This comes despite Libyan President Mohamed Yousef El-Magarief, members of Congress, an administration spokesperson, and several press reports suggesting that al Qaeda played a role in the attack. Recently, on Nov. 1 in Green Bay, Wis., Obama said, “Thanks to sacrifice and service of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over, the war in Afghanistan is winding down, al Qaeda has been decimated, Osama bin Laden is dead.” Fox News reported Monday about an Aug. 15 emergency meeting of personnel at the U.S. Mission in Benghazi over concerns of al Qaeda training camps in the area.
An Aug. 16 cable from Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed on Sept. 11, was sent to the Office of the Secretary of State and briefed on the emergency meeting, saying, “on the location of approximately ten Islamist militias and AQ training camps within Benghazi … these groups ran the spectrum from Islamist militias, such as QRF Brigade and Ansar al-Sharia to Takfirist thugs,” Fox News reported the communication as saying. One day after the Benghazi attack that occurred on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, Obama spoke at a campaign event in Las Vegas on Sept. 12. “A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead,” Obama said in Las Vegas.
On Sept. 13 in Golden, Colo., Obama said, “Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq -- and we did. I said we’d wind down the war in Afghanistan -- and we are. And while a new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.” He repeated that line again on Sept. 17 in Cincinnati and again that day in Columbus, Ohio. The next day at a fundraising event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, Obama brought up the first 9/11 and used “decimated,” indicating past tense. “We’ve got choices about war and peace,” Obama said. “I ended the war in Iraq, as I promised. We are transitioning out of Afghanistan. We have gone after the terrorists who actually attacked us 9/11 and decimated al Qaeda.”
On Sept. 20, speaking at the University of Miami, Obama said, “We’ve decimated al Qaeda’s top leadership in the border regions around Pakistan, but in Yemen, in Libya, in other of these places – increasingly in places like Syria – what you see is these elements that don’t have the same capacity that a bin Laden or core al Qaeda had, but can still cause a lot of damage, and we’ve got to make sure that we remain vigilant and are focused on preventing them from doing us any harm.” On Sept. 21 in Woodbridge, Va. and Sept. 23 in Milwaukee, Obama again said, “al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.”