Stevens Died, the Administration Lied

Posted: Oct 09, 2012 7:49 PM

IIt's important to be very careful about accusing political opponents of "lying"; for one thing, I objected when Democrats did it to George W. Bush, when Bush was clearly acting on the best intelligence he (and the world) had, which probably turned out to be mistaken about WMD in Iraq.  "Lying" is when one disseminates information one knows to be untrue, and there was never any evidence that the Bush administration did that.

But it is now clear that the Obama administration's conduct -- characterizing the terrorist attacks in Libya and the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens on 9/11/12 as a "spontaneous uprising" -- cannot be described in any way other than as a "lie." From Josh Rogin at Foreign Policy:

In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, two senior State Department officials gave a detailed accounting of the events that lead to the death of Amb. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. The officials said that prior to the massive attack on the Benghazi compound by dozens of militants carrying heavy weaponry, there was no unrest outside the walls of the compound and no protest that anyone inside the compound was aware of.

This is despite the facts as the Obama administration knew them at the time.  Via Reuters on October 2:

Within hours of last month's attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, President Barack Obama's administration received about a dozen intelligence reports suggesting militants connected to al Qaeda were involved, three government sources said.

Despite these reports, in public statements and private meetings, top U.S. officials spent nearly two weeks highlighting intelligence suggesting that the attacks were spontaneous protests against an anti-Muslim film, while playing down the involvement of organized militant groups.

Perhaps the reluctance to come clean about the fact that the murders were part of a terrorist attack was because there had been indications of deteriorating security and bAmbassador Stevens' requests for more security had been denied by the Obama administration? We'll know tomorrow -- after the former top U.S. diplomatic security official in Libya tells Congress that the State Department reduced security personnel for Libya over his objections.

Even after all of this, don't forget where the President went on September 12:Vegas, baby! -- for an adulation-laden rally, complete with his cry of "I love you back!"  He characterized the attacks as a "tough day."  Indeed.  Luckily, he was able to dispense with all the yucky foreign policy trouble less than five minutes into his thirty-minute speech, and get down to the real business at hand: Winning re-election.