Wednesday, October 17, 2012



According to the Getty caption for the image below, the photo shows Libyan civilians attempting to help Stevens following the overnight attack.

A second image was posted by Getty, again captioned as Libyan civilians helping an unconscious man identified as 52-year-old Christopher Stevens:

Both photos via AFP/Getty Images

Obama and Hillary talk about "Chris" being killed but they carefully avoid referring to Chris as "The American Ambassador" because they prefer to focus on the loss of a friend named "Chris" rather than the fact that the United States had it Ambassador to Libya assassinated by al Queda.
They know that American outrage will be a lot less over the loss of a friend of Barack and Hillary than over the loss of a representative of the people of the United States of America which is what an Ambassador is.

- Leo Rugiens

Yes, They Played Politics on Libya

 President Obama went ballistic during the presidential debate at Hofstra University when Mitt Romney questioned the conduct of the administration in its reaction to the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya:

And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the secretary of state, our U.N. ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, Governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as president. That’s not what I do as commander in chief.

It was potentially a strong moment for the president as he was able, at least for the moment, to deflect concern about the administration’s failure in Libya and turn into a question of whether Romney overstepped the mark in his criticism. 

But a dispassionate look at the question on which the president made his grandstand play shows that his administration stands guilty of doing exactly what he denied.

The whole point about the administration spending more than two weeks trying to claim that the assassination of the U.S. ambassador to Libya was merely the result of an overheated reaction to an offensive film is that it dovetails with the political needs of the Obama re-election campaign.

We have yet to discover exactly what President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice knew about Libya and when they knew it as well as why the consulate’s requests for security were denied and who made that decision. The president was asked a direct question about that at Hofstra and chose not to answer it.

Though this issue was diverted into one largely about whether the president called the incident a terror attack the next day, what is being ignored is the fact that even though Obama uttered the word “terror” the following day, his administration spent the following days and weeks shouting down those who spoke of it as terrorism.

Their motivation wasn’t just the product of confusion about the available intelligence. It was the product of a desire to silence any speculation about the revival of al-Qaeda affiliates in Libya.
In the aftermath of the 9/11 anniversary, U.S. diplomatic facilities were attacked throughout the Middle East with American flags being torn down and replaced by al-Qaeda banners. Throughout the region, Islamist terrorism continues to fester and even gain strength in certain countries.

That’s a grim fact that not only needs to be acknowledged but understood as a major cause of the Libya disaster. But it is not something that the administration is comfortable saying because the keynote to the president’s foreign policy and security re-election platform is the notion that al-Qaeda is as dead as Osama bin Laden.

Having staked so much on the “bin Laden is dead” theme, the administration dragged its feet when it came to telling the truth about Islamist terrorism in Libya. They repeatedly claimed that the ambassador died as the result of film criticism run amuck. While they claim this was the result of faulty intelligence, there’s no mystery about why they embraced this false narrative so enthusiastically. 

Talking about an offensive anti-Muslim video (albeit one that virtually no one has actually seen) allowed the president’s foreign policy team to avoid saying the words “terror” and “al-Qaeda.” Instead, they talked about a movie for which they endlessly apologized. The president’s faux outrage notwithstanding, if that isn’t playing politics with security issues and misleading the American public, I don’t know what is.


Obama and the “T” Word

When did President Obama refer to the Benghazi attack as an “act of terror”? According to Candy Crowley and White House spin artists, it was in his Rose Garden speech on September 12. But as I wrote last month, the reference was ambiguous at best. It was never clear whether Obama was referring to the Benghazi attack, the 9/11 attacks, the unrest across the Muslim world, or just terrorism in general.

However, at Foreign Policy, Josh Rogin dug up a transcript of Obama referring to the Benghazi attack more directly as an “act of terror” on Sept. 13 — at a campaign event in Colorado:
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney sparred over whether Obama called the Sept. 11 murder of four Americans in Benghazi a “terrorist” attack. In fact, Obama did refer to the attack as “an act of terror,” but he did not do so directly in the Rose Garden the next day.
Romney said during Tuesday night’s debate that it took 14 days for Obama to acknowledge that the attack was a terrorist attack, while Obama and CNN’s Candy Crowley agreed that Obama said so Sept. 12 in remarks in the Rose Garden. In those remarks, journalists noticed, he did not explicitly refer to the Benghazi attack as an “act of terror,” though he did use those words. …
But on Sept. 13, at a campaign event in Colorado, Obama again used the phrase “act of terror” and this time tied it directly to the Benghazi attack.
“So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice. I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished.

The bottom line? CNN’s Candy Crowley seriously erred in “correcting” Romney on that point, since Obama’s comment in the Rose Garden speech was debatable from the context. However, if the president now wants to clarify that he was referring to the Benghazi attack as an “act of terror” on September 12, let’s take him at his word.

Of course, clearing that up raises more questions than answers.
For one, why, if the president immediately knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack, did he fly to Las Vegas for a fundraiser the very next day? Why didn’t he inform UN Ambassador Susan Rice before she went on the Sunday shows and blamed the attack on the anti-Islam film? Why didn’t he tell his own spokesperson, who insisted days later that “We have no information to suggest that it was a preplanned attack…And while the violence is reprehensible and unjustified, it is not a reaction to the 9/11 anniversary that we know of, or to U.S. policy”? Why did the president himself go on “The View” nearly two weeks later, and — when asked point-blank whether Benghazi was a terrorist attack — say that “well, we’re still doing an investigation” and “it wasn’t just a mob action”?
More importantly, if President Obama believed it was a terrorist attack from Day One, why didn’t he share this with the American public? Why would he make a vague one-line reference to it in a single campaign stump speech in Ohio, but not give a full address to the American people, outlining what he knew?

1 comment:

  1. Some CIC, maybe he will bow down to some more of the middle east terrorists if they get him elected. He is at best a aclu worker in iran