Yesterday’s headlines were all over the map on this, and yet I get the impression this is viewed as a minor story by the main stream media.
Despite claims to the contrary early on, and President Obama’s reticence to use the actual words, Hillary Clinton and Jay Carney both admitted yesterday that what happened in Libya was a terrorist attack, not just a protest gone wrong. Meanwhile questions are arising about what the White House knew and when, and whether this was about a hack job of a movie at all.
CNBC asks “Did White House Lie About Libya Attacks?” The answer appears to be yes.
Here’s a link to the video of an interview the House Chair of the Homeland Security Committee, and the text of the related article:
Larry Kudlow is hearing from his beltway sources that the President may have put politics ahead of national security in the wake of the Libya attacks that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Kudlow, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and other skeptics charge the administration deceived the nation when it said the attacks had not been planned in advance.
Those same skeptics say the administration via UN Ambassador Susan Rice deliberately downplayed events in Libya to preserve Obama’s image as the President who had won the war on terror by killing Osama Bin Laden.
“They sent (Susan Rice) out for political reasons,” said King on The Kudlow Report. “The Obama administration wants people to believe that the war against terror is over.”
In other words, if the White House admitted Libya was a terror attack – it would have called the campaign message into question – something Democratic strategists didn’t want to do.
Instead, the GOP says the administration shifted attention to a movie that depicted Islam’s prophet Muhammad in an unflattering light – a movie that sparked protests in Egypt – knowing that was not the catalyst.
“They wanted people to believe the violence was caused by a few malcontents,” King explained, but it was actually something much more sinister.
“They don’t want the appearance that Al Qaeda has come back but the truth is Al Qaeda has never gone away,” said King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
“I see this as nothing short of a cover up,” added Larry Kudlow.
Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton shares the sentiment.
“The administration could have said from the beginning, ‘We don’t know all the facts, and therefore, we’re not ruling out any potential explanation,’” said Bolton in a published interview.
“But that’s not what they did. They came down in the midst of great uncertainty and said it was spontaneous. It was not terrorism.”
Now, however, as reported in the Examiner, the White House is quietly admitting that yes, it’s “self-evident” this was a terrorist attack. And they expect this change in tone to go unnoticed. As reported in the Examiner:
“You know what else is self-evident? That the Obama administration is full of liars,” Twitchy said Thursday.
“For a week, they lied to the American people and blamed a movie, condemning free speech time and time again, for the murder of four Americans in Libya and for embassy attacks across the globe,” Twitchy added.
CBS reported Thursday morning that witnesses said “there was never an anti-American protest outside of the consulate [in Benghazi, Libya]. Instead, they say, it came under planned attack. That is in direct contradiction to the administration’s account of the incident.”
The CBS report also said “that the public won’t get a detailed account of what happened until after the election.”
Here’s that CBS report:
A major question is whether the film had anything whatsoever to do with the attack, or if it was a White House distraction from the beginning.
In a Boston Herald op ed entitled “How the Truth Hurts Hence White House Avoids it,” Michael Graham says Jay Carney’s explanation of events doesn’t pass his “teenage son” test.
In other words, if you imagined your teenage son giving you the same story, would you believe him?
So I look Carney in the eye and I think to myself: “Let me see if I’ve got this straight: A group of men armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades just happens to gather outside our consulate for a “spontaneous” protest, they just happen to organize a successful two-wave attack on the compound and, by sheer coincidence, someone inside lets them know where Ambassador Christopher Stevens is hiding. Oh, and all this happened on the anniversary of 9/11 and you’re telling me it wasn’t a planned attack?”
Does this pass the “teenage son” test for you? Graham says he’d send Carney “to his room.”
The remainder of the piece is also excellent:
Of course the Obama administration’s story was bogus. The Libyans said so, a member of the administration’s own counter-terrorism office said so and, most important, your good sense said so.
Which is why nobody’s surprised to learn that, far from the “movie-review-gone-horribly-wrong” scenario from the White House, we now know there had been warnings of an attack for days, Ambassador Stevens openly worried about his safety and it appears a former Gitmo detainee and al-Qaida member was directly involved.
In fact CBS News reports that witnesses say there was no anti-American protest that day at all. None. Just a coordinated attack against an American target by a terrorist group on 9/11.
