Obamas claim he called benghazi an act of terrorism gets 4 pinnochios

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Max E. Pad, May 14, 2013.

  1. Once again yesterday obama, while trying to cover his own ass tried to claim he referred to benghazi as an act of terrorism right off the bat, thankfully the media has now turned on him, and they are willing to put out the truth.

    Obama’s claim he called Benghazi an ‘act of terrorism’

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    “The day after it happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.”

    — President Obama, remarks at a news conference, May 13, 2013

    Once again, it appears that we must parse a few presidential words. We went through this question at length during the 2012 election, but perhaps a refresher course is in order.
    Notably, during a debate with Republican nominee Mitt Romney, President Obama said that he immediately told the American people that the killing of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya “was an act of terror.” But now he says he called it “an act of terrorism.”

    Some readers may object to this continuing focus on words, but presidential aides spend a lot of time on words. Words have consequences. Is there a difference between “act of terror” and “act of terrorism”?

    The Fact Checker noted last week that this was an attack on what essentially was a secret CIA operation, which included rounding up weapons from the very people who may have attacked the facility.

    Perhaps Obama, in his mind, thought this then was really “an act of war,” not a traditional terrorist attack, but he had not wanted to say that publicly. Or perhaps, as Republicans suggest, he did not want to spoil his campaign theme that terror groups such as al-Qaeda were on the run by conceding a terrorist attack had occurred on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
    Whatever the reason, when given repeated opportunities to forthrightly declare this was an “act of terrorism,” the president ducked the question.

    For instance, on Sept. 12, immediately after the Rose Garden statement the day after the attack, Obama sat down with Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes and acknowledged he purposely avoided the using the word “terrorism:”

    KROFT: “Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word ‘terrorism’ in connection with the Libya attack.”

    OBAMA: “Right.”

    KROFT: “Do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?”

    OBAMA: “Well, it’s too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.”

    Eight days later, on Sept. 20, Obama was asked at a Univision town hall whether Benghazi was a terrorist attack related to al-Qaeda, after White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that “it is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.”

    QUESTION: “We have reports that the White House said today that the attacks in Libya were a terrorist attack. Do you have information indicating that it was Iran, or al-Qaeda was behind organizing the protests?”

    OBAMA: “Well, we’re still doing an investigation, and there are going to be different circumstances in different countries. And so I don’t want to speak to something until we have all the information. What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.”

    (It is unclear whether Obama is ducking the “terrorism” question or answering one about al-Qaeda.)

    Finally, during an interview on ABC’s “The View” on Sept. 25, Obama appeared to refuse to say it was a terrorist attack:

    QUESTION: “It was reported that people just went crazy and wild because of this anti-Muslim movie -- or anti-Muhammad, I guess, movie. But then I heard Hillary Clinton say that it was an act of terrorism. Is it? What do you say?”

    OBAMA: “We are still doing an investigation. There is no doubt that the kind of weapons that were used, the ongoing assault, that it wasn’t just a mob action. Now, we don’t have all the information yet so we are still gathering.”

    So, given three opportunities to affirmatively agree that the Benghazi attack was a terrorist attack, the president obfuscated or ducked the question.

    In fact, as far as we can tell from combing through databases, Monday was the first time the president himself referred to Benghazi as an “act of terrorism.”

    Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House national security council, said in the case of “The View,” “the point of the question what about what happened, not what to call it.”
    She also noted that President George W. Bush used the phrase “act of terror” while visiting victims of the Sept. 11 attacks in the hospital, and critics such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) have used that phrasing as well in speaking about terrorist attacks. (She provided citations.) “I don’t really accept the argument that we are somehow unique in that formulation,” she said.

    Administration officials repeatedly have insisted that this is a distinction without much difference. “There was an issue about the definition of terrorism,” Carney said on October 10. “This is by definition an act of terror, as the President made clear.”


    The Pinocchio Test


    During the campaign, the president could just get away with claiming he said “act of terror,” since he did use those words — though not in the way he often claimed. It seemed like a bit of after-the-fact spin, but those were his actual words — to the surprise of Mitt Romney in the debate.

    But the president’s claim that he said “act of terrorism” is taking revisionist history too far, given that he repeatedly refused to commit to that phrase when asked directly by reporters in the weeks after the attack. He appears to have gone out of his way to avoid saying it was a terrorist attack, so he has little standing to make that claim now.

    Indeed, the initial unedited talking points did not call it an act of terrorism. Instead of pretending the right words were uttered, it would be far better to acknowledge that he was echoing what the intelligence community believed at the time--and that the administration’s phrasing could have been clearer and more forthright from the start.

    FOUR PINNOCHIOS
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  2. Really helpful for "Fact Checker" to get around to calling it a lie 7 or 8 months later, when the election has safely passed. Contrary to what they say too, Romney had it right. If you look at the context in which Obama used the words 'act of terror", his claim is even more far-fetched. As I recall, it was more of a generic claim that acts of terror would not deter us, not that Benghazi was specfically an act of terror.

    The thing that really fries me about all this is their fallback position that the talking points reflected the "intelligence communities" best judgment. That is a total lie. We know that after seeing the editing process. The political players kept demanding this and that change and the CIA, led by the soon to be disgraced David Petraeus, meekly complied. The end result bore not the slightest resemblance to their original product, which forthrightly called it a terrorist attack, named the group responsible and pointed out that calls for additional security had been rejected.

    Don't think for a minute the media are not still in full protect Hillary mode on this story.