During last night’s debate, Vice President Joe Biden blamed the U.S. intelligence community for providing bad information about the cause and nature of the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. Via The Weekly Standard:

Moderator Martha Raddatz asked Biden directly why administration spokesman “were talking about protests” in Benghazi. “When people in the consulate first saw armed men attacking with guns, there were no protesters. Why did that go on?”

“Because that was exactly what we were told by the intelligence community,” Biden said. “The intelligence community told us that. As they learned more facts about exactly what happened, they changed their assessment.”

Hogwash. Eli Lake reported in The Daily Beast that U.S. intelligence officials knew almost immediately after the attacks occurred that this was a staged terrorist attack:

In the hours following the 9/11 anniversary attack on the U.S. consulate inBenghazi, Libya, U.S. intelligence agencies monitored communications from jihadists affiliated with the group that led the attack and members of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the group’s North African affiliate.

In the communications, members of Ansar al-Sharia (AAS) bragged about their successful attack against the American consulate and the U.S. ambassador, according to three U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast anonymously because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

At this stage there is no consensus inside the U.S. intelligence community that AQIM planned the attack, but the communications are more evidence that the attack was no spontaneous reaction to an Internet video, as the Obama administration had said for the first nine days after the attack.

The Daily Mail’s Tony Harnden:

When asked by [debate moderater Martha] Raddatz why the White House had blamed the death of Stevens on protests about a movie, [Biden] responded: ‘Because that was exactly what we were told by the intelligence community.’

There is ample evidence that this was not the case. From today, expect a number of senior intelligence figures to come out and say that.

The U.S. intelligence community is not about to take the fall for what happened in Benghazi just so Obama can be re-elected.

No wonder our intelligence officers are disgusted.

Good question.