Friday, October 19, 2012

The Audacity of--eh, just The Audacity.

Trust me, I'm a President.
Thanks to their natural intelligence and perceptiveness, readers at Commentarama already know something basic about Obama: He's a liar. Not only that, he evades difficult questions whenever he has to. This was on full display in the debate, when he was asked about Libya. How did he do this? Let's find out.

On Tuesday night, an audience member asked POTUS a very simple question about the attack on our embassy. Who authorized reductions in its defense, and why? As we saw, Obama did everything but answer this question. He talked about how much he cared about our ambassadors, and how terrible Romney was for politicizing the attack in Benghazi, but the actual question asked went unanswered. And unfortunately, Romney didn't get into the issue either, becoming bogged down in who said what (more on that later).

Thanks to the wonder that is the Internet, however, getting to the bottom of this isn't too difficult. It's clear that the State Department stuck the late Chris Stevens with some below-average security in an area with above-average levels of danger. They outsourced embassy security to some private contractors (I thought Obama wasn't a fan of this), who in turn did a pretty lousy job of screening the local help. Two Libyan employees were arrested in April for tossing a bomb into the place. Then in June, an attempt was made on the life of Britain's ambassador, in response to which all the U.K.'s consular staff were withdrawn from Benghazi. All this time, even a week before the attack, according to British and Israeli newspapers, our staff was making repeated requests for reinforcement in security from State, which were not only ignored but actively declined. Do note that verbs like "ignored" and "declined" mean something different from "weren't aware of." And certainly no reflective person believes that Obama wasn't aware of the situation. Yes, Hillary may be "taking responsibility" for what eventually happened, but let's be serious--as the Commander-in-Chief admitted, the buck stops with him.

Romney didn't get into all this, though he probably will in Monday's debate. Instead, he focused on what Obama had said about the attack in its immediate aftermath. "It took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror," he said, at which point of course Crowley jumped to the Prez's defense and said that he'd identified it as an act of terror the day after it happened, which Obama confirmed. Only, that's not what really happened. Obama did say "acts of terror" on Sept. 12 in a Rose Garden address; however, he wasn't really referring to Benghazi as a terrorist attack, merely lumping it in with general "acts," mainly those of 9/11/01. He might have been including Benghazi in that as well, but remember his line: “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.” So, if it was an act of terror, it was a spontaneous, non-deliberate one. Except, we now know intelligence sources were ID'ing Al-Qaeda as the responsible agent within hours after it happened. Yet not until September 28th did anyone in the government admit that this was a premeditated assault. Obama said to Univision, the hosts of The View, and any one else putting a camera to his face that it was all over a YouTube video. It took his administration sixteen days to own up to something they'd found out within sixteen hours.

Even Candy Crowley herself admitted this, saying two days later,
"There's a back and forth now about why didn't this administration -- why did it take them until Friday {the 28th} after a September 11th attack in Libya to come to the conclusion that it was premeditated and that there was terrorists involved....didn't the administration shoot first? Didn't they come out and say, listen, as far as we can tell, this wasn't preplanned?"
Why the disinformation? It would be reckless to say Obama had malicious intent in leaving the embassy, as it were, stranded. He's a lot of things, but murderous is not one of them. But let's recall the line his campaign has been actively pushing most of the last year: "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!" The last part of that is debatable, but true enough, bin Laden is no longer with us. But if the insinuation is that Al-Qaeda (and the terrorist threat in general) is dead just because Obama ordered a military operation in Pakistan, well, that's demonstrably false. And the more he has to admit to serious terrorist acts since, the more demonstrable it becomes. Better to deny it as long as possible and let people think things are hunky-dory, rather than admit that the meme being pushed is full of holes. Which, I imagine most people would agree, is a bit more "offensive," to use President Foreign Policy's indignantly-uttered words, than Romney's suggesting Obama's not fully committed.

But what do I know? I'm just a hack blogger.

36 comments:

Individualist said...

