The State Department knew, which means that the information went up the chain to Hillary Clinton.The National Security Council was copied on that email and the NSC briefs the president, which means that Obama knew. A decision was made to cover it up, to avoid talking about the fact that Al Qaeda had carried out an unprecedented raid on a US consulate on September 11 on Obama's watch.
No protest, no video and no plausible deniability. On Tuesday, September 11, 6:07 EST, an alert was sent out from the State Department to FBI, intelligence and military addresses stating that Ansar Al-Sharia, one of the local Al-Qaedalets, had taken credit for the attack.
The exact recipients have been blacked out, but the purpose of such alerts is to form a comprehensive picture of events so that subordinates can then brief their bosses. The State Department knew, which means that the information went up the chain to Hillary Clinton.
The National Security Council was copied on that email and the NSC briefs the president, which means that Obama knew.
Furthermore a Reuters story claims that, "... While some information identifying recipients of this message was redacted from copies of the messages obtained by Reuters, a government source said that one of the addresses to which the message was sent was the White House Situation Room, the president's secure command post."
Ambassador Rice would have to have been dramatically out of the loop to have not had the same access, and if she had been out of the loop, then she would not have been sent out to every morning show to babble on about the video. Unless that was itself a calculated part of the cover up.
When Rice said, “We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned”, she was either lying or had been set up.
The State Department and the White House have access to billions of dollars worth of human powered intelligence gathering and assessment. One of the first things that officials would have been told when being briefed about Benghazi is that a local Islamist militia had claimed credit for the attack.
The emails made no mention of protests, only of a sustained attack by heavily armed attackers. From earlier emails sent out by the consulate and by Tripoli, it would have been known that Benghazi was dominated by violent Islamist militias. All the information was there and it was dispensed.
A decision was made to cover it up, to talk endlessly about a video that Muslims were offended by, to avoid talking about the fact that Al Qaeda had carried out an unprecedented raid on a US consulate on September 11 on Obama's watch.