After Presidential Debate #2 we find ourselves again with a President parsing words that does the truth a grave disservice. What’s even more atrocious is the fact the Presidential Debate Commission’s choice of Candy Crowley let her journalistic objectivity fail.
Although there are a number of issues with this event; first, this makes two debates in a row where the moderator failed to be impartial in ensuring no candidate consumed more than his allotted time. The second, however, is one of those glaring examples equivocation and falsehood on the part of the President and faux self-righteous indignation combined with the moderator taking sides when she should have kept her mouth shut rather than make a judgement call where her bias would obviously influence her. Of what am I speaking? I’m speaking about the moment when Governor Romney mentioned that President Obama and his administration were late to the game in confessing their failure in the Benghazi, Libya attacks, and avoiding labeling it a terrorist attack. In fact, this administration is so discombobulated that it’s only today, over one month after the incident, that someone has finally stepped up to the plate and said “the buck stops here”– no, not Mr. Obama, but Secretary of State Clinton.
The President contended in the debate, along with the inaccurate affirmation by Crowley, that he refered to the Benghazi attack as a “terror” attack during his statement on 9/11 and the Benghazi attack.Screen shot of the White House’s specific Benghazi Embassy attack from 12 Sept.
This is in fact just plain dumb wrong (pardon the Texan colloquialism ). The President had a Rose Garden Ceremony that addressed the Benghazi attacks and the anniversary of the original 9/11 attacks on the 12th of September– one day after the Ambassador and three others were murdered by an organized terror attack. He simply called these attacks “outrageous”. Rightly so. But no mention of the word terror. This is from his official statement on the Benghazi attacks (see the image here).
When you listen to the speech in the Rose Garden, it’s pretty clear that he did not call Benghazi attack an act of terror. Now, you may be able to attribute this to poor articulation since the administration also spoke of the 9/11/01 attacks as terror attacks– maybe he meant both, but it sure doesn’t seem that way. If so, why wouldn’t he mention this on his official comment about the Benghazi Embassy attack in his specific statement? If so, why wouldn’t he or his administration call it a terror attack explicitly rather than to drag a admittedly offensive film to Muslims into the discussion?
It is clear– the Administration willingly avoided calling the Benghazi attack a terror attack until it was painfully aware that it could no longer do so and still appear half-way credible. The sad fact is that, even when it became blindingly obvious that it was a pre-planned attack, the president still couldn’t bring himself to leave his truth-killing mantra of a non-existent protest in Benghazi over an unheard of (and mostly unwatched) film. Take a look at the relevant transcript of his conversation with David Letterman on the 18th of September, one week after the attacks:
Obama: You had a video that was released by somebody who lives here, a sort of shadowy character who is extremely offensive video directed at Muhammad and Islam.
Letterman: Making fun of the Prophet Muhammad.
Obama: Making fun of the Prophet Muhammad. And, so, this caused great offense, in much of the Muslim world. But, what also happened was extremists and terrorists used this as an excuse to attack a variety of our embassies, including the consulate in Libya.
Again, attributing this to a film, but finally starting to use the word terrorist.
Anyway you cut this– the President is obviously prevaricating at the worst, and deceitfully obfuscating at its best. This truly is a sad state of affairs.