“Check the transcript.” That was President Barack Obama’s retort to Gov. Mitt Romney’s assertion that Obama did not admit the attack on the Benghazi Libya Consulate until two weeks after it happened during the second presidential debate. I can’t figure out why no one in the media has asked the question, how did Obama know moderator Candy Crowley of CNN had a transcript of Obama’s remarks in the Rose Garden, the day after the attack. She has explained that she brought it as part of her research, anticipating the issue, but she didn’t show anyone her research, did she? And if not, how come Obama knew she had it? In fact, his demand that she check the transcript seemed to throw her off a bit before she launched into a defense of Obama’s assertion that he did call it a terrorist attack.
The other question I haven’t heard asked is, what was Ambassador Chris Stevens doing in Benghazi at that time with so little protection? Was he sent there by the Obama administration to meet with Libyans who had knowledge of the missing weapons being hunted in Libya by the CIA?
Listening to the pundits and Obama and his surrogates spin this issue, you would think that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice did not go on five television talking-head shows on the following Sunday morning and assert with absolutely no equivocation, no speculation, that the attack was the result of the Cairo incident spawned purportedly by an obscure anti-Islam YouTube video released four months earlier in June.
But she did do that on Sept. 16, five days after the attack.
With all the shucking and jiving by Obama and the Democrats, it takes your eyeball off the facts, and that can leave one confused. But here are some facts that are not confusing:
There were attacks prior to Sept. 11 in Benghazi and not just on the American Consulate. The British ambassador escaped an assassination attempt. He was pulled. The Red Cross had suffered several attacks and they were pulled. Our ambassador had sent in warnings that al-Qaeda was active and growing in the area and he felt more and more concerned about his safety.
We know from the investigation into this issue by Congressmen Darrel Issa of California and Jason Chaffetz of Utah that there were multiple requests for beefed up security at the Tripoli Libya Embassy and they were turned down. In fact two teams were pulled to make matters worse. Surely greater security in Libya would have led to more security protection in attendance when Ambassador Stevens went to Benghazi. We also learned that a DC10 that was there for rapid extraction of personnel in the case of an unexpected crisis was also pulled. No amount of spinning can change these facts.
We now know that the State Department watched the entire attack via a circling drone in real time and just watched. They did not call in the many resources that were available to provide support to the defenders at the consulate or the annex a mile away.
We also know that the attacking force had heavy weapons including RPGs, machine guns and lots of gas cans filled with gas.
We know that various intelligence sources said it was a terrorist attack shortly after the attack and some administration representatives even said so in congressional hearings.
Yet every day for two weeks, at least one person in the administration was on TV saying it without question was a spontaneous event resulting from the Cairo event in reaction to the YouTube video.
Conclude what you will, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck and this smells to high heaven like an attempt to cover up the reason for a significant, tragic event indicating that the situation in Libya has deteriorated as it has in Egypt, Syria and the rest of the Middle East, which calls into question the president’s foreign policies and Hillary Clinton’s performance as head of the State Department and the resurgence of al-Qaeda as a lethal, effective terrorist organization.
Art Laramee graduated from Boston College with a B.S. in Physics and the University of New Hampshire with and M.B.A. He spent 43 years in the computer industry in computer programming, systems development, marketing, business development and business management. He retired in 2006.