs Obama

When it comes up in the presidential candidates’ foreign policy debate Monday night, President Obama will have some serious explaining to do about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last month that killed the US Ambassador and three other Americans.

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President Barack Obama, accompanied by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaks during a ceremony Sept. 14 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., marking the return to the United States of the remains of the four Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

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When it comes up in the presidential candidates’ foreign policy debate Monday night – and it certainly will – President Obama will have some serious explaining to do about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last month.

His answer could be pivotal in the debate, perhaps even in the election. Meanwhile, new information about what happened that night – the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States – and in the weeks afterward continues to emerge.

David Ignatius, the Washington Post’s well-regarded foreign policy columnist, reports that initial CIA “talking points” supported UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s early contention that the attack in Benghazi – which took the life of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other embassy personnel – was tied to region-wide protests against a crude anti-Islam YouTube video.

According to the CIA account, provided to Mr. Ignatius by a senior US intelligence official, “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”

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