The State Department, run by her royal highness Hilary Clinton, has just entered the realm of fairy tales. They are expecting us to believe that “they” never said that an offensive film about Islam led to the embassy attack in Libya. ABC otherwise know as the official mouthpiece of the Democratic Party is reporting that:
Though the timeline of events outlined on the call was similar to the last official account of the incident, which was given on Sept. 12, some stark differences and new details were revealed.
Nowhere in this article does it say that officials at the Department ever said or didn’t say anything about the film. This is all pretty academic because whether they said anything or not, the administration said plenty. They trotted out Ms Rice on the following Sunday morning to carry water for the administrations party line and State didn’t say a thing about it. Their tacit agreement makes them culpable. True they may not have committed the crime but they are at least guilty of aiding and abetting as well as being accessories to the lie after the fact.
Though some administration officials had initially said that the attack grew out of protests over an anti-Muslim film, the senior State Department official told reporters today that “nothing was out of the ordinary” on the night of the attack.
We have from the BBC:
It is believed the protest was held over a US-produced film that is said to be insulting to the Prophet Muhammad.
“Some have sought to justify this vicious behaviour as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” she (Sec of State Clinton) said in a statement.
“The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”
Gunmen attacked U.S. consulate offices in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi on Tuesday, and fought with security forces in protest against a U.S. film they say is blasphemous, a security official said.
Again from ABC news:
“Our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous – not a premeditated – response to what had transpired in Cairo,” Rice told me this morning on “This Week.”
“In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated,” Rice said, referring to protests in Egypt Tuesday over a film that depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud. Protesters in Cairo breached the walls of the U.S. Embassy, tearing apart an American flag.
“We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to – or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo,” Rice said. “And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons… And it then evolved from there.”
Their current best assessment? Did she mean the best assessment from those who were not in the intelligence community because it’s pretty clear they knew the attack was premeditated? Maybe she meant the best assessment of people not on the ground in their own countries like:
Rice’s account directly contradicts that of Libyan President Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf, who said this weekend that he had “no doubt” the attack was pre-planned by individuals from outside Libya.
“It was planned, definitely, it was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months ago, and they were planning this criminal act since their arrival,” Magariaf told CBS News.
At any time in the weeks following the attack the State Department could have distanced themselves from this whole debacle. They could have but they didn’t. If this had all gone away they probably would never have issued the new statement. If it were the only the questions of who knew what, when, there might be a way for State to save face but unfortunately for them it isn’t. Questions include;
Why were there no Marines present to protect the consulate or the main embassy in Tripoli?
Why are Marines posted to embassies and then not issued the weapons needed to do their jobs?
Why were the security requests from the Ambassador ignored?
Then there is the standard administration reply to any perceived screw-up, “We didn’t do it, it was the other guy”.
“Elements of the intelligence community apparently told the administration within hours of the attack that militants connected with al Qaeda were involved, yet Ambassador Rice claims her comments five days later reflected the ‘best’ and ‘current’ assessment of the intelligence community. Either the Obama administration is misleading Congress and the American people, or it is blaming the entire failure on the intelligence community,” the senators (McCain, Ayotte, Johnson and Graham who accused Rice and the administration of jumping the gun) said in a joint response to Rice’s letter today.
“Ambassador Rice claims the administration launched a ‘comprehensive’ effort to determine what happened in Benghazi, but the administration failed to secure the scene of the terrorist attack for three weeks — allowing evidence and sensitive information to be compromised and destroyed. From beginning to end, the administration’s behavior in the wake of the attack indicates a breathtaking level of incompetence and suggests an intent to deliberately mislead Congress and the American people.”
To put it all into perspective is this report from Fox News:
The Obama administration used that explanation for more than a week after assailants killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. Most notably, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said in several TV interviews five days after the attack that it appeared to be “spontaneous” violence spinning out of protests of the film.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland backed up Rice’s statements in a press briefing a day later: “I would simply say that … the comments that Ambassador Rice made accurately reflect our government’s initial assessment.”
and from the same article;
And White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, as late as a week after the attack, said that based on initial information, “we saw no evidence to back up claims by others that this was a preplanned or premeditated attack.”
Carney then went on to suggest again the violence was related to the film: “Based on the information that we have now, it was — there was a reaction to the video — there was protests in Cairo, then followed by protests elsewhere, including Benghazi, and that was what led to the original unrest.”
Apparently there was a disconnect between what the administration was saying publicly and what intelligence folks were thinking from the beginning. The fact that the president didn’t seem to think it necessary to attend briefings on the situation for the week leading up to the attack shows just how much care and emphasis was put on reports from the ground.
Apparently there were disagreements about the levels of security appropriate to the 9-11 anniversary. Someday maybe the adults will be able to wrest control from the 5th graders and make decisions based on real world intelligence instead of petty office politics. But not under this president, not with these players and not in this sandbox. They will continue to lie, cheat, prevaricate and dissemble. Nothing is ever their fault, nothing is ever wrong, and nothing is ever based in reality. They couldn’t find reality with a sherpa, 10 St. Bernards, a Tom-tom, the International Space station and Google Maps. They really are the most incompetent, inept, inane group of ne’re do wells to ever disgrace the shores of the Potomac, and that’s really saying something.