‘Dude, this was like two years ago’

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‘Dude, this was like two years ago’

By Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Before you read this post, keep in mind that an attack on an Amer­i­can embassy or con­sulate is an attack on Amer­i­can soil. The attack occurred on the 12th anniver­sary of the Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001 attack.

The Twitchy guys had a field day with The Break­fast Club–like response from for­mer National Secu­rity Coun­cil spokesman Tommy Vietor:

Bret Baier: Accord­ing to the emails and the time­line, the CIA cir­cu­lates new talk­ing points after they remove the men­tion of al-​Qaeda, and then, at 6:21, the White House, you,
Tommy Vietor: Me.
BB: add a line about the admin­is­tra­tion warn­ing of Sep­tem­ber 10th, of social media reports call­ing for demon­stra­tions. True?
TV: I … believe so.
BB: Did you also change attacks to demon­stra­tions in the talk­ing points?
TV: Maybe. I don’t really remem­ber.
BB: You don’t remem­ber?
TV: Dude, this was like two years ago.

Let’s inter­rupt this for a sec­ond to raise the issue of the video:
Andrew McCarthy, who con­victed the Blind Sheik over the first World Trade Cen­ter attack, points out (empha­sis added),

In the weeks before Sep­tem­ber 11, 2012, these jihadists plot­ted to attack the U.S. embassy in Cairo. In fact, the Blind Sheikh’s son threat­ened a 1979 Iran-​style raid on the embassy: Amer­i­cans would be taken hostage to ran­som for the Blind Sheikh’s release from Amer­i­can prison (he is serv­ing a life sen­tence). Other jihadists threat­ened to burn the embassy to the ground — a threat that was reported in the Egypt­ian press the day before the Sep­tem­ber 11 “protests.”

The State Depart­ment knew there was going to be trou­ble at the embassy on Sep­tem­ber 11, the eleventh anniver­sary of al-Qaeda’s mass-​murder of nearly 3,000 Amer­i­cans. It was well known that things could get very ugly. When they did, it would become very obvi­ous to Amer­i­cans that Pres­i­dent Obama had not “dec­i­mated” al-​Qaeda as he was claim­ing on the cam­paign trail. Even worse, it would be painfully evi­dent that his pro – Mus­lim Broth­er­hood poli­cies had actu­ally enhanced al-Qaeda’s capac­ity to attack the United States in Egypt.

The State Depart­ment also knew about the obscure anti-​Muslim video. Few Egyp­tians, if any, had seen or heard about it, but it had been denounced by the Grand Mufti in Cairo on Sep­tem­ber 9. Still, the stir it caused was minor, at best. As Tom Josce­lyn has elab­o­rated, the Cairo riot­ing was dri­ven by the jihadists who were agi­tat­ing for the Blind Sheikh’s release and who had been threat­en­ing for weeks to raid and torch our embassy. And indeed, they did storm it, replace the Amer­i­can flag with the jihadist black flag, and set fires around the embassy complex.

But back to the Baier-​Vietor inter­view:

10 sec­onds into the video:
TV: A cou­ple of things: One, I was in the sit­u­a­tion room that night, ok?, and we didn’t know where the ambas­sador was defin­i­tively,
BB: Was the Pres­i­dent in the sit­u­a­tion room?
TV: No, and the fact that your net­work at one time reported that he watched video feed of the attack as it was ongo­ing is part of what I think is being innacu­rate
BB: Let me get to the bot­tom of that. Where was the Pres­i­dent?
TV: In the White House.
1 minute into the video:
BB: Where was the Pres­i­dent?
TV: In the White House.

Watch the whole interview:

Only after a series of edits — with var­i­ous State, White House, and CIA offi­cials mas­sag­ing the talk­ing points — do the talk­ing points them­selves “spon­ta­neously evolve” to include a direct claim that there were demon­stra­tions in Beng­hazi. Vietor will have you believe “that’s what bureau­crats do all day long.”

The fact remains that

The most seri­ous attack on a US mis­sion since the storm­ing of the country’s embassy in Tehran in 1979 has occurred in a nation that Wash­ing­ton claims to have lib­er­ated from tyranny.

A retired U.S. Air Force brigadier gen­eral who was on duty at U.S. African Com­mand head­quar­ters in Ger­many dur­ing the Beng­hazi attacks said today said com­man­ders quickly con­cluded that the event did not evolve from a protest, but that it was “a hos­tile mil­i­tary action.” This took place in the height of the 2012 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, with the talk­ing points of “Obama killed Bin Laden and al-Qaeda’s on the run.”