T Rav

Great Article! One thing that is missing in this debate which becomes more and more damning once you consider that the state department was listening to the attack for six hours.

That is the whole it was a You Tube video meme. When we consider that the President paid money to advertize an apology for it in Pakistan one has to seriously step back to understand the purpose. How could they not know that such a provacative act would not cause riots in Palkistan.

Certainly with this action the You Tube video moves from nonsense and spin into outright BS. What possible purpose did it have? Did the administration want riots in Pakistan? Why do this? Why publicise this thing in this way? Was it part of the cover up. did the Pakistani mullah's latch on to this from the speech and we were forced to do damage control to keep wbat allies we do have there?

I honestly have no clue wnhy they would do this. I just know that it was one) a bone headed move and two) it distrubs me.

Tennessee Jed said...

I think the foreign policy debate will tee up well for Romney. Incompetence and a desire to seem non-aggressive in Libya led to the problem. The cover-up was to try and keep the administration from looking look bad. Romney will not even have to stretch to get this on the table. His job is to let the facts speak for itself. The cover-up is always what gets them. Also, if Obama tries to do a "gotcha" on Romney as "politicizing" foreign policy, Romney should be ready to remind voters of the "leaks" and their devistating impact on our intelligence assets.

More importantly, this attack was a huge setback for Obama's foreign policy which has basically been to try and bend over backwards to engage Iran and the more strident Islamic factions. The policy of appeasement. The question is, how does America respond without getting embroiled militarily? That is how Obama will try and paint Romney . . . as too willing to bog us down gain militarily. Romney must emphasize the bigger picture . . . how we must revive our economic outlook to be able to project American leadership and strength. Do we draw a line in the sand and state an attack on Israel would invoke a military response?

obiwan2009 said...

T-Rav,

Enjoyed the article. Regarding the fact that Romney didn't throw everything he could at Obama, IMHO, he simply making sure not to empty his bag of tricks.

Among my biggest issues right now is the complaints I have been hearing from some right wingers about how Romney seems to somehow submit to rigged moderators at the debates. Honestly, who would someone prefer to vote for? A guy who faces up, or rather warms up by facing up to situations that are deliberately and obviously biased against him. I mean seriously, if someone wants to be president, the last thing to practically expect is to get your way with a "fair debate" or a Congress that will immediately come into agreement. One way or another it's a long struggle with the use of the veto if the president expects to get somewhere.

T-Rav said...

Thanks Indi!

That's the big question. As I mentioned, the conclusion we're being pushed toward is that Obama knew all along it wasn't about the video, but to admit it was a planned attack by Al-Qaeda would undercut his claims that he's defeated the terrorists, done what Bush never could, etc.

Plus, I think he suffers from the myopia common to liberals, that it's better not to call something terrorism than to make waves by doing so. But that's a dangerous stance to take as Commander-in-Chief and ambassador to the world.

A bone-headed move, indeed.

StanH said...

This from an administration that refers to acts of terrorism as “man caused disasters,” The Fort Hood shootings as “work place violence.” And by inference being Al Qaeda is no more, because OBL is dead. The Benghazi attack flies in the face of their carefully crafted narrative. They attempted to play hide the ball until after the election…oh well.

T-Rav said...

Jed, I think you're right. Romney must know he needs to press Obama more heavily on Libya than he did last time, and that will probably involve laying out all the facts, such as those I included in the article, and demanding an explanation from the President as to what his foreign policy consists of.

I think it's also true that Obama will try to paint Romney as a warmonger and a new version of Bush. I think one way Mitt needs to respond to this is to say that if Iran goes nuclear, we will be involved in a war whether we like it or not, and it's better to try and prevent that from happening now. At the same time, he needs to stress that this can be done without ground involvement. It should be interesting.

Muslim Brotherhood said...

T - Rav

We are doing our best to explain to Obama that we are not appeased but he seems to not get it...

Can you help

Ed said...

