First, Fox News’ Bret Baier offers perhaps the most complete timeline of the Cairo and Benghazi 9-11 attacks – a timeline we should use to evaluate the reaction to those attacks by the media and political class…
(Link in case the embed doesn’t load)
Our readers will note that it took SIXTEEN HOURS for the White House to react to the craven statement put out by the embassy in Cairo, but only ONE MINUTE after Mitt Romney reacted to it.
Did the media pick up on that? Absolutely not. Instead, when Romney threw together a press conference in Jacksonville to discuss the weak apology by the embassy, this is what he got…
Not only did the Democrat stenographers in the press corps fire off a burst of idiotic questions about Romney’s “tone” under the guise of his statement somehow being inappropriate or ill-conceived, they collaborated on how to do it, as hot-mic audio captured by The Right Scoop indicates. A transcript, from Hot Air, of that coordination…
CBS REPORTER: Yeah that’s the question. I would just say do you regret your question.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Your question? Your statement?
CBS REPORTER: I mean your statement. Not even the tone, because then he can go off on…
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And then if he does, if we can just follow up and say ‘but this morning your answer is continuing to sound…’ – *becomes unintelligble*
CBS REPORTER: You can’t say that..
CBS REPORTER: I’m just trying to make sure that we’re just talking about, no matter who he calls on we’re covered on the one question.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you stand by your statement or regret your statement?
And then shortly thereafter, BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith, one of the Obama campaign’s best stenographers, put out a piece a bit skimpy on named sources which purported to describe Romney’s reaction to the embassy apology as a disaster…
Other conservatives were less sympathetic.
“It’s bad,” said a former aide to Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. “Just on a factual level that the statement was not a response but preceding, or one could make the case precipitating. And just calling it a ‘disgrace’ doesn’t really cut it. Not ready for prime time.”
A third Republican, a former Bush State Department official, told BuzzFeed, “It wasn’t presidential of Romney to go political immediately — a tragedy of this magnitude should be something the nation collectively grieves before politics enters the conversation.”
But the third official defended the substance of Romney’s words: “Romney’s attack is spot-on — disgusting that the first Obama administration impulse was to apologize instead of condemning violent religious intolerance. Obama’s gotten a real pass on his intervention in Libya, his failed strategy in Afghanistan, and his lack of leadership in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. By trying to cut it down the middle in his foreign policy, no one knows where or for what Obama or America stands in the world these days.”
The Republicans declined to speak for attribution, for fear of being publicly disloyal to their party’s nominee. Veteran Democratic foreign policy hands, operating under no such restriction, called Romney’s quick move all but disqualifying.
And then there was CBS News giving a forum to the president to dismiss Romney on the basis that he “has a tendency to shoot first and aim later,” without any particular challenge – like “the police acted stupidly.”
In short, the media is doing everything they can to disqualify Romney on foreign policy based on his expressing the identical reaction to that of 90 percent of the American people at the idea our embassy being attacked should apologize for American free speech – as though that’s the important question of the day.
Meanwhile, there is almost no buzz whatsoever about the fact that the administration announced it had killed Al Qaeda’s Number Two man with a drone strike in Pakistan – and then didn’t beef up security at our embassies on the eleventh anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.
POLITICO, who indulged in the Romney-bashing along with the rest, had this…
The consulate where the American ambassador to Libya was killed on Tuesday is an “interim facility” not protected by the contingent of Marines that safeguards embassies, POLITICO has learned.
Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed with three other Americans in an attack on the U.S. consulate in the city of Benghazi, where Libyan rebels ousted strongman Moammar Qadhafi last year.
Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Kendra Motz said that Marines were not posted to the consulate, unlike the embassy in the capital, Tripoli.
A defense official told POLITICO on Wednesday that the Pentagon is sending an elite team of about 50 additional Marines, called a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, to reinforce the embassy.
A senior administration official Wednesday called the Benghazi consulate “an interim facility,” which the State Department began using “before the fall of Qadhafi.” It was staffed Tuesday by Libyan and State Department security officers. The consulate came under fire from heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades at about 10 p.m. local time on Tuesday. By the time the attack ended several hours later, four Americans were dead and three others had been injured.
The Benghazi consulate had “lock-and-key” security, not the same level of defenses as a formal embassy, an intelligence source told POLITICO. That means it had no bulletproof glass, reinforced doors or other features common to embassies. The intelligence source contrasted it with the American embassy in Cairo, Egypt – “a permanent facility, which is a lot easier to defend.” The Cairo embassy also was attacked Tuesday.
In other words, Chris Stevens was undefended in a Libyan city which was the foremost hotbed of salafist, jihadist Islam on the anniversary of 9-11, after the Pentagon released details of the killing of a Libyan-born Al Qaeda operative and amid a Muslim furor over a YouTube video made in America spoofing Muhammad.
This is SHOCKINGLY inept security. It bespeaks a total leadership failure. Perhaps that failure doesn’t go all the way to the White House. Perhaps it stops with Hillary Clinton, or maybe it lies lower on the State Department’s food chain.
But shouldn’t the American people expect that the President of the United States be focused on protecting our people on 9/11 PARTICULARLY given the circumstances present yesterday?
And shouldn’t questions be asked about the fact that Obama hadn’t been in a daily intelligence briefing for a week prior to yesterday? Oh, yeah – you didn’t hear about that? Well, it’s true…
According to the White House calendar, there is no public record of President Barack Obama attending his daily intelligence briefing–known as the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB)–in the week leading up to the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Cairo and the murder of U.S. Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American members of his staff:
Romney at least took questions and got pounded by reporters for having an opinion. Which is more than you could say for Obama.
For that matter, why isn’t Obama being asked whether maybe it wasn’t such a great idea from a foreign policy standpoint to spend a year and change spiking the ball about killing Osama bin Laden? Rush Limbaugh had a lot of fun with that today…
…and while some of this was rhetorical fun and games on Limbaugh’s part it’s worth asking the question whether playing up the killing of bin Laden isn’t every bit as inflammatory with the people who are trying to kill us as some bad YouTube an anonymous faux Israeli out in California made.
Of course, that’s stupid as well. They want to kill us regardless of what we do. And that comes back to Romney’s statement, namely that you don’t show weakness to these people.
You also don’t show unpreparedness or ineptitude, which is precisely what Obama did this week as he spent his time waging a political campaign rather than minding the store. Even today, amid a mushrooming crisis and a dead ambassador, the President broke out of the White House for a fundraiser in Las Vegas. The same people who think Romney beclowned himself by attacking the administration don’t appear to have much of a problem with an empty chair in the Oval Office while the Fundraiser In Chief is off working the road.
But that’s par for the course, as Obama’s media lackeys are so busy defending him from Romney that they can’t even report the news amid a 1979-style collapse of the foreign policy the president was boasting about just a week ago.