General Carter Ham, the former head of U.S. forces in Africa told the Aspen Security Forum that it quickly became clear the assault on the American consulate in Benghazi was a terrorist attack and not a spontaneous demonstration as the White House insisted.
“It became apparent to all of us quickly that this was not a demonstration, this was a violent attack,” Ham said. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton initially had portrayed the embassy attack as a response to an inflammatory internet video.
Fox News Politics reported that Ham said he was in Washington D.C. for a routine meeting on September 11, 2012 with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Martin Dempsey, when an alert came in from commanders in Stuttgart, Germany that a violent assault was underway on the consulate in Benghazi and Ambassador Chris Stevens was missing.
When asked if it was a terrorist attack, Ham said the intelligence left no doubt that it was in fact a terrorist attack.
“I don’t know if that was my first reaction, but pretty quickly as we started to gain understanding within the hours after the initiation of the attack, yes.”
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