Skip to comments.Axelrod bobs and weaves over Obama’s level of engagement the day of the Benghazi attack
Posted on 10/14/2012 11:28:32 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Today on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace pressed David Axelrod on the question of how soon, and in what ways, President Obama tried to get to the bottom of the nature of the attack in Benghazi. As a predicate for the question, Wallace pointed out that on the day of the attack, the State Department and the intelligence community were presenting conflicting views about whether the attack was spontaneous or planned. An engaged president would immediately have tried to sort this matter out so he would know what the U.S. was dealing with.
Here are the key exchanges between Wallace and Axelrod:
Q. How soon after the attack did the President meet with the National Security Council, with people from state, with people from the , the Director of National Intelligence, with all of the various people to try to sort out what happened in Benghazi?
A. Look. We are sorting out what happened there. Understand that the President the day after the attack called it an act of terror and charged everyone with responsibility for getting to the bottom of what happened.
Axelrods answer is clearly not responsive. He not only declines to answer the how soon part, he doesnt even say that Obama has ever met with those about whom Wallace inquired.
So Wallace tried again:
Q. Yes, the president made a statement and then he went to a fundraiser in Nevada. Question: Before he went to the fundraiser in Nevada, did he meet with his National Security Council to try to sort out the shifting stories. Because State says they never said it was a spontaneous demonstration; Intel, you are quite right, did. Did he meet with the National Security Council before he went campaigning in Nevada?
A. Chris, I assure you that the president was in contact with all those who had information and responsibility in the national security chain about this incident.
Here, Axelrod partially answers the earlier question, claiming that Obama has had contact with the relevant players. But he still wont say how soon Obama had such contact. And he wont say whether Obama met with the National Security Council (or anyone else) about the attack in Benghazi before heading to Nevada to campaign.
As Eliana Johnson says, given Axelrods inability to produce a straightforward answer to the question, its pretty clear the answer is no.
Here is the video; note how tired and dispirited Axelrod looks:
Fox has from the beginning been on this story like white on rice, and I think that's why they weren't invited to the by-phone press-briefing that was held the day before the House hearings.
The reporting done by Brett Baier and Katherine Herridge(sp?) has been top-notch, and today Chris Wallace seemed genuinely digusted with Axelrod's playing dodge ball with his questions.
There are some pieces to the story which just linger on...with no real explanation. But you can sense that it’s just like Fast and Furious...there’s a limit to how far you can dig on something.
I would offer this analysis though....if the Libyan guys had simply kidnapped the ambassador...it would have created a totally different situation today. It would have put the US government into a huge mess. They could have asked for all prisoners in Gitmo to be released, and it would have eventually occurred.
He had to make sure he had his Caesers Players Card and he had to make sure Moochelle didn't miss the Gambling money that Obama took out of her purse.
The poor guy, he just gets no respect.
I think it was Friday on Fox and Friends, where a guest with connections in the intelligence community, said that there would be MUCH more coming out in the coming weeks — that these people are very adept and know how to leak damaging information (and apparently are going to do just that as they re-group and return “fire” from their “under the bus” position).
There was theory I saw posted here about a week ago that when the attack happened, Obama wasn’t surprised, that the administration was surprised they were killed and not held as hostages. The theory was that Obama was going to offer the blind sheikh as part of a hostage exchange, then use it as part of his campaign “I got these hostages freed without firing a single shot, I am a foreign policy master!”
Caption photo: “Oh, Man! This is gonna really stink.”
Because theres a limit to how many pardons the administration will sign, and never mind how many they can sign.........."
I wonder why Wallace never mentioned Col. Hunt’s claim that any attack on any embassy or embassy staff at any time (never mind an attack at an underguarded Libyan consulate on 9/11!) generated an immediate conference call with full, live coverage of the event among all intelligence/diplomatic/administration POCs. And Col. Hunt wasn’t alone in claiming this. There’s no wiggle room here: it was a terrorist attack from the getgo, and everyone who should have known knew it; yet Rice got orders to deny it as many as five days later and Obama reinforced the notion another week after that.
I’m also unclear about when, exactly, on the day of the attack, as Axelrod claims, Obama called it a terrorist attack. Anyone else recall such a description from the prez?
NYT: "Deputy Assistant Secretary Charlene R. Lamb, who manages more than $1.2 billion in security assets and programs around the world, defended decisions she made on staffing and security measures in Libya, citing limited resources.
When questioned by a lawmaker if she had made the right decisions for Libyas security, Ms. Lamb said, I made the best decisions I could with the information I had, sir.
Ms. Lamb also provided a detailed account of what happened during the assault on the diplomatic mission, which involved more than 100 heavily armed extremists and ended in the deaths of Mr. Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods and Sean Smith........."Video of the House Committee Hearing Investigating Attack in Benghazi
I saw it too.
Axelrod said "State Department" at least five times in these two answers alone. Also, "get to the bottom of this". We are at the bottom of this. We already know enough to conclude executive branch incompetence and deliberate malfeasance.
After listening to Col.David Hunt,its clear that at least a Dozen Agencies were listening to the attack in Real time as that Lamb woman was. So the President should have Known even before he went out with the Hildabeast and started talking about that Video. Its obvious this is a HUGE scandal,no surprise NBC and the rest of the Gang are not reporting this
I believe the attacks were at 3:30 EST and the following is the presidents schedule for the day.
8:45 am The President and the First Lady observe a moment of silence to mark the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks South Lawn Pooled Press
9:10 am The President and the First Lady depart from the White House to the Pentagon Memorial
9:30 am The President and the First Lady attend September 11th Observance Ceremony The Pentagon Memorial
11:30 am The President and the First Lady return to the White House
1:55 pm The President arrives Bethesda, Maryland
2:15 pm The President visits the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland Closed Press
4:40 pm The President departs Bethesda, Maryland en route the White House
4:50 pm The President arrives at the White House South Lawn Open Press
5:00 pm The President and the Vice President meet with Secretary of Defense Oval Office Closed Press
They are showing repeats of this. Axelrod is so pale he looks like a vampire.
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