But sometimes we love our teenagers so much we’re willing to turn a blind eye to their misbehavior, hoping the reality isn’t true. Is that what’s happening between the press and the White House? If so that’s starting to unravel, as Graham says, like with our teenagers, sometimes we need to use tough love and go with our gut:
Watching the violence spreading across the Middle East, did you ever buy the “this has nothing to do with Obama administration policy, it’s just a movie” line? Of course not. The White House could send 100 people out to spin, but you’d know the truth.
And that’s the point: you knew. Just like you know when your kid claims he spent the night at his friend’s house, or doesn’t know why there’s a bottle of vodka missing from the liquor cabinet — you knew.
The next 46 days will be filled with claims, counter-claims, statistics and polls. You’ll hear more excuses from the Obama campaign about the current mess they’ve created than from a teenager who blew off a term paper.
This election year, more than any other I’ve ever seen, you need to ignore it all and go with your gut. You’ll make the right call in November.
In perhaps the most blistering commentary of both the White House and the media, Charles Krauthammer told Fox that the press is suppressing the collapse of Obama’s policy.
Here’s the transcript:
Charles Krauthammer: I think this is a scandal at many levels. Obviously, the level of on the ground what happened in Libya. The lack of warning, the lack of intelligence, the lack of communication, the lack of response in and of itself is going to be a scandal as the details are coming out. The second level was already mentioned, [unintelligible] in effect of the administration went out and ridiculously sends out a U.S. ambassador to the U.N., probably the next Secretary of State if Obama is re-elected, and is telling the nation with a straight face that it was a spontaneous demonstration and it wasn’t a terrorist attack, which a 9-year-old could tell was not so.
They stuck with the story. Day after day, the president himself today refuses to say the obvious. On the same day his Secretary of State says of course it’s a terrorist attack.
Carney today, I think, said of course it’s a terrorist attack. It looks like incompetence. But actually, I think there’s a method here and the idea is you want to pretend it’s something else, hope it goes away. And the reason that the administration understands but it won’t say that this really is a symbol of the collapse of the policy that Obama initiated of accommodation and apology in the Muslim world. He had attributed all the ills, all the anti-Americanism to the Bush invasion, to the torture and the degradation of the previous administration. All of that is over and yet we have the worst explosion of anti-Americanism in memory.
And this is a collapse of the policy they can’t admit, they have to pretend isn’t happening and the press is collaborating and suppressing. Either it doesn’t understand or it doesn’t want to harm Obama.
Krauthammer had his own op ed Thursday in the Washington Post as well, in which he laid out the case that Obama’s Middle East policy is a failure. He reminds his readers that Obama tried to “re-set” relations with the Muslim world in Cairo in 2009.
It’s now three years since the Cairo speech. Look around. The Islamic world is convulsed with an explosion of anti-Americanism. From Tunisia to Lebanon, American schools, businesses and diplomatic facilities set ablaze. A U.S. ambassador and three others murdered in Benghazi. The black flag of Salafism, of which al-Qaeda is a prominent element, raised over our embassies in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Sudan.
The administration, staggered and confused, blames it all on a 14-minute trailer for a film no one has seen and may not even exist.
What else can it say? Admit that its doctrinal premises were supremely naive and its policies deeply corrosive to American influence?
“It’s time,” declared Obama to wild applause of his convention, “to do some nation-building right here at home.” He’d already announced a strategic pivot from the Middle East to the Pacific. Made possible because “the tide of war is receding.”
Nonsense. From the massacres in Nigeria to the charnel house that is Syria, violence has, if anything, increased. What is receding is Obama’s America.
It’s as axiomatic in statecraft as in physics: Nature abhors a vacuum. Islamists rush in to fill the space and declare their ascendancy. America’s friends are bereft, confused, paralyzed.
Islamists rise across North Africa from Mali to Egypt. Iran repeatedly defies U.S. demands on nuclear enrichment, then, as a measure of its contempt for what America thinks, openly admits that its Revolutionary Guards are deployed in Syria. Russia, after arming Assad, warns America to stay out, while the secretary of state delivers vapid lectures about Assad “meeting” his international “obligations.” The Gulf states beg America to act on Iran; Obama strains mightily to restrain . . . Israel.
Sovereign U.S. territory is breached and U.S. interests are burned. And what is the official response? One administration denunciation after another — of a movie trailer! A request to Google to “review” the trailer’s presence on YouTube. And a sheriff’s deputies’ midnight “voluntary interview” with the suspected filmmaker. This in the land of the First Amendment.
