From the perspective of many "covering this story," the global jihad we're witnessing is mostly the fault of an incompetent "filmmaker," and the "spontaneous outrage" is over a "provocative video." Notably, the same is being said about protests against French diplomatic posts in the Middle East because "obscene cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad" were published in a French magazine. What's really obscene is the way all of this has been covered by the potentates of the press -- particularly the events in Cairo, Benghazi and Afghanistan.
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo was first off the block -- issuing an apology for a poorly made Internet video titled "Innocence of Muslims." Though the video was shot in 2011 -- not by an Israeli as first reported but by an Egyptian -- it attracted almost no attention when brief segments first appeared on the Internet in July 2012. The Obama administration continues to tell us that the Muslim Brotherhood and a host of other Islamic radical groups in 30 countries just happened to come across the "offensive videos" on the 11th anniversary of the devastating 9/11 al-Qaida attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 of our countrymen.
That alone requires a willful suspension of disbelief by anyone at all familiar with reality. Only a tiny fraction of the young men assaulting our diplomatic posts, our military installations and U.S. businesses and killing Americans have seen what the White House and our State Department have described as a "disgusting," "insulting" and "distasteful" movie. Yet major networks and print outlets continue to parrot the administration's propaganda. If a Republican were in the Oval Office, the press would be calling it a cover-up.
The failure of the media elites to ask questions and demand answers is particularly egregious in two specific cases: the "spontaneous" attack on our consulate in Benghazi, in which four Americans were killed on the night of Sept. 11-12, and the attack in Afghanistan in which two U.S. Marines were killed during a ground assault at Camp Leatherneck/Bastion. Both of these events warrant questions -- and answers -- as to how they could happen.
For nine days, the Obama administration -- including Susan Rice, our ambassador to the United Nations -- refused even to describe what happened at our Benghazi consulate as a terror attack. The White House and State Department insisted that Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed during an "unplanned attack" during a protest prompted by the offensive video and that there "was no intelligence about any threat in Libya." Of course, that narrative exonerates the administration from a failure to plan for radical Islamic "anniversary attacks" on Sept. 11.
We now know that's not what happened. As Catherine Herridge at Fox News discovered, there was intelligence about a possible terror attack in Libya two days prior to the event, and it was unrelated to the infamous video. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is investigating the "discrepancies" between the O-Team's storyline and the events on the ground. There are a number of additional questions that should be asked and answered:
--Why was our ambassador to Tripoli in Benghazi on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary?
--Who decided to delay placing U.S. Marine embassy security guards at our Libyan diplomatic missions?
--Who made the decision to have our ambassador accompanied by such a small personal security detail on the trip to Benghazi, and when was it made?
--Other than the Americans at the consulate, who else knew about the ambassador's visit to Benghazi?
If the vaunted Obama "national security team" didn't prepare adequately for the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks, the Congress and the American people deserve to know. But they can't use "we just didn't know" or the "spontaneous outrage" excuses for what happened on the night of Sept. 13-14 at Camp Leatherneck/Bastion.
Nobody is saying that the well-executed assault that killed two U.S. Marines was anything but well-planned. The enemy employed well-aimed indirect fire, automatic weapons and a suicide assault against the 1,600-acre U.S.-British base in Helmand province. The number of aircraft damaged and destroyed is staggering.
We were told that the Arab Spring was going to make things better. The Obama Nobel Prize said as much. But for all of what has transpired since Sept. 11, 2012, there is one overriding question that needs to be asked and answered: How could this happen? Even useful idiots should want to know.
Oliver North is the host of "War Stories" on Fox News Channel, the founder and honorary chairman of Freedom Alliance, and the author of "American Heroes in Special Operations." To find out more about Oliver North and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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