The Straits Times
Published on Nov 16, 2012

Rice got initial assessment on Libya: CIA deputy


WASHINGTON (AP) - Five days after the attack on the United States (US) Consulate in Libya, United Nations (UN) Ambassador Susan Rice described what precipitated the deadly incident based on initial intelligence that later proved incorrect, the deputy Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director told Congress on Thursday.

In a closed-door session with the House Intelligence committee, Mike Morell said Ms Rice was provided with an unclassified version of events at the US mission in Benghazi that left American Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others dead, according to Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat and member of the panel.

The assessment concluded that a spontaneous protest over an anti-Muslim video had evolved into an attack on the American consulate, a description that Ms Rice presented in television interviews the Sunday morning after the attack.

Mr Schiff told reporters that he didn't think the intelligence community had politicised the information. "They gave us the best initial assessments, and those proved inaccurate, but they warned us those assessments were subject to change as they got more information," he said.