As the Obama administration’s Benghazi narrative begins to crumble, they’ve decided to recycle old talking points in the hope that the news media won't fact-check them.
On May 13, during a press conference, President Obama said, “The day after it [Benghazi] happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.” The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler – in this instance – should be commended for calling Obama’s statement for what it is: a lie. Kessler listed three instances after the attack where Obama failed to call it a terrorist attack:
[O]n Sept. 12, immediately after the Rose Garden statement the day after the attack, Obama sat down with Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes and acknowledged he purposely avoided the using the word “terrorism:”
KROFT: “Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word ‘terrorism’ in connection with the Libya attack.”
KROFT: “Do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?”
OBAMA: “Well, it’s too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.”
Eight days later, on Sept. 20, Obama was asked at a Univision town hall whether Benghazi was a terrorist attack related to al-Qaeda, after White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that “it is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.”
QUESTION: “We have reports that the White House said today that the attacks in Libya were a terrorist attack. Do you have information indicating that it was Iran, or al-Qaeda was behind organizing the protests?”
OBAMA: “Well, we’re still doing an investigation, and there are going to be different circumstances in different countries. And so I don’t want to speak to something until we have all the information. What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.”
Finally, during an interview on ABC’s “The View” on Sept. 25, Obama appeared to refuse to say it was a terrorist attack:
QUESTION: “It was reported that people just went crazy and wild because of this anti-Muslim movie -- or anti-Muhammad, I guess, movie. But then I heard Hillary Clinton say that it was an act of terrorism. Is it? What do you say?”
OBAMA: “We are still doing an investigation. There is no doubt that the kind of weapons that were used, the ongoing assault, that it wasn’t just a mob action. Now, we don’t have all the information yet so we are still gathering.”
So, there you have it. We have three instances where the president, as Kessler described it, “ducked” calling Benghazi an act of terrorism. Yet, the president should be commended for keeping this aspect of his narrative consistent. That was until the country learned the talking points underwent twelve revisions, and the White House’s narrative was proven to be demonstratively wrong.
Kessler also took down Calfornia Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer’s comments from the Senate floor on Tuesday concerning blaming GOP budget cuts for the Benghazi attacks, which means even the Post knows that the Democratic talking points are overtly dishonest. After all. Kessler mentioned that:
“the Congressional Research Service has documented that Congress, whether led by Democrats and Republicans, year after year did not fully fund the various pots of money for embassy security. (See page 25.) The State Department, for instance, was shortchanged by $142 million in fiscal year 2010, when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress.