A Non-Denial Denial?

Posted: Sep 14, 2012 7:50 AM

In response to the piece in the UK Independent alleging that the State Department was warned of possible trouble in the days before the attacks on our Egyptian and Libyan embassies, this is what an Obama administration representative had to say, as cited in Politico this morning:

Shawn Turner, spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, emailed: “This is absolutely wrong. We are not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent.”

That's an interesting non-denial denial, isn't it? The Independent piece didn't say there was warning of an attack specifically in Benghazi (note, however, there's no denial about Cairo, is there?).

What the Independent piece (quoted in the post immediately below) said is this:

[T]he US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and "lockdown", under which movement is severely restricted.

In other words, there was a specific warning for American missions -- just not specifically specific to the one in Libya.

It's as if, in the run-up to 9/11/01, there were warnings for American skyscrapers -- just not the World Trade Centers, per se.

Frankly, rather than serving its intended purpose of silencing questions, this denial does rather the opposite.  It has more holes than Swiss cheese.  Certainly a less compliant press would follow up . . . if they need help getting themselves motivated, maybe they can pretend that a Republican sits in The White House, rather than President Obama.  Trust me, the tone and tenor of the coverage would be very different.