What else can Obama do? At their convention, Democrats endlessly congratulated themselves on their one foreign policy success: killing Osama bin Laden. A week later, the Salafist flag flies over four American embassies, even as the mob chants, “Obama, Obama, there are still a billion Osamas.”
A foreign policy in epic collapse. And, by the way, Vladimir Putin just expelled the U.S. Agency for International Development from Russia. Another thank you from another recipient of another grand Obama “reset.”
Krauthammer’s not alone in questioning the media, either. Others are asking where the media was to ask these questions after the attack? Jack Kelly:
That night, the networks devoted 20 times the broadcast minutes to criticisms of Mr. Romney than to criticisms of how the administration has handled the crisis. It was much the same on the morning shows Thursday. …
At that news conference Wednesday morning, Jan Crawford of CBS and Ari Shapiro of NPR were caught on an open mike plotting how to ensure it would focus on the timing of Mr. Romney’s criticism rather than on its substance.
Most in the “mainstream” media are now de facto extensions of the Obama campaign. More people are noticing. “I think you guys are suck-ups,” a woman told reporters covering a Romney rally in Virginia on Thursday.
As frightening as it is that there are such problems in the Middle East, and that the media treats Obama like its wayward teenage son, perhaps more scandalous is the appearance, if not the reality, that the Obama administration is buying good press coverage by giving the scoop to the press over the U.S. Congress. In an article on The Hill yesterday, Alexander Bolton reported:
Senate Republicans are furious the Obama administration rebuffed their attempts to learn details of the Benghazi attack, only to give the coveted information to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal…
Senators say they were rebuffed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when they pressed for more information about the attack that killed U.S. envoy Christopher Stephens in Libya.
“That is the most useless, worthless briefing I have attended in a long time,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told reporters after the closed-door session.
GOP lawmakers were incensed to find many of the details they tried to learn Thursday were in a front-page article in The Times the following morning. …
Republicans have grown increasingly frustrated with the Obama administration’s cozy relationship with the press.
Some think the media has given Obama favorable coverage. …
Republicans led by McCain have complained loudly this year that Obama’s senior advisors have tried to generate favorable stories by leaking classified information to reporters.
And there are more accusations that the press isn’t doing its job. In an op end entitled “Media Cover for Obama’s Failures,” Steve Huntley of the Chicago Sun Times, after outlining how the press is declining to report just how bad the economy is under Obama, moves on to foreign policy:
The news is no better on foreign policy. Even the administration is backing away from U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s farcical claim that the wave of anti-American riots were a spontaneous reaction to an obscure Internet video. And Obama’s “reset” with Russia is faring no better than his outreach to the Muslim world. Moscow kicked out the U.S. Agency for International Development, which promotes democracy and human rights, claiming it meddles in Russian politics.
From the American kitchen table to the U.S. business environment to the unemployment line to the Arab street to Russian diplomacy, Obama’s policies have been a failure. Who wants four more years of that?
Amen, brother. Like his domestic policies, President Obama’s foreign policy is beginning to unravel. This level of incompetence and hide the ball politics is unacceptable and President Obama should be shown the door. His policies are dangerous, and the only questions left are whether the press will cover it and whether the American people will see what’s really happening before the election. Re-tweet to make sure they do.
UPDATE: Not sure how I missed this one: Breitbart reports Obama’s blaming it on the movie is putting lives in danger.
In case you haven’t heard, and if you count on the corrupt media for information you probably haven’t, Pakistan — you know, our ally Pakistan? — has exploded in a rage that has already cost 17 lives. Moreover, Pakistan — you know our ally Pakistan? — called for this day of protest by giving the country the day off to take it to the streets.
And now it makes sense that much of this rage might actually be over the movie. But how many tens of millions of Muslims didn’t know about the film before our government and media poured every ounce of publicity they had into scapegoating it?
How would things look today if the media and White House reported the Libyan story honestly — reported what they knew when they knew it? Could it be that things might look a little calmer had the American government not ginned up the biggest publicity in the world to create their “Emmanuel Goldstein?”
The “two minute hate” has now extended to weeks and dozens of countries. The State Department’s disgraceful Pakistani commercial denouncing the film hasn’t just failed to quell violence, it’s probably worsened it.