I am not looking forward to the next debate because I think foreign policy is one of those areas where Obama can just say, "trust me, I know things I can't tell you." And Romney won't be able to challenge that. Still, this Benghazi thing has shown that Obama can implode.

I love the latest polls which are all finally showing a break for Romney. :D

tryanmax said...

Hack, Hack, Hack! LOL. Seriously, you nailed all the major points. This president makes the old joke "How do you know when a politician is lying?" seem quaint.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - This is actually Obama's "It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is." moment. Yes, he did use the word "acts of terror" in his Rose Garden speech, because it is so vague that he can sound credible. What Romney should stress is WHY the video ruse and why didn't you wait a few hours and give the American people the truth rather than just information as it was coming in? We want the honest truth, not just news "scoops" to keep us occupied until the "investigation" is complete. "We are not sure and are waiting for credible reports" is an honest and truthful answer. Am I wrong about that?

T-Rav said...

Thanks obiwan!

Personally, I think Tuesday would have been a pretty good time to empty most of that bag of tricks, but we'll see.

As for the moderators, there is that way to look at it. For example, the intensity of the GOP primary debates, putting Romney through that fire, in my opinion immensely strengthened his readiness for these debates. Obama was clearly unprepared for such a quick-on-his-feet opponent, and it showed. BUT, we have to win over the electorate before we can think about having to deal with Congress and all, which makes these debates crucial in every way. It's just lucky for us that Romney was so prepared, because a two-on-one attack like that would have broken many candidates. I don't pin the blame on Romney, I blame it on the GOP in general for kowtowing to these media divas time and time again. At the very least, they need to demand that figures from more objective outlets get to do some moderating as well.

T-Rav said...

Stan, exactly. That's exactly the problem. This is incredibly similar to the Clinton administration and it's wish to treat terrorism as a "law enforcement issue," rather than what it is. One wonders whether someone in the DoD is searching for another aspirin factory right now.

T-Rav said...

Dear Muslim Brotherhood: Sure. But first, can you give me a list of your names, home addresses, and any aliases? Just for, erm, you know, making it easier to open up a dialogue, and all that.

NYPD Benevolance Association said...

Hey Muslim Brotherhood

Dialogue this! {*SMACK*}

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Thanks for the excellent article! :)

On the one hand, I think Obama has really hurt himself with this. He did his usual bit of trying to blame America first when this happened and he did all he could to keep anyone from calling this terrorism. Now he realizes he looks like such a fool that he's trying to spin his way out of it, but he just can't do it because everyone heard him say it over and over... "this was because of a film."

On the other hand, I don't know how much this will ultimately resonate with people because I think people rarely pay attention to foreign policy until it rises to the level of war. I'm not sure that four deaths will get the public's attention, especially with all the death going on in Afghanistan.

Still, people do hate it when the government refuses a request for security and then something happens, so maybe this does have legs?

T-Rav said...

Ed, that's a possibility. But while people will generally excuse something on the grounds of security reasons, the denial of requests were for anything but security, and that's what Romney needs to pound on.

I'm enjoying the polls too! I think maybe for my next article, I'll make some predictions based on them (unless Andrew beats me to it). :-)

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, it's pretty difficult for a politician to be lying when his lips aren't moving, but if anyone can do it, I'm sure Obama can. :-)

BevfromNYC said...

Hey, I missed that this was written by T-Rav! So my comment is directed at you, T-Rav.

T-Rav said...

Bev, I'm glad you noticed! I was about to get offended. :-)

But no, I think this is Obama's love for the camera coming back to bite him. Plus, he didn't want to admit it was a specific terrorist attack. It's shameless spinning for political gain; but then, Obama is a pretty shameless guy.

Research for Peace Institute (definitely NOT the FBI) said...

Dear Muslim Brotherhood and friends:

Please to give us a list of all your fiends...er..friends, so that we may send vital information on subjects of great interest in our ongoing dialogue with the infidel. Also included will be great travel and education opportunities to develop skills to further our cause.

Your truly,
Research for Peace Institute

T-Rav said...

