The National Security Agency may have been conducting massive surveillance of the Internet through its PRISM program, including surveillance of Facebook–as The Guardian and The Washington Post reported yesterday–but that did not prevent the administration from blaming the Benghazi terrorist attack, which a terrorist group was openly taking credit for on Facebook, on a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube.
While the Benghazi attack was still unfolding on the evening of Sept. 11, 2012, Ansar al-Sharia, a Benghazi-based terrorist group with links to al Qaeda, made a posting on Facebook taking responsibility for the attack. Despite Ansar al-Sharia’s Facebook posting, the administration publicly explained the attack as the outgrowth of a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube.
At about 3:42 p.m. Washington, D.C., time on Sept. 11, 2012, a group of terrorists swarmed through the front gate of the State Department’s Special Mission Compound in Benghazi.
Twenty-three minutes later, at 4:05 p.m., Washington, D.C., time, the State Department’s Operations Center sent an email to the National Security Staff at the White House, to the office of the Director of National Intelligence, and to the Pentagon stating that the Benghazi facility was under attack.