Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.
Victor Davis Hanson has several theories. I like this one.
Blaming the filmmaker offered liberals the chance to affirm that reactionaries and bigots are the source of much of the worldâ€™s troubles. Therefore, jailing Mr. Nakoula was loud validation of the Obama Administrationâ€™s progressive, multicultural bona fides, and proof that Obama has zero tolerance for such â€œhate speech.â€ That narrative became important for practical reasons as well: did the Administration really wish to defend itself from the charge that it had arrested and jailed Nakoula on a trumped up parole violation when his video had nothing to do with violence in Libya? Moreover, by blaming a filmmaker, the administration de facto conceded that some sort of unjustified provocation had occurred, as if reactionary â€œhate speechâ€ earns retribution that falls on the innocent.
Read the whole thing.
Jonah Goldberg tackles the same question.
There is an enormous amount of theorizing about what the â€œreal storyâ€ behind Benghazi really is. To me itâ€™s always been obvious. The White House was caught off guard â€” for reasons stemming both from ideology and incompetence â€” on September 11, 2012. As they have after virtually every other (jihadist) terrorist attack on Americans, they acted as if it had absolutely nothing to do with them. As with the Times Square bomber, the Fort Hood shooter, and other Islamist assaults, thereâ€™s always some other reason for the bloodshed, some attempt to claim, at least for a while, that this was an â€œisolated incidentâ€ with no broader implications for the War on Terror or Obamaâ€™s foreign policy. Admittedly, even this White House understood that spinning the Benghazi attack as an isolated incident wasnâ€™t going to work (such intense spinning could risk irreparable scrotal torsion). So they went with the story about the video. …
Of course, the White House and its defenders insist that they really believed the video was to blame. This strikes me as a lie, for the most part, if not initially than certainly over time. But even if thatâ€™s true, thatâ€™s no exoneration. As I said, there was a mix of incompetence and ideology at work. As an ideological matter, that this White House could convince itself for hours â€” never mind weeks â€” that this terror attack was all about the video is incredibly damning, if true. And, as I argue in my column today, the fact that the once-proud champions of civil liberties under George W. Bush were perfectly happy to throw the First Amendment under the bus is even more damning.
Given that the Benghazi attack came during the thick of the presidential election, itâ€™s no surprise that the White Houseâ€™s political and ideological instincts overpowered everything else. Itâ€™s no surprise, either, that the pressâ€™s instincts pointed in the same direction. Itâ€™s really non-surprises for as far as the eye can see.
Obviously there are still some unknowns worth knowing, and they might be surprising â€” like the exact details of how and why the response was so non-responsive. Just because the White House and State Department were unprepared shouldnâ€™t mean that the professional military was too. The exact nexus between the political screw-up and the militaryâ€™s failure to â€œrun to the sound of gunfireâ€ hasnâ€™t been established. Ditto, the question of â€œWhat the hell was Barack Obama even doing that night?â€
It also cost $9100 an hour to fly that dog too.
From GOP Tea Pub.
Mona Charen is not taken in by this administration’s efforts to evade responsibility for doing nothing to save American lives in Benghazi.
The president invites us to conclude that his â€œmy diplomatsâ€ language is proof of his passionate concern for their welfare. But thereâ€™s more than a whiff of protesting too much in the presidentâ€™s comments and those of his spokesman. Pfeiffer went so far as to label questions about what the president did on the night of September 11, 2012, as â€œoffensive.â€ Bristling at a question from Chris Wallace about whether the president was in the Situation Room that night, Pfeiffer huffed, â€œThe assertions from Republicans that the president didnâ€™t take action is offensive.â€ When Wallace persisted with â€œIâ€™m simply asking a question: Where was he? What did he do? How did he respond . . . ?â€ Pfeiffer could say only that â€œthe president was in the White House that day, kept up to date by his national-security team, spoke to the Joint Chiefs of Staff earlier, secretary of state, and as events unfolded he was kept up to date.â€
Taking offense, or pretending to, is a favorite tactic of this White House, but letâ€™s understand it for what it is â€” a combination of bullying and evading responsibility.
President Obama has showered us with virtually minute-by-minute descriptions of his activities on the night Osama bin Laden was killed. Weâ€™ve been vouchsafed photos of the national-security team watching events in real time. The president used the word â€œI,â€ â€œme,â€ or â€œmyâ€ twelve times in a 1,300-word speech. But to ask how the president conducted himself on the night of September 11 crosses a line?
