Skip to comments.Obama admin recalibrating Benghazi narrative — again — before FP debate?
Posted on 10/20/2012 3:41:47 PM PDT by Kaslin
Since it now appears that the first two presidential debates did very much indeed have a resounding effect on the state of the race, Team O can’t afford to take any chances with Monday’s foreign-policy debate. Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s narrative on the president’s foreign-policy record has long been that all of those drone strikes and the death of Osama bin Laden have vastly deteriorated the strength and coordination of terrorism in the Middle East, and the attacks on the consulate in Benghazi and the death of four Americans on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 put something of a damper on that narrative.
Now it looks like the White House might be trying to rejigger that narrative yet again align more favorably with President Obama’s self-stated successes, do some damage control on his administration’s incompetent and bungled response to repeated security threats in the region, and may be most particularly looking get any “al Qaeda”-related language out of the Libya story. Fox News reported last night:
The intelligence community on Friday once again modified its assessment of what caused the deadly terror attack last month on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya returning in part to claims that the violence was in reaction to a protest at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo over an anti-Islam film.
At the same time, the latest assessment acknowledged there was no actual protest in Benghazi at the time of the attack and that extremist elements were likely involved. …
The latest assessment appears to fall somewhere between the flawed account U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice gave on Sept. 16 claiming the attack was spontaneous and a subsequent revision on Sept. 28 by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claiming it was a coordinated terror attack.
Then, as Stephen Hayes summarized at the Weekly Standard this morning,
The administration’s new line takes shape in two articles out Saturday, one in the Los Angeles Times and the other by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. The Times piece reports that there is no evidence of an al Qaeda role in the attack. The Ignatius column makes a directly political argument, claiming that “the Romney campaign may have misfired with its suggestion that statements by President Obama and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice about the Benghazi attacks weren’t supported by intelligence, according to documents provided by a senior intelligence official.”
If this is the best the Obama administration can offer in its defense, they’re in trouble. The Times story is almost certainly wrong and the central part of the Ignatius “scoop” isn’t a scoop at all.
As Hayes goes on to point out, this new intelligence claiming that there is no evidence that al Qaeda was involved in the attacks, directly contradicts earlier reports and evidence claiming that al Qaeda and/or affiliates may very well have been involved in the attacks — and either way, none of this gets around the undeniable fact that the Obama administration failed to deal with longstanding security concerns.
It’s really quite jarring that Team Obama can accuse Mitt Romney & friends of trying to distort the Benghazi situation for political purposes, when it is abundantly clear that that is what’s going on with the White House here. This is raising some serious questions in the intelligence community and from Congress about the White House’s manipulative handling of the situation, and certain Republicans (rightly) aren’t going to let this go, per Politico:
The chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security late Friday demanded President Barack Obama release the intelligence reports behind the administrations evolving explanation for the burning of the Benghazi consulate.
In a letter, Peter King (R-N.Y) echoed fellow House Republicans calls in demanding the release of intelligence that led the administration to initially conclude protests over an inflammatory Internet film led to the attack, and subsequent Intelligence Community analyses which led your Administration to determine that the events of September 11, 2012 represented a terrorist attack.
In a letter to President Barack Obama sent earlier Friday, Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) called for a full and immediate account of the administrations decisions leading up to and in the wake of the attack.
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So it's just everyday Islamic Jihad then?
Not to worry Obama, Bob Schieffer will handle everything. He's done it for you in the past.
News item dated Tuesday 23 Oct. 2012 - Asked why he did not have any questions about Benghazi for President Obama at Monday's debate Schieffer exclaimed, "Benghazi? I Just Didn't Know About It. If I had known about it I would not have stopped Gov. Romney from asking about it. I've been on vacation and I just missed it."
The Sunday talk shows should be interesting.
“Get the transcript Candy!!!”
Kaddaffi had always kept them in control.
WE unloosed the devils.
Must have been
Bob Schieffer now getting debriefed by Axelrod.
[Now it looks like the White House might be trying to rejigger that narrative yet again. . .]
“Rejigger” is not the best choice of words in the same sentence as White House.
Maybe they could try this narrative:
A group gathered at the Benghazi Consulate because they heard about a movie. They heard rumors that many in Egypt were already rallying around the US Embassy in Cairo and the Embassy issued an apology that they didn’t have tickets for the movie.
So, the group of youngsters in Benghazi rallied at the Consulate and wanted tickets for the movie. The mean ole Ambassador refused. Tempers flaired. A few found some ole AK-47s and grenade launchers laying around. Someone ‘accidentally’ fired a weapon, then another, and a couple spilled some diesel fuel around the compound and it caught on fire, unintentionally trapping the Ambassador inside.
As time passes, the wisdom of the “Bush doctrine” of taking the fight to the terrorists is becoming clearer and clearer.
The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq depleted a lot of Al Qaeda resources. These invasions also put rulers of other Muslim countries on notice — offering safe haven to Islamist terror organizations would not be tolerated.
Now, all they see is weakness, prevarication, and geo-political-correctness.
I won’t be shocked if there is some token strike in Libya shortly before the debates simply to knock Mitt off balance. The initial reports of success will be exaggerated of course.
Aspirin factories and warehouses in the area are on high alert.
LOL! HOW do you find these wonderful graphics!!!???
Khaddafi may have been a better ally than we knew.
Scared straight twice (one by Reagan’s raid on his palace complex after the Lockerbie incident, and again into giving up his nuclear weapon program after the fall of Saddam Hussein), he proceeded to keep the militants in his own country under an iron rule.
But Europe wanted his oil production, and he was holding out for a more favorable deal for himself, which led to the confrontation with the Europeans over the delivery of Libyan crude oil. The British and French were all for organizing a coup to oust Khaddafi, but apparently they had not thought the consequences out completely. Now, there is a weak, ineffectual regime in place in Tripoli, that cannot even exert command over much of the rest of the country, let alone assure adequate flow of petroleum to Europe now.
The rest of the country, especially Benghazi, are under some sort of tribal leadership that is of somewhat more than merely recalcitrant. Rhey operate under the same sort of “honor” the Afghan Taliban extended to the al-Qaeda, providing a home for the intellectual heirs of Osama bin Ladin.
I have a sinking feeling that you two are more right than you could possibly know.
"Ben Gazzara? Never heard of him."
Romney should say to obama “Four men were killed in Libya. And you won’t say the word terrorist. Thirteen men were killed at Ft. Hood and you call it workplace violence. Just how many people have to die before you’ll call it what it is? And the American people don’t want to hear a political speech. Just tell us exactly how many people have to die. Will it take another tower being knocked to the ground? If another 3,000 Americans are killed when someone yells Alah Ak Bar, will you then use the word terrorist?”
yeah right, the al Qaeda flags shown all around the area were just wind chimes
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