On Sept. 11, scores of men with automatic weapons and RPGs launched a night assault on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and set the building ablaze. Using mortars, they launched a collateral attack on a safe house, killing two more Americans, as other U.S. agents fled to the airport.
On Sept. 14, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the attack came out of a spontaneous protest caused by an anti-Muslim video on YouTube.
On Sept. 16, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice told the entire nation the attack had not been premeditated or preplanned but emanated from a spontaneous protest of the nasty video.
On Sept. 25, Obama at the United Nations mentioned the video six times.
But when they were pushing this tale, what did the White House actually know?
For we have now learned that the assault was observed in near real time by the State Department's Charlene Lamb, who was in contact with the security section at the Benghazi compound.
The next day, Sept. 12, Fox News and Eli Lake of The Daily Beast reported that U.S. intelligence had concluded it was terrorism. Within 24 hours of the attack, U.S. intelligence had identified some of the terrorists as members of an al-Qaida affiliate.
Thus either administration higher-ups were ignorant for more than a week of what their own agents knew, and are thus manifestly incompetent, or they colluded in a cover-up and orchestrated deception.
As the facts are revealed, the weight of evidence tilts toward the latter conclusion.
Why? Because we now know there never was any protest at the Benghazi compound — not against an anti-Muslim video or anything else.
And if there was no protest, who sent Carney out to blame the attack on the protest? And if there was no protest, who programmed Rice and put her on five separate Sunday talk shows to attribute the massacre to a protest that never happened?
If real-time intelligence and U.S. agents at the scene knew it was premeditated, preplanned terrorism by Sept. 12, who told Rice to deny specifically on Sept. 16 that the attack was premeditated or preplanned?
Indeed, why was Rice sent out at all? She is not in the chain of command. Why she accepted the assignment is obvious. She wants to be Hillary Clinton's successor as secretary of state. But who put her up to this? Who pushed her out front to mislead us?
The CIA's David Petraeus or Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should have been sent out to say what we knew, five days after the massacre. As Chris Stevens reported to the secretary of state and President Obama, why was Hillary or National Security Adviser Tom Donilon not sent out to explain what had happened to Stevens and the others?
Looking back, Carney and Rice appear to have been used by their superiors.
Carney would never have gone out to speculate on his own about what happened in Benghazi. His line on Sept. 14 had to have been fed to him by the White House chief of staff, Donilon, Obama or all of them.
As for Rice, someone contacted those five TV networks to put her on. And the party line she delivered — the opposite of the truth — had to have been fed to her, almost word for word — by Donilon or the chief of staff.
Could Donilon or Hillary have been in the dark about what Rice was going to say? Could they have still been in the dark about what had happened five days before in Benghazi, when Hillary's own deputy Charlene Lamb had followed the terrorist attack in near real time?
Hillary and the entire Obama national security team are in that famous photo with Obama watching Seal Team Six in Abbottabad when Osama bin Laden was taken down.
Was the National Security Council alerted by Lamb when she was observing the attack in near real time? Did the NSC also observe?
Was the president told by the NSC that we were getting real-time intel and video from Benghazi, and would he like to see?
There is an even more fundamental question:
Why did the White House persist with the phony story of a protest against a video being the cause of Ambassador Stevens' death, when they had to know there was no protest?
The most plausible explanation is that the truth — we were being hit with the worst terror attack since 9/11 in a city we saved — would have exposed Obama's boasting about his Libya triumph and al-Qaida being "on the run" and "on the path to defeat" as absurd propaganda.
Al-Qaida is now in Libya, Mali, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Pakistan.
And the epidemic of anti-American riots across the Muslim world, with Arab Spring elections bringing to power Islamist regimes, testify to the real truth. After four years of Obama, it is America that is on the run in the Middle East.
But we can't let folks find that out until after Nov. 6.
Hence the Benghazi cover-up.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.