According to testimony from Leon Panetta, following a previously scheduled 5 p.m. meeting at which Benghazi was mentioned, the president did not speak again to his secretary of defense or the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the attacks on the consulate and then later the annex unfolded. The following morning, the president jetted off to a fundraiser in Las Vegas.
Pfeiffer asserts that itâ€™s false and offensive to say that the president took no action, but the secretary of defense acknowledged as much. In October 2012, Leon Panetta explained that while â€œwe quickly respondedâ€ with ships, FAST teams, and forces to the region as soon as the attack was reported and were â€œprepared to respond to any contingency,â€ they did not act because there was a principle at stake: â€œYou donâ€™t deploy forces into harmâ€™s way without knowing whatâ€™s going on.â€ (This explanation was later contradicted.)
Is that really a U.S.-military principle? Itâ€™s one thing to say that, in the absence of hostilities, initiating military action should be undertaken only after a full evaluation of all options. But when Americans are under attack, shouldnâ€™t the cavalry come over the hill if they possibly can?
Certainly thatâ€™s how Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty saw things. Completely outnumbered and outgunned, they nonetheless ran to the consulate and annex to man whatever guns they could lay hands on and attempt to defend their fellow Americans. They gave their lives doing so. The Obama administration gave nothing â€” not even the truth.
Bing West identifies the Obama Administration’s standard methodology for burying a scandal.
The following is a lead story about Benghazi from the Washington Post on November 2:
U.S. intelligence officials said they decided to offer a detailed account of the CIAâ€™s role to rebut media reports that have suggested that agency leaders delayed sending help. . . . The decision to give a comprehensive account of the attack five days before the election is likely to be regarded with suspicion, particularly among Republicans who have accused the Obama administration of misleading the public.
Suspicion? The accurate word is confirmation.
Identical stories appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. The Times explained that, â€œThe account, given by the senior officials who did not want to be identified, provided the most detailed description to date of the C.I.A.â€™s role.â€
So whatâ€™s going on here? The national-security staff in the Obama White House has a standard operating procedure. If a military action, such as killing bin Laden, succeeds, then immediately leak selected details to shape the narrative to the political advantage of Mr. Obama. If the action is botched, as in Benghazi, then say nothing and tell the quiescent press that there is no story worth pursuing. If questions persist, the second line of defense is an investigation that wlll drag on for months. For instance, bureaucrats in the Justice Department are still investigating the leaks last spring about the U.S. cooperation with Israel in the software sabotage â€” cyber warfare â€” of Iranian centrifuges.
If pesky Fox News persists in asking questions, then the third line of defense is to give the nod to the CIA to leak a diversionary story to favored news outlets and reporters. Thus the leaks to the Washington Post and New York Times showing that CIA operatives did try to rescue their comrades. Then authorize the CIA to go public with the same timeline, further throwing the press off the trail. The New York Times, the recipient of record for White House leaks, published on November 3 a diversionary story on its front page, fixating upon the CIA director, General Petraeus. This implied that the main issue about Benghazi centered around CIA secrecy â€” a tautology irrelevant to the real cover-up.
The intent is to cause the press and the public to lose interest in a story that seems exhaustively repetitive, while the key issues are never addressed.
Read the whole thing.
Tom Maguire watches the Obama Administration busily trying to pin the blame for the debacle in Benghazi anywhere else, on anyone but us.
The AllahPundit convinces me that Biden and Obama would be crazy to throw Hillary under the bus for the Benghazi debacle. However, he does not convince me that Biden is not crazy.
The Times tries to pretend that all is well with the reassuring news that, like the Flying Dutchman, the buck stops nowhere:
In a debate with Representative Paul D. Ryan on Thursday night, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said White House officials were not told about requests for any additional security. â€œWe werenâ€™t told they wanted more security again,â€ Mr. Biden said.
The Romney campaign on Friday pounced on the conflicting statements, accusing Mr. Biden of continuing to deny the nature of the attack. The White House scrambled to explain the apparent contradiction between Mr. Bidenâ€™s statement and the testimony from State Department officials at the House hearing.
The White House spokesman, Jay Carney, said Friday that security issues related to diplomatic posts in Libya and other countries were dealt with at the State Department, not the White House. Based on interviews with administration officials, as well as in diplomatic cables, and Congressional testimony, those security decisions appear to have been made largely by midlevel State Department security officials, and did not involve Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or her top aides.
Darn those mid-level staffers! If they would only run for re-election so we could vote them out. …
[B]laming mid-level staffers? Really? Is Obama going to campaign on a slogan that he killed Osama and will keep America safe unless those darn mid-level stafers screw up again?