Tuesday, October 16, 2012

President, Debate Moderator Can't Keep Facts Straight on Libya

During tonight's presidential debate, Mitt Romney directly challenged Barack Obama on the issue of the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. With some assistance from teammate moderator Candy Crowley, Obama once again avoided telling the American people the straight truth about the events that led to the deaths of four Americans and heightened concerns about the safety of our diplomats around the globe.

Regarding the rest of Obama's desperate spin, the Romney campaign has helpfully put together a list of quotes and dates from the Obama administration's statements on Libya.

Now, this list might look strange to mainstream media types. You know, because it contains actual facts. Read on below...


For Days On End, President Obama And His Advisers Offered A Shifting Account Of The Benghazi Attack

President Obama Struggled For Weeks To Offer A Consistent Story About The Terrorist Strike In Benghazi:

For Weeks Following The Terrorist Attacks In Libya, President Obama And His Advisers Offered “Shifting Accounts Of The Fatal Attacks.” “The Obama administration’s shifting accounts of the fatal attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, have left President Obama suddenly exposed on national security and foreign policy, a field where he had enjoyed a seemingly unassailable advantage over Mitt Romney in the presidential race.” (Mark Landler, “Shifting Reports On Libya Killings May Cost Obama,” The New York Times, 9/28/12)

“After First Describing The Attack As A Spontaneous Demonstration Run Amok, Administration Officials Now Describe It As A Terrorist Act…” “After first describing the attack as a spontaneous demonstration run amok, administration officials now describe it as a terrorist act with possible involvement by Al Qaeda. The changing accounts prompted the spokesman for the nation’s top intelligence official, James R. Clapper Jr., to issue a statement on Friday acknowledging that American intelligence agencies ‘revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists.’” (Mark Landler, “Shifting Reports On Libya Killings May Cost Obama,” The New York Times, 9/28/12)

USA Today: “In Fact, Every Aspect Of The Early Account — Peddled Most Prominently By U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice — Has Unraveled.” “Three weeks after an attack in Libya killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, we now know that it did not spring from a spontaneous protest, spurred by an anti-Muslim video, as the Obama administration originally described it. In fact, every aspect of the early account — peddled most prominently by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice — has unraveled.” (Editorial, “Shifting Libya Attack Story Raises Red Flags,” USA Today, 10/1/12)

A Timeline Of The Obama Administration’s Shifting Account On The Attacks In Benghazi:

SEPTEMBER 12, 2012: President Obama Offered General References To “Acts Of Terror.” OBAMA: “Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe. No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks, Washington, DC, 9/12/12)
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker: “For Political Reasons, It Certainly Was In The White House’s Interests To Not Portray The Attack As A Terrorist Incident…” “For political reasons, it certainly was in the White House’s interests to not portray the attack as a terrorist incident, especially one that took place on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Instead the administration kept the focus on what was ultimately a red herring — anger in the Arab world over anti-Muslim video posted on You Tube.” (Glenn Kessler, “From Video To Terrorist Attack,” The Washington Post, 9/27/12)
SEPTEMBER 14, 2012: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “We Don’t Have And Did Not Have Concrete Evidence To Suggest That This Was Not In Reaction To The Film.” ABC’S JAKE TAPPER: “While we were sitting here, Secretary Panetta and the vice chair of the joint chiefs briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the senators came out and said their indication was that this -- for the attack on Benghazi -- was a terrorist attack organized and carried out by terrorists, that it was premeditated, a calculated act of terror. Levin said -- Senator Levin, I think it was a planned premeditated attack, the kind of equipment that they had used. There is evidence it was a planned premeditated attack. Is there anything more you can -- now that the administration is briefing senators on this, is there anything more you can tell us?” WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON JAY CARNEY: “Right. Well, I think we wait to hear from administration officials. Again, it’s actively under investigation, both the Benghazi attack and incidents elsewhere, you know. And my point was that at -- we don’t have and did not have concrete evidence to suggest that this was not in reaction to the film.” (White House Press Briefing, 9/14/12)

SEPTEMBER 16, 2012: U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice: “A Spontaneous -- Not A Premeditated -- Response To What Had Transpired In Cairo.” RICE: “But 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.” (ABC’s “This Week,” 9/16/12)

SEPTEMBER 18, 2012: White House Press Secretary Carney Said The Administration “Saw No Evidence To Back Up Claims By Others That This Was A Preplanned Or Premeditated Attack.” Q: “Back to Libya.  Ambassador Rice says on Sunday that it was spontaneous, and then we hear from the State Department that there’s not enough information to make the determination.  But you’re saying that there is no shift, right?” MR. CARNEY: “No, I’m saying that based on information that we -- our initial information, and that includes all information -- we saw no evidence to back up claims by others that this was a preplanned or premeditated attack; that we saw evidence that it was sparked by the reaction to this video.” (White House Press Briefing, 9/18/12)

SEPTEMBER 19, 2012: White House Press Secretary Carney: “We Have No Evidence Of A Preplanned Or Premeditated Attack.” MR. CARNEY: “I think the FBI is leading an investigation that will encompass all of the information available to the White House and to the intelligence community and to the broader diplomatic community.  What I can tell you is that, as I said last week, as our Ambassador to the United Nations said on Sunday and as I said the other day, based on what we know now and knew at the time, we have no evidence of a preplanned or premeditated attack.” (White House Press Briefing, 9/19/12)

SEPTEMBER 20, 2012: President Obama: “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…” QUESTION: “We have reports that the White House said today that the attacks in Libya were a terrorist attack. Do you have information indicating that it was Iran, or al Qaeda was behind organizing the protests?” OBAMA: “Well, we’re still doing an investigation, and there are going to be different circumstances in different countries. And so I don’t want to speak to something until we have all the information. 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 to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests –” QUESTION: “Al Qaeda?” OBAMA: “Well, we don’t know yet.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At The Univision Town Hall, Miami, FL, 9/20/12)

SEPTEMBER 24, 2012: President Obama Appeared On The View And Again Refused To Call The Attack Terrorism, Only Saying That The Attack “Wasn’t Just A Mob Action.” “President Barack Obama said Monday that the Sept. 11 attack that claimed the life of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans ‘wasn’t just a mob action,’ but he stopped short of explicitly labeling the assault as an act of terrorism. Obama’s comments came as he taped an interview with ‘The View’ during a brief trip to New York to address the annual United National General Assembly. He had been asked whether the attack on the U.S. Consulate compound in the city of Benghazi was a terrorist act.” (Olivier Knox, “Obama: Libya Attack ‘Wasn’t Just A Mob Action,’” Yahoo News’ The Ticket, 9/24/12)


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