The Libya questions won’t go away, and for good reason. The timeline has gone something like this:
Shortly after our consulate was attacked with rather sophisticated weaponry, the administration’s line was that this was a spontaneous protest fueled by an obscure video trailer for a movie about Mohammed. All the blame was focused on that movie, and there was even some comment that it was a shame we couldn’t clamp down on such people because our First Amendment right of free speech got in the way:
Then that explanation began to unravel. Cameras on the scene revealed there was no spontaneous demonstration that morphed into an attack; rather, it was a full-scale, prepared act of terrorism. The administration tried to deflect attention away from the date of this act—September 11. No, they said, it was not done to commemorate September 11, 2001. And, by the way, we have taken Al Qaeda out of the picture. Bin Laden is dead; the organization has lost its teeth. At least that was the brave face put on it, as the Obama team didn’t want their candidate to appear impotent during his reelection campaign. However, that theme also began to fray at the edges when it became more obvious that Al Qaeda was indeed behind the attack, followed by the revelation that the people on the ground in Libya had repeatedly sought more security and had their request just as repeatedly denied. The intel was indicating that something was brewing, but the administration ignored the looming threat.
Hope that things would change was not enough. There was one thing that did change, though.
During presidential campaigns, we have gotten used to what the analysts have called “The October Surprise,” where one candidate comes up with something at the last moment to bolster his chances. The opposite seems to be happening this time around:
The latest installment in this tragic drama was the statement by Vice President Biden in last week’s debate when he said “we” had no knowledge of those requests for added security. The spin since then is that when he said “we,” he meant he and Obama hadn’t been informed about it. All the Obama people are now throwing the State Department—and by inference, Hillary Clinton—under the very familiar Obama bus, where others have been thrown in the last four years whenever anything threatened to expose the man at the top as ideologically radical, uninformed, or incompetent.
First, I don’t accept that definition of “we.” In context, it seemed pretty clear Biden was talking about the administration as a whole. For him to say nobody knew about the security request is ludicrous. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say the White House, per se, had not been informed. Why not? Why was the president and his national security team in the dark about this? What does it say about the nation’s leadership? What does it say about a president who has failed to attend nearly 60% of his daily intel briefings and who, on the very day the attacks were carried out and our ambassador was slain, flew to Las Vegas to meet with the Beautiful People for a fundraiser? Is this man even thinking about his day job?
Consequently, the administration has found itself in an unusual position: the press—or some of them, at least—are finally doing what the press is supposed to be doing—asking the right questions.
Since they’re not used to being held accountable for either their words or their actions, they seem more than a little befuddled as to how to respond. May I suggest a novel approach? How about telling the truth?