Unforced Errors Part 2… Hello Critics… Where Are You…..

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Lets me get this straight. According to many in the media, and beyond, the attacks on 9/11 were Bush’s fault because there was some intelligence that something big was going to happen, and even thought there was no specificity at all about the attacks on the WTC, this is Bush’s failings. Bush and his team failed to connect the dots, as it were. Given the lack of actionable evidence concerning a specific target for the 9/11 attacks, one has to ask exactly what could have been done. That said, it’s not beyond the scope of things to say, in retrospect, it could have been handled better.

Fast forward eleven years. The current President and his Defense Department staff not only failed to provide any security to the embassy in Beghazi after they expressed concerns about a possible attack, but, after the attack actually did happen, resulting in the deaths of four Americans, the administration floats a bogus story about the attacks being the result of unrest over an anti-muslim video, knowingly lying about the real reason for the terrorist attacks on the embassy.

Yet, you don’t hear the same criticism about the current administration concerning this President and his administration.

Exactly how does that work?

Unforced Errors

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Ann Althouse has posted a damning collection of information against the administration concerning the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi.  She features  some quotes from  Sen Graham from “Face The Nation”, laying out the case:

The intelligence community on the ground in Libya has told Senator Corker and myself that within twenty-four hours, they communicated up to Washington that this was a terrorist attack. The president of Libya on the same date said it was a terrorist attack. The video of the compound shows that there was nobody at the Benghazi consulate. There was never a group to riot. And the evidence is overwhelming, and the idea that it was spawned by a- a video and a riot would be– hold the administration blameless. They said it was a copycat of Cairo. It wasn’t a copycat. It was a sustained attack that lasted for six or eight hours, using heavy weapons which undercuts the idea that al– al Qaeda has been dismantled and on the run and it certainly undercuts the idea that our policy choices in Libya have not going after the militia, not helping the Libyans training the national army were good choices.”

It’s not just Susan Rice. The President of the United States said that it was the result of a video on David Letterman two days later. And the facts are very clear. There was never a riot. There was never a group of people around the embassy. It was a coordinated terrorist attack that took hours. Patrick Kennedy from the State Department briefed congressional staffers the day after the attack saying it was a terrorist attack. The next day after she was on your show, the– the counterterrorism deputy said it was a terrorist attack and the President after that went on national TV The View and David Letterman talking about we’re not sure if this was inspired by a video, a hateful video.

Some of you might dismiss this because Graham is a Republican. But Bob Woodward is also featured with quotes.

There are lots of unanswered questions. And I love documents, and they released some documents in this, and if you go and look at the original request for more security, they say our policy, our goal here is to shift from an emergency footing to normalize the security relationship.

Now, this is in March, six, seven months ago. Anyone looking at that what say, wait a minute, read the document in which they say, oh, the situation is incredibly unstable. Well, why are you trying to normalize your security in a situation that’s visibly unstable? You even acknowledge that.

So you’ve got a bad policy. And anyone looking at that would say, wait a minute; we are screwed up; we can’t normalize here.
So that’s the first problem. The second problem is, as soon as an ambassador is killed, the president should be more proactive and be out there. He can go, you know, five minutes in the White House briefing room and say this is really serious; we’re going to get to the bottom of it; we don’t have the answers. And all of this could have been nipped in the bud and it was not.

And when Chris Wallace asked about Susan Rice’s insistence that Benghazi was a video induced riot vs a terrorist attack, Woodward says this:

I don’t think we know exactly why she did that or what was going on. But the key… is, two weeks later, the president’s at the U.N. and citing this YouTube video, I guess half a dozen times. That, as we now know, had virtually nothing to do with what happened in Benghazi.

And as we now know, they knew this was not the case the day after the attacks happened.

So why on Earth would the President and his team continue following such a stunningly bad and damaging path on this, even after it became obvious that this was indeed a terrorist initiated attack?

It was indeed an error on Romney’s part to make the statement before the facts were known. By issuing his first statement, he looked very partisan. These are the people who are never shy about reminding us that politics is supposed to stop at the border. He didn’t get it right. But the Obama administration, in their zeal to try and make Romney look bad, ran with the anti-muslim video story and committed the worse error of responding to Romney instead of waiting to comment on the actual events and leaving politics out of the equation.

When it started to become clear that Benghazi was indeed a terrorist attack, the administration continued to run with the “video” story. Why? Because, in their isolated circle of advisers and in some of the media, it looked like that was working. Romeny seemed to be taking a hit from this.  But once the true nature of the attack permeated out into the regular media, they got caught in the trap they originally laid out for Romney. The administration became the Wiley Coyote of this story.

As Andrew Sullivan is so fond of saying….  Meep. Meep.