Happy to oblige, Andrew!

I think the difference here is that one of the four people killed was an ambassador. People don't like that. It probably won't be the thing that makes up their minds, but it doesn't make them any better disposed towards Obama--especially if it becomes widely known how often the embassy's requests for aid were shot down.

Of course, we're now all of 18 days out from the election, and the window in which all this information can sink in is closing fast. If Romney doesn't talk about it in the debate Monday, and really hammer it home, it may not get much traction.

tryanmax said...

Good grief. T-Rav, for some reason your article inspired me to re-engage a couple of individuals who remain in the anybody but Romney camp despite the fact that Obama is the only "anybody" left.

What I got sent in reply is an article by Alan Keyes entitled, "Like Satan debating Beelzebub." *facepalm* If you want to google it, that's your prerogative, but the long-and-short of it is that Romney doesn't see abortion as the defining issue of the day. So if you think banning abortion will solve all the nation's woes, throw your vote down the Alan Keyes hole. Woot!

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, I sympathize. I've had to deal with a few people recently on Facebook who are hard-core libertarians, insisting that if you vote for anybody but Gary Johnson, you're throwing away your vote. I had to point out to them that, technically, they're the ones wasting their votes, which was not received very well.

It's common knowledge that I was highly ill-disposed to Romney during the primaries; but this is a two-party system, and you have to deal with that. Whatever people's reasons for not wanting to vote for Mitt--they're "sending a message," the two "aren't any different," blah blah blah--they aren't good enough. Not voting for Romney is voting for Obama. Period.

T-Rav said...

Folks, I have to split for class. Be back this afternoon.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, True, the fact this was an ambassador raises the stakes, especially since they asked for more security. It will be interesting to see if this does catch on with the public.

And I agree, Romney should hammer this point in the next debate. He also really need to make the point that Obama's foreign policy has turned into a disaster.

rlaWTX said...

T-Rav: Good wrap-up of this audacious idiocy.

tryanmax: didn't Alan Keyes used to be a little less -ummmm- extreme? or was I more extreme back in the day?

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Keyes has always been flaky.

T-Rav said...

Andrew and rla, if I remember right, Alan Keyes got into some controversy a while back when his daughter came out as gay, and he kicked her out of the house, or something like that. I remember because he came to give a talk at my undergrad school once, and there were a bunch of protestors outside. So, he's always been quite the firebrand.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, On your comment to tryanmax, I agree completely, this is a two party vote and any conservative not voting for Romney is a vote for Obama.

rlaWTX said...

OK - just remembered that my mom voted for him in a primary. She used to "always" vote for Jack Kemp, until he stopped running. Anyway...

DUQ said...

So Rasmussen has Romney up by 5% in Floria and 3% in Virginia. Gallup has Romney up by 5% nationwide. And some new polls has Romney ahead by 4% in Pennsylvania.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I figure if I can vote for Romney, no one has an excuse not to.

T-Rav said...

DUQ, I've seen that. I've gotten to the point where I'm checking RCP multiple times a day. I'm not holding my breath on Pennsylvania, but I think Romney definitely has Florida and Virginia locked up, and maybe Colorado as well. We're moving in the right direction.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'll tell you what about Colorado. The number of Obama ads has crashed in recently days. I'm thinking he did in fact give up the state like some people are reporting.

Last I read, Obama gave up Florida, Colorado and Virginia so he could focus on Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Hampshire. He's in real trouble from the sound of things.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I suspect if Colorado's numbers keep ticking up for Romney, Obama will pull out of there entirely. Same for Virginia if it keeps up. He's on defense and there are too many states to cover.

And RCP now gives Romney a 1-point lead in New Hampshire. So everything may well turn on Ohio--again. Ugh.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm not sure New Hampshire will be relevant, not if Colorado switches.

On Ohio, I am starting to think that Wisconsin, Ohio and PA are linked. I think that they will likely all go to Romney, which means a landslide. Otherwise, it will all come down to Ohio, and that will stink.

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