Sunday, June 15, 2014

Benghazi Act of Terror: Singularity, Gullibility and Complicity in the Debates

A brief summary of the evolution of the Benghazi narrative from the White House in the first few weeks:
It was senseless violence caused by a reprehensible video.  We endured the attack 11 years ago, and no acts of terror will shake our resolve. We have no reason to think that this was a preplanned attack.  There was a demonstration over a video.  It's too early to tell if some al Qaeda groups might have been walking back from a party with their rocket launchers and decided to join in.  Let me be clear: there is no reason at this point to think terrorists were involved, and no acts of terror will shake our resolve, whether or not terrorists are involved. As far as anyone knows this was a case of unpremeditated terror by people who were offended by a video ... and who happened to have grenade launchers.   
The actual phrase in the transcript is "no acts of terror."  Of course, only a "wingnut" would notice.  
Is it only the "low information voter" who has so little critical thinking to confuse general "acts of terror" with "this was an act of terror," or did the book-of-the-month club liberal also fall for the Candy Crowley stunt?  The picture above doesn't lend much hope.  The Obama devotees strangely missed where Candy Crowley appeared on The View the day following the debate saying that she had only conceded a minor point about terminology, complaining that no one remembered that she was actually saying that Romney was right about Obama's evasion about terrorism.  (No one could remember because no one was even paying attention after the well-timed applause.)

Weeks after the Rose Garden speech where the "no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve" line is supposed to have unequivocably identified the Benghazi event as a terrorist attack, ABC reported:
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed today that the president believes the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was a “terrorist attack,” a term Obama has not yet used in his characterization of the violence.
WHAT!  Didn't ABC hear the Rose Garden speech?!!  Why don't they realize that Obama called it a terrorist attack from day 1.  Maybe ABC had paid attention to the interview with 60 minutes right after the Rose Garden speech:
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.”
OBAMA: “Right.”
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.”
Kroft of 60 Minutes and Obama agreed that there was even significance in his choice of words. How could Obama have identified this as an act of terrorism when he said he avoided the word terrorism because they didn't know if the act was performed by terrorists?  The British press wondered why the administration took such great care to blame a video ("leading everyone to believe the murders were not part of an al-Qaeda plot, but the result of an outbreak of violence caused by a blaphemous film clip") if they knew so little at the time.  In view of Obama's clarifications after the speech, it is clear that at most his statement of American pride means only "we will not be intimidated by this should this demonstration have turned out to be a terrorist attack."

If the press weren't so biased for Obama, then the morning after the 2nd debate CBS would've showed the footage in which Obama is asked about whether he is purposely skating around the term "terrorism" and Obama continues to skate.  It would have played and played ... All. Day. Long.

How much have we heard about the revealing emails showing the real time briefing about what caused the attack and who was claiming credit for it?  Not very much.  We KNOW that the administration KNEW within the first 24 hours that this was an act of terrorism orchestrated to happen on 9/11 from the start, an attack that the White House had been warned about in advance! We know that they had evidence within the first few hours to believe that this was no demonstration, have never started as a demonstration.  Nevertheless Obama and Hillary promised the father of the slain Navy SEAL that they would get the man that blasphemed the Prophet of Islam, the man responsible for this mayhem.

Is it possible that the majority of major news outlets, the so-called mainstream media, are unaware of this sophistry and disingenuous word-play by the Commander-in-Chief?  No.  They've followed this from the start, they know exactly what was said and when, how it was construed at the time, and how history was being rewritten on national tv during the debates, with Candy Crowley as a critical, if uncomfortable, accomplice.

Candy Crowley could have simply said, "What the President specifically said was that 'no acts of terror' would shake America's resolve, and he clarified afterward that he avoided the word terrorism what happened was still unknown." Now, that would have been a real fact check.  And she would have made the most powerful man in the world her enemy, a man who thinks political enemies are to be punished. It may well have been the end of Crowley's career in any outlet except maybe Fox News.  But why was Crowley even in the position to tell the American people what to believe about Benghazi?

And if nobody could keep track of what had been said (to even remember that the President avoided 'terrorist' and why), how could the President be so sure in that moment that if he put Crowley on the spot she would provide .  He looks at her and basically says, "Candy, you're on." And while she tries to agree with Romney immediately afterward that the White House stalled for weeks on the terrorist vs. evil video issue, the applause started by Mrs. Obama drowned her out.

At no point in the debate does Obama seem so poised and so prepared, because he knows that Crowley will remember 'act of terror' (not even 'acts of terror' as in the transcript but in the singular as just then given by Obama, as though a particular act of terrorism was being referenced.
In fact, if you go back to Obama's 9/12 rose garden speech, you find that he was blaming the video for the "senseless violence" in Benghazi. That's front and center in the 4th paragraph of Obama's speech. His reference to "acts of terror" is an aside in the 10th paragraph after he has been discussing 9/11/01 and the loss of American lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But if you have any doubt that "act of terror" does not equal terrorism, take a look at Jay Carney's briefing on 9/14 (video below). Carney blames the YouTube video for the violence 14 times. He is specifically asked three times if he means to include Benghazi in this formulation and says "we don't know otherwise...we have no information to suggest it was a preplanned attack." [from here]
Witnesses tell CBS News that there was never an anti-American protest outside of the consulate. Instead they say it came under planned attack. That is in direct contradiction to the administration’s account.”  — Margaret Brennan CBS News correspondent, CBS News report aired Sept. 20
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 [emphasis added] to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.” — President Obama, Univision Town Hall, Sept. 20
Once again, will the last honest mainstream media reporter turn on the light?

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