If this was a coordinated attack as described in this piece, yesterday's State Department apology looks particularly damning.
[Updated at 12:51 p.m. ET] A London think tank with strong ties to Libya speculated Wednesday that Stevens was actually the victim of a targeted al Qaeda revenge attack.
The assault "came to avenge the death of Abu Yaya al-Libi, al Qaeda's second in command killed a few months ago," the think tank Quilliam said Wednesday. It was "the work of roughly 20 militants, prepared for a military assault," the think tank said, noting that rocket-propelled grenade launchers do not normally appear at peaceful protests, and that there were no other protests against the film elsewhere in Libya.
The planned attack came in two waves, one which prompted U.S. officials to leave the consulate for a secure location. The second wave was directed at the place of retreat, Quilliam said, citing unnamed sources on the ground in Benghazi and abroad.
“These are acts committed by uncontrollable jihadist groups. We hope Libya will seize this opportunity to revive its policy of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Re-integration (DDR) in order to facilitate an end to the spread of such attacks, with the help of the International Community," Noman Benotman, President of Quilliam, said in a press release. "We hope that the International Community, including NATO member states and especially the U.S., will continue their excellent work in Libya which began with the overthrow of the dictator Gadhafi after 42 years in power.”
As I said earlier today, I it was curious that almost nobody yesterday was pointing out the relevance of the date of these actions. There is an old expression in medicine: "when you hear hoove steps, think horses, not zebras." In other words, look for the most likely answer when diagnosing symptoms. This administration doesn't seem to know a horse when it sees one.