Representative Mike Rogers (R., Mich.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News Sunday that he finds “suspect” the administration’s preliminary conclusion that the Benghazi attack that murdered four Americans was a spontaneous eruption from otherwise non-violent protests.
Rogers was responding comments from UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who earlier said of the attack: “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.”
“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.”
It’s worth noting that the two explanations are not mutually exclusive. That is, that the attack on Stevens was pre-planned and sophisticated, but that it was also distinct from, or parasitic on, a broader protest.