A New York Times report on the attack calls into question much of what Republicans, accusing the Obama administration of a cover-up, have said about the incident. The three main points of contention have been whether the attack was planned, whether it was sparked by an anti-Muslim video, and whether al Qaeda was involved.
The reality in Benghazi was different, and murkier, than either of those story lines suggests. Benghazi was not infiltrated by Al Qaeda, but nonetheless contained grave local threats to American interests. The attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs
The GOP suggests the administration removed specific terror references and stuck to the explanation advanced by Rice — later proved untrue — that the attack was the result of spontaneous demonstrations over the U.S.-produced film “Innocence of Muslims,” which contained scenes some Muslims considered blasphemous.
The White House and its allies in Congress have said any confusion and conflicting information in the early hours and days after the assault stemmed from the “fog of war,” not any deliberate effort to mislead the public.