Now, I’m just a regular American who gets his news from a couple of TV outlets, one conservative and another not so much, some online subscriptions to both conservative and liberal, as well as French and UK, news sources and who does his own, independent research on the Worldwide Web. (Well, maybe I’m not so “regular” in that regard after all, because, unfortunately, I don’t think many Americans are all that engaged in what’s going on in the larger picture.)
Anyway, I’m not privy to the type of intel to which, say, someone in the State Department, the UN, the White House or in Congress would have access. Just like most of you, I am largely dependent on our government to discover and tell us the truth. But what the Obama Administration has been telling us about the attack in Benghazi for two weeks now has been, to say the least, confusing, if not downright contradictory, confounding, if not a cover up.
So, just based on common sense and what’s been put out by the media in the public forum since September 11, 2012, let’s see what we can piece together, not from inside intel or some diplomatic information to which only the Obama Administration is privy, but just from what are called “open sources.”
First, the United States was successfully attacked on its own soil (all of our consulates and embassies in foreign countries are considered US territory) for the first time in 11 years, when our Libyan consulate was overrun, our first ambassador in 33 years was killed, along with three other members of our foreign service corps, by what was first reported to be about 20 but more recently reported to have been as many as 100 radical Muslims with links to al-Qaeda, in a military style, 2-wave attack, with heavy weapons, including rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), over a 4-hour period. This included not only attacking the consulate compound itself but also the safe house located some distance away, the existence and location of which were supposedly known only to selected consulate personnel.
The next day (whatever happened to answering that 3AM phone call?), President Obama appeared, with Secretary of State Clinton by his side (perhaps for support or perhaps to share in any blame later), in the White House Rose Garden, where he decried the attack but indicated it was caused by a little-seen, 17-minute, amateur video trailer against the Prophet Muhammad, which had been on the Internet since June, and refused to take any questions from the gathering of reporters, ostensibly because he didn’t have time, as Air Force One was warming up on the tarmac for a trip to a Las Vegas fundraiser at the time. Talk about bad optics, appearing out of touch, etc. An ambassador of ours has been killed in a terrorist attack for the first time in over 30 years and it’s give a brief statement to reporters, take no questions, give no reassurances and then it’s back to reelection campaign matters and saving your own job?
Later, presidential candidate Romney also held a press conference in which he said a message released by the Cairo embassy, trying to distance the US from the video, was a mistake and we should not be apologizing for anything. Subsequent to that, Romney held another press conference, at which it’s since been shown the liberal mainstream media (MSM) colluded and ambushed him with everything from “shouldn’t such critical remarks stop at our shoreline?” (they certainly didn’t raise that issue about Obama’s apology tour and Cairo Muslim appeasement speech in 2009) to seven out of the eight questions asked of Romney just being variations of “gotcha” questions (when did you stop beating your wife?), simply rephrased over and over.
My own view is that Romney should have waited a day or two, so as not to appear to politicize the issue and to give Team Obama time to make more mistakes (which they did in spades), but certainly, as a candidate for president, Romney had every right to comment and I think his initial reaction was the correct one — WE were the ones attacked, so what the hell were we APOLOGIZING for? If he had not commented, it’s fair to surmise the MSM would have been all over him for NOT commenting. Where’s Romney on all this? — and blah, blah, blah.
Then, aside from some releases from the Obama State Department, not denying the claim that the video caused the attack but mainly saying they couldn’t comment because the Benghazi attack was under investigation by the DOJ and FBI (again, with the law enforcement attitude about terrorism, instead of the DOD and State Department investigating, and using the same dodge used by AG Holder in the Fast and Furious investigation), there was basically radio silence from Team Obama.
That is, until Obama’s UN ambassador Susan Rice went on all the main Sunday TV talk shows on September 16th, where she gave full throated voice, and with a straight face, no less, that it was all the video’s fault and they had no information that the consulate attack was either premeditated or preplanned, but just part of a larger demonstration over the video. By then, however, enough had leaked out in bits and pieces to the public at large that such a claim was patently false on its face, including the organizer of the Cairo embassy demonstration, which desecrated our flag and flew a version of the al-Qaeda flag instead, saying he had not even seen the video, and I would contend that most in the rioting Muslim world have not.
For at least nine days following the attack, until about September 20th, Team Obama, including his UN ambassador, Hillary and her State Department, Obama’s Press Secretary Jay “swarmy” Carney and other Team Obama players, maintained the mantra that the video caused it all and that the Benghazi attack was just part of a larger demonstration.
In the meantime, the Libyan president said it was not only a terrorist attack but that it was preplanned and carried out by al-Qaeda. Hillary’s State Department seemed of the opinion that they knew more than the president of Libya, who, you know, lives there and is the president, and basically threw him under the bus for his comments (just another mistreated and discounted ally).
Then, video came out which showed there was NO large demonstration, of which the attack could have been a smaller part, at our Libyan consulate at all. There was only the attack itself and scenes of the attackers themselves, with the consulate and vehicles ablaze behind them. Oops.
Also, in the meantime, Jay “swarmy” Carney more recently said that it’s “self-evident” that it was a preplanned, premeditated attack. I don’t see how Jay Carney doesn’t get whiplash, but, gee, Jay, to some of us with a dab of brains and with only what was being publicly reported within a day or two of the attack, it was “self-evident” from the beginning. Obviously not included among us was Obama’s UN ambassador, whose credibility is now equally as low as Obama deputy campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter’s, who claimed she didn’t know anything about the laid off steel worker’s story after hosting him on a conference call in which he told her his story and she thanked him for sharing). Too bad it took Team Obama over nine days to come to the same conclusion, er, unwilling admission? Still, however, Team Obama maintained it was the video which caused the attack.
