Austin Bay
In a column published on Sept. 18, 2012, I argued that verified tactical military details of the engagement, the iconic date itself, and subsequent, very explicit statements by Libyan government authorities, left no doubt that on 9-11-2012 the U.S. consulate in Benghazi suffered a planned attack by an organized anti-American militant Islamist militia. A terrorist force had hit us with another 9-11 terror attack, and Americans had died, among them our ambassador to Libya.

Given the facts, the Obama administration's bizarre claim that a sacrilegious Internet video had inflamed peaceful Libyan demonstrators -- and in an outburst spurred by overwhelming theological pain, this moody crowd murdered our unfortunate ambassador -- just didn't wash.

As for passing major media smell tests before the 2012 presidential election? Of course the blarney passed 'em! But eight months after the attack and six months after the election, even President Barack Obama's chief media enablers have begun to acknowledge the video-did-it propaganda tizzy the administration orchestrated was stench itself.

And orchestrated propaganda it was, with the video-did-it narrative hedged by presidential statements calculated to slyly finesse terrorist complicity in the attack.

Glenn Kessler, who writes the Washington Post's fact-checker column, now informs his readers that the president's claim he called the Benghazi attack an "attack of terrorism" rates four Pinocchios. That's Kessler's cute way of calling our president a complete and thorough liar.

Kessler supports his conclusion with a nuanced evaluation of Obama's shifty use of the phrase "act of terror" in the days and weeks following the attack. Obama was against acts of terror, but when asked if Benghazi was terrorism, Kessler concludes "the president ducked the question."

The video whopper and the slippery presidential phraseology were coordinated spin -- the video to fool the rubes pre-election, the slick rhetoric to fool them now. Obama had a heavy personal and political investment in his claim that his election had forever dampened militant hostility to America. The Global War on Terror was over. Obama got Osama. Maj. Hasan and Fort Hood? Domestic terror. But a second 9-11 would call this narrative into question right before the damned election!

Austin Bay

Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
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