You knew the timeline released by the CIA on Friday would be self serving, but how accurate was it?
Fox News reports - not very:
According to the CIA, the first calls for assistance came at 9:40 p.m. local time from a senior State Department official at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, to the CIA annex about a mile away.
But according to multiple people on the ground that night, the Blue Mountain Security manager, who was in charge of the local force hired to guard the consulate perimeter, made calls on both two-way radios and cell phones to colleagues in Benghazi warning of problems at least an hour earlier. Those calls allegedly went to local security contractors who say that the CIA annex was also notified much earlier than 9:40 p.m. U.S. military intelligence also told Fox News that armed militia was gathering up to three hours before the attack began.
One source said the Blue Mountain Security chief seemed "distraught" and said "the situation here is very serious, we have a problem." He also said that even without these phone and radio calls, it was clear to everyone in the security community on the ground in Benghazi much earlier than 9:40 p.m. that fighters were gathering in preparation for an attack.
Many of these security contractors and intelligence sources on the ground in Benghazi met twice a week for informal meetings at the consulate with Blue Mountain and consulate staff, and at times other international officials. They were all very familiar with security at the consulate -- and said the staff seemed "complacent" and "didn't seem to follow the normal American way of securing a facility."
Both American and British sources say multiple roadblocks set up by fighters believed to be with Ansar al-Sharia were in place in Benghazi several hours before the 9:40 p.m. timeline and that communications also alluded to "heavily armed troops showing up with artillery." Fox News was told by both American and British contacts who were in Benghazi that night that the CIA timeline rolled out this past week is only "loosely based on the truth" and "doesn't quite add up."
Fox News was also told that the local guard force meant to protect the consulate perimeter "panicked" and didn't know what to do as the attackers took up positions. Sources say other guards simply "walked away".
There is still a question of whether some guards were in on the attack. As for the timeline, it has served its purpose of satisfying mainstream journalists who had questions about the CIA response. We will hear no more of it until after the election.