Thursday, October 18, 2012
The Spin Versus The Truth About Obama's Debate Statements on Libya
The spin continues about President Obama's statements on Libya during Tuesday's debate, and moderator Candy Crowley's jumping in to back him up. Candy Crowley has belatedly backed off her admission right after the debate that Governor Romney was 'mostly right' and CNN is circling the wagons to head off criticism of her conduct as moderator.
It's time to end this farce.
According to the debate transcript, here's exactly what President Obama said:
The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden
and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we're going to hunt down those who committed this crime.
Note Obama referred specifically to his Rose Garden statement, which occurred 9/12/12. Here it is, word for word, exactly as given on the official White House site:
" I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.
I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.
On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya's transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.
The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward."
There's absolutely nothing in the president's Rose Garden statement about referring to the Benghazi assault as 'an act of terror' or 'hunting down' the perpetrators, even though as I showed in an earlier piece, the State Department knew very well within 24 hours that what occurred was a terrorist attack involving al-Qaeda and affiliated militias.
The generic referral to 'acts of terror' (which did not specifically refer to Benghazi as a terrorist attack) came 9/13/12, in Colorado at a campaign event. Meanwhile, the president, the Secretary of State, Jay Carney, Ambassador Susan Rice and others kept pushing the 'it's the video' nonsense. President Obama even perpetuated that during his appearance on 'The View'.They kept that up for over a week. Remember these gems?:
In fact, there was no admission by the White House that Benghazi was a terrorist attack until 9/19/12, when Obama Administration official Matt Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, finally admitted it at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, in response to questioning from Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT).
So yes, the president lied, both in fact and by intent given the overwhelming message we heard from him and him administration until September 19th. And Candy Crowley, who was supposed to be a neutral moderator backed him up.
I think the majority of the voters know that what Obama and Crowley put out there is sheer fiction. They saw and heard what the Administration was saying to try to spin this for 8 days to cover up an outrageous security and intelligence failure for partisan political purposes.That's going to come up in the next debate, and President Obama is going to wish he hadn't made such a point out of this.No matter what kind of assistance CBS's Bob Schiefer gives him, this president can't run form his record.
As for Candy Crowley, her behavior was inexcusable.She was supposed to be a neutral moderator. She wasn't there to 'fact check' anyone, to chime in on anything she considered a misstatement, or to bail the president out of jams on topics like Fast and Furious or Libya.She failed utterly in what was supposed to be a moderator's main responsibility, to make sure each candidate got equal time. The president ended up with over four minutes more than Governor Romney, a difference of 9%.
I'm certainly not surprised she's attempting to walk back her admission after the debate that Romney was 'mostly right', or that CNN is now pushing its employees to circle the wagons around her.On his show Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh said that in the journalistic environment he came up in, Candy Crowley's career would have been over.H
Just a note to those of my readers on the left who think this behavior was perfectly acceptable. In fairness, we both know that if a moderator had exhibited this kind of blatant bias in the other direction, you'd be screaming bloody murder.You'd be right to do so.
When this kind of journalistic misconduct becomes the accepted norm, the loser is our democracy. Think about it.