How Obama Blamed A Video, And Hid An al Qaeda Strike

Posted on Fri 09/28/2012 by

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By Andrew Bolt ~

Did the White House help whip up the fury over the Innocence of Muslims video to hide an embarrassing truth – that pro-al Qaeda forces had caught it napping on September 11?

The Washington Post Fact Checker (true!) explains:

In any kind of confused overseas event, initial reports are often wrong. But the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, including the ambassador, is a case study of how an administration can carefully keep the focus as long as possible on one storyline — and then turn on a dime when it is no longer tenable.
For political reasons, it certainly was in the White House’s interests to not portray the attack as a terrorist incident, especially one that took place on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Instead the administration kept the focus on what was ultimately a red herring — anger in the Arab world over anti-Muslim video posted on You Tube. With key phrases and message discipline, the administration was able to conflate an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Egypt — which apparently was prompted by the video — with the deadly assault in Benghazi.

Officials were also able to dismiss pointed questions by referring to an ongoing investigation.

Ultimately, when the head of the National Counterterrorism Center was asked pointblank on Capitol Hill whether it was a an act of terror — and he agreed — the administration talking points began to shift. (Tough news reporting — as well as statements by Libya’s president — also played a role.) Yet President Obama himself resisted using the ‘t’ word, even as late as Tuesday, while keeping the focus on the video in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly.

On Wednesday, however, White House spokesman Jay Carney acknowledged also that Obama himself believes the attack was terrorism — and so more than two weeks after the attack the Rubicon finally was crossed.

Some examples of how Obama’s team spun the terrorist attack:

“I think it’s important to note with regards to that protest that there are protests taking place in different countries across the world that are responding to the movie that has circulated on the Internet. As Secretary Clinton said today, the United States government had nothing to do with this movie. We reject its message and its contents. We find it disgusting and reprehensible. America has a history of religious tolerance and respect for religious beliefs that goes back to our nation’s founding. We are stronger because we are the home to people of all religions, including millions of Muslims, and we reject the denigration of religion. We also believe that there is no justification at all for responding to this movie with violence.”

— White House spokesman Jay Carney, news briefing, Sept. 13

“This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable.”

— Clinton, transfer of remains ceremony, Sept. 14

“I have seen that report, and the story is absolutely wrong. We were not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent.  That report is false.”

— Carney, news briefing, Sept. 14

“Based on the best information we have to date … it began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo, where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent…. We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.”

— Susan E. Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Sept. 16

Meanwhile:

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the alleged filmmaker behind the video that sparked protests across the Muslim world, was arrested on Thursday, the Los Angeles district attorney’s office said.

“I can confirm he’s in custody, scheduled to make a court appearance as we speak, in federal court in downtown LA,” Thom Mrozek of the United States Attorney’s Office said, giving no further details.

The exact nature of the court appearance is unclear, because the federal court documents have been sealed. Officials have been investigating whether he may have violated probation terms for a previous offence.

UPDATE

William Kristol:

The administration wanted to misrepresent what had happened. The administration wanted to sell the story that a wacky anti-Islam video made in the US caused the violence in Cairo and Benghazi and dozens of other cities.

That story line absolved the Obama administration of any responsibility for what had happened. It also went a long way towards absolving bad actors in the Muslim world… It explicitly, even eagerly, blamed America.

Meanwhile, in the real world, things are falling apart.

We are paying the price of US weakness. Enemies of the US everywhere are emboldened. The Iranian regime dashes for nuclear weapons, sponsors terror, aids President Bashar al-Assad in Syria and seeks to facilitate the killing of US troops where it can.

Anti-American factions in countries from Pakistan to Iraq to Egypt step forward with renewed confidence. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are back on offensive now that Obama has precipitously undone the surge and seems to be heading for the exits.

Russia scoffs at us, China ignores us and throws its weight around. As all the world wonders, Obama does nothing. Actually, he does some things: He cuts the US defence budget. He undercuts Israel.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

Read more excellent articles from Andrew Bolt’s Blog . http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/