Then, we saw video of the alleged maker of the infamous and little-seen video, covered up to hide his identity, being perp walked by police on national TV, ostensibly for a parole violation (when’s the last time you saw someone perp walked for a parole violation?). You think there might have been some, uh, pressure from the White House to show that, see Muslims, we don’t like the guy, either. Obama has repeatedly characterized the video as not only the cause of the Muslim rioting but also as disgusting.
That may be, but where’s anyone in the administration standing up to the world, to include the Muslim world, in defending the guy’s right to make it anyway? After all, isn’t freedom of speech one of our most precious, enumerated rights and the one we most preach to the rest of the world? Islamists don’t want anyone to have freedom of speech if it includes anything negative, or even honest, about their prophet, their “religion,” or their Sharia law. Also about this same time, we learned Obama had spent another $70,000 of our taxpayer money to run TV ads in Pakistan condemning the “hateful” video, even while Pakistanis burned Obama in effigy. Another wise investment of our tax dollars, no doubt.
Also, in the meantime, the Muslim Brotherhood’s newly minted Egyptian president, the one who did not use his security forces to stop the initial protests at our Cairo embassy and the one who, more than 24 hours later and only after a phone call from Obama, finally condemned those protests, felt he has sufficient power to dictate to the US the terms for our sending him billions in foreign aid. Egyptian President Morsi should perhaps remember that it is his military which keeps him in power and it is we who fund his military. No funding, no military. No military, no more Morsi. It would be interesting to see how the Muslim Brotherhood could do all on its own in a country as large, and poor, as Egypt.
Then, CNN found Ambassador Stevens’ journal among the consulate rubble four days after the attack (where were our own embassy people and/or the FBI who’s supposed to be investigating the attack in securing and clearing the “crime scene”?) and, after holding its contents for another four days out of respect for the ambassador’s family, CNN released info which clearly indicates the ambassdor was concerned about embassy security and his own personal safety long before the 9/11 anniversary on which he and three others were murdered.
It’s difficult to believe, but still not yet admitted by Team Obama, that Stevens did not send his concerns about security up the chain to the State Department. And that raises the questions: (a) with the anniversary of 9/11 approaching, with known al-Qaeda terrorist militia in the area, and the ambassador’s concerns, why was security not beefed up, not only in Libya but all across the region, (b) why are there stories of what Marines were on deck not being allowed live ammo for their weapons, and (c) why did the local al-Qaeda militia have obviously better intel about the safe house than we evidently had about the militia and its plans?
Was Team Obama just caught off guard because of a lack of intel, or were they just not paying sufficient attention? Hopefully, a full congressional investigation will find the truth which the Obama Administration seems not only reluctant but recalcitrant to tell us. And, here I thought the Obama Administration was supposed to be the most transparent ever, too.
And, also in the meantime, since his brief address in the Rose Garden on September 12, two weeks ago, Obama has not once addressed the American people directly, say, from the Oval Office (where he’s supposed to work), to provide any more information, any assurances, or anything more about the killing of our ambassador and his colleagues, or the demonstrations against us across the Middle East and even into Indonesia, where Obama attended Muslim school as a boy.
All this while his feckless foreign policy of reset relations, appeasement and apology and so-called “soft power” seems to be unraveling across the Muslim world, with Obama himself being burned in effigy, among shouts of “Obama, Obama, we are all Osama, Osama.” He does not have time to meet with the prime minister of Israel, our closest Middle Eastern ally who is under existential threat from Iran, when both are either in New York or Washington. He has toured throughout the Middle East but has yet to visit Israel as an incumbent president in almost four years, which he says he will do when he’s reelected.
He addresses the UN General Assembly, still maintains that it’s all about the “crude and disgusting” video, calls what happened in Benghazi an “assault” rather than a “terrorist attack,” which even others in his own administration have now finally admitted, and refuses to meet with other world leaders (first time in two decades for a US president). However, he has had time for appearances on The View and with Letterman, Jay Z and Beyonce and their Obama tribute tower of champagne, Pimp with a Limp, still another interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes, and campaign speeches and fundraisers.
Obama — out of touch, just doesn’t care, or just wants to ignore everything until after the election? Whatever it is, it’s what’s called in the politico trade “bad optics” all around. It makes it look like he and Team Obama are either incompetent, don’t care that Rome may be burning, aren’t telling us what they know, or some mix of all of that.
An American president has two main areas for which he is responsible: domestic policy and foreign policy.
In Obama’s case, his domestic policy boat has all but sunk, promising to cut our debt in half in his first term but instead increasing it in less than four years by more than all other presidents in our history combined, leaving us with crippling debt and deficits for our children and grandchildren, no constitutionally mandated federal budget for over three years, over 40 months of unemployment above 8 percent, 23 million Americans out of work, the most people on food stamps than any other time in our history and the most in poverty in decades, and declining manufacturing capacity compared to China, to just mention a few domestic failures.
And it seems his foreign policy boat is rudderless and adrift on the tides of the Arab Spring turned Arab Winter and the violent vicissitudes of those who want our money but who hate us and all we stand for, and who have repeatedly slapped away his naive hand of friendship, if not repeatedly bitten it.