Right-Wing Mythology Creeps Into Washington Post Benghazi Timeline

The Washington Post misleadingly described the timeline of the Obama administration's response to the 2012 Benghazi attacks by privileging the conservative media myth that President Obama did not immediately identify the attacks as an act of terror.

On July 1 the Washington Post reported on the suspected leader of the attacks Abu Khattala's arrest and indictment, and attempted to lay out the controversy over the timeline of the administration's public statements. From the Post

The exact cause of the attack in Benghazi became the source of a bitter political dispute in Washington, in part because U.S. officials initially said it had begun as one of a number of spontaneous anti-U.S. street demonstrations sweeping across the Arab world as protesters denounced an anti-Muslim Internet video. The Obama administration later labeled what happened in Benghazi a terrorist attack.

But the day after the attacks, in his first public remarks, Obama identified the tragedy as an act of terror.  In his September 12 Rose Garden speech, Obama said “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”

The attacks appear to have been both an act of terror and a response to an anti-Islam video. The suspected ringleader of the Benghazi attacks, Abu Khattala, reportedly told other Libyans at the time that his actions were in retaliation for the video.

The Post's timeline echoes conservative media, who have consistently re-written and distorted this timeline to push Benghazi conspiracies.