The McCain - Fox News - Republican attack on the Obama Administration and Susan Rice in particular is American politics, and media "he said / she said" coverage at its very worst.
Includes these undisputed facts:
1. "Angry demonstrations" spread across the Middle East and North Africa;
2. Demonstrators attacked the US Embassy in Yemen. Police defending it killed four;
3. Yemeni demonstrators stormed the Embassy compound; defending police killed one.
4. In Cairo, 224 were injured in protests;
5. In Libya, the US ambassord and three staff were killed in Benghazi
6. In Tehran, 500 protested chanting "Death to America!" and to the movie's director.
7. A small crowd burned an American flag in Gaza.
8. In Cairo, a follow-on demonstration the next day.
9. The Afghan government blocked YouTube to prevent access to the film.
Here's Susan Rice's exact words, September 16:
The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations. This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated. The investigation is on-going, and the US Government is working with Libyan authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of US citizens.Seems to be the statement she made was not just plausible, but credible, given the protests that were responses to the film, "Innocence of Muslims."
But in the end, what actual difference could it make whether the attack on the Benghazi Consulate began as a "spontaneous" demonstration, or was initiated as part of a 9/11/12 "terror" attack?
I suggest it is a "distinction without a difference," and only important to Republicans who tried first to use it to elect a Romney, and second, to disparage President Obama and undermine his authority.