If Team Obama can’t get this basic fact right, we cannot seriously expect them to get anything else right.
by George Landrith
Despite the overwhelming facts, the Administration continues to pretend that the attack on the American consulate in Libya on September 11, 2012 was a spontaneous protest of Muslim offended by a YouTube video.
Independent media reports say that Libyan security officials warned US officials of the risks of attack three days before the attack. Libyan governmental and military officials confirm this.
A leading Egyptian newspaper says Egyptian security officials also warned that a jihadi group was planning to launch terrorist attacks against American and Israeli embassies in Cairo.
A leading newspaper in Israel carried a prominent report warning of precisely what happened. If the reporter for the Israeli newspaper has sources warning of the risks prior to the attacks, why didn’t Administration officials have such sources? And if Obama’s team did have such sources, why not act to prevent the attacks.
There have been four previous smaller scale jihadi attacks in Libya leading up to the large scale, highly organized attacks on September 11, 2012. This, in conjunction with the security warnings, makes one wonder why the Administration was so flat-footed and unprepared.
There were attacks in Egypt, Libya, Yemen all on the same day. The balance of the week, the attacks occurred in dozens of nations across the globe. This was all simply locals acting on their own? This stretches credulity.
The attack on the American consulate in Benghazi involved large weapons fire, mortars, and rocket propelled grenades, etc. — not the typical fare at a spontaneous protest, even in the Middle East.
The movie that Obama claims started all of this has been online for months and the attacks didn’t occur until the eleventh anniversary of 9/11. Surely, Obama doesn’t expect us to believe that is a coincidence?
After the initial attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, a number of Americans escaped to a nearby “safe house.” Almost immediately, an attack commenced on the “safe house” with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and large weapons fire. Yet, we are expected to believe that a spontaneous crowd of protestors knew the location of the safe house and just happened to have an impressive list of weapons with me.
It is absurd for the Obama Administration to continue to argue that this was simply a spontaneous protest of angry Muslims offended by an obscure YouTube video and they just got out of control. That the administration clings to this idiotic and unsupportable narrative, is embarrassing. The White House narrative isn’t even plausible.
Yet the White House has the nerve to maintain fantasy land scenarios and believes ti can get away with it — likely because it knows that the mainstream media will back them up and won’t laugh out loud at their absurdly silly positions. But media’s shameful state is another matter altogether.
The Administration needs to be honest or at the very least realistic. Fantasy land stories don’t make him more credible or make America more secure. Right now, team Obama is in crisis political mode — simply trying to prevent blame from attaching to Barack Obama who is in a tough reelection campaign.
As a result, team Obama is lying to itself and to the American public. Neither is a good strategy. Self-delusion makes for bad politics and for even worse foreign policy. The rest of the world is laughing at White House. It makes America look weak and clueless. This weakness invites more aggression.
Here’s what the White House needs to do to turn things around — both politically and on a national security basis:
First, the Obama Administration needs to candidly answer why on September 11, 2012, we were not at heightened security levels in the Middle East. Wasn’t everyone in the back of their minds wondering what the terrorists might have in mind for the next anniversary of September 11th? Why wasn’t the White House asking this same very logical question?
Second, the White House must admit what every American already knows — that the YouTube video is a complete ruse and a distraction and the attack had nothing to do with an obscure video. They need to admit that the attacks were planned and coordinated terrorist attacks on America. Then, the Administration needs to make it clear it has a plan to prevent future attacks. But pretending the attacks were unavoidable spontaneous protests serves no one’s interests — except possibly the terrorists’.
Third, the Administration needs to admit they were unprepared and ignored the warning signs. This is simply undeniable. There is no sense in denying it. But team Obama can seize the initiative by outlining what it has done, or is doing, to correct the problem and prevent future similar events.
Fourth, the White House needs to admit that their initial response was to condemn the video, but not the violence. If it feels it needs to, team Obama can throw the State Department official who made the initial response and then went to the trouble of explicitly affirming it some 9 or 10 hours later. But pretending that initial response which condemned an obscure, stupid, and poorly produced movie was anything other than insanely idiotic and only further projected weakness.
Quite frankly, it is tiresome that every time some crazy jihadist attacks America, there is a steady chorus of people willing to blame America. This is why Jeanne Kirkpatrick coined the phrase “the blame-America-first crowd.” This is tiresome and mindless. Quite frankly, Christian beliefs are mocked all the time. But when was the last time you saw a group of Christians gather outside the home of Bill Maher to protest with guns and grenades because he is disrespectful towards Christianity? It is time to stop this absurd narrative that we are to blame because we offend Muslims. Here’s the cold hard truth. Those angry, violent Muslims need to grow up and behave better. The world has no obligation to speak in ways that sooth the ego or tickle the ears of radical jihadists. The idea that we must be careful not to offend Muslims is insulting to Muslims.
This Administration is bungling an important national security issue. It is not merely a political issue. Americans are being put at greater risk in the future because team Obama is playing this solely as a political issue. America needs a president who puts the job of being president first. This president has been putting shabby politics first for far too long.
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George Landrith is the president of Frontiers of Freedom, a public policy think tank devoted to promoting a strong national defense, free markets, individual liberty, and constitutionally limited government. Mr. Landrith is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was Business Editor of the Virginia Journal of Law and Politics. In 1994 and 1996, Mr. Landrith was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District. You can follow George on Twitter @GLandrith.