Where was Obama? Where was Hillary?

So where were they on the fate­ful night of Sep­tem­ber 11? Tommy Vietor – for­merly Obama’s van dri­ver, now, appar­ently, a for­eign pol­icy spokesman – says that Obama wasn’t in the sit­u­a­tion room. Where was he? Rest­ing up for his big fundrais­ing trip to Las Vegas the next day? And how about Hillary? As Paul wrote ear­lier this evening, retired Air Force Brigadier Gen­eral Robert Lovell tes­ti­fied today that the mil­i­tary should have tried to res­cue the besieged Amer­i­cans in Beng­hazi. Why didn’t they? They were wait­ing, he tes­ti­fied, for a request from the State Depart­ment that never came.

Now there’s another Beng­hazi email,

The pri­vate, inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion directly con­tra­dicts the mes­sage that Pres­i­dent Obama, Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Clin­ton, U.S. Ambas­sador to the U.N. Susan Rice and White House press sec­re­tary Jay Car­ney repeated pub­licly over the course of the next sev­eral weeks.

BUT!
Jay Carney’s now say­ing those emails aren’t about Beng­hazi.

More ques­tions: Why was Chris Stevens in Beng­hazi? Why were requests from an ambas­sador for addi­tional secu­rity denied?

One more ques­tion: How did the attack­ers know the ambas­sador would be at the con­sulate in Beng­hazi rather than at the embassy in Tripoli?

But, hey, noth­ing to see here. “It’s all a par­ti­san issue,” a phony scandal.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin Amer­i­can pol­i­tics and cul­ture at Fausta’s Blog.

By Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Before you read this post, keep in mind that an attack on an American embassy or consulate is an attack on American soil. The attack occurred on the 12th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack.

The Twitchy guys had a field day with The Breakfast Club-like response from former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor:

Bret Baier: According to the emails and the timeline, the CIA circulates new talking points after they remove the mention of al-Qaeda, and then, at 6:21, the White House, you,
Tommy Vietor: Me.
BB: add a line about the administration warning of September 10th, of social media reports calling for demonstrations. True?
TV: I . . . believe so.
BB: Did you also change attacks to demonstrations in the talking points?
TV: Maybe. I don’t really remember.
BB: You don’t remember?
TV: Dude, this was like two years ago.

Let’s interrupt this for a second to raise the issue of the video:
Andrew McCarthy, who convicted the Blind Sheik over the first World Trade Center attack, points out (emphasis added),

In the weeks before September 11, 2012, these jihadists plotted to attack the U.S. embassy in Cairo. In fact, the Blind Sheikh’s son threatened a 1979 Iran-style raid on the embassy: Americans would be taken hostage to ransom for the Blind Sheikh’s release from American prison (he is serving a life sentence). Other jihadists threatened to burn the embassy to the ground — a threat that was reported in the Egyptian press the day before the September 11 “protests.”

The State Department knew there was going to be trouble at the embassy on September 11, the eleventh anniversary of al-Qaeda’s mass-murder of nearly 3,000 Americans. It was well known that things could get very ugly. When they did, it would become very obvious to Americans that President Obama had not “decimated” al-Qaeda as he was claiming on the campaign trail. Even worse, it would be painfully evident that his pro–Muslim Brotherhood policies had actually enhanced al-Qaeda’s capacity to attack the United States in Egypt.

The State Department also knew about the obscure anti-Muslim video. Few Egyptians, if any, had seen or heard about it, but it had been denounced by the Grand Mufti in Cairo on September 9. Still, the stir it caused was minor, at best. As Tom Joscelyn has elaborated, the Cairo rioting was driven by the jihadists who were agitating for the Blind Sheikh’s release and who had been threatening for weeks to raid and torch our embassy. And indeed, they did storm it, replace the American flag with the jihadist black flag, and set fires around the embassy complex.

But back to the Baier-Vietor interview:

10 seconds into the video:
TV: A couple of things: One, I was in the situation room that night, ok?, and we didn’t know where the ambassador was definitively,
BB: Was the President in the situation room?
TV: No, and the fact that your network at one time reported that he watched video feed of the attack as it was ongoing is part of what I think is being innacurate
BB: Let me get to the bottom of that. Where was the President?
TV: In the White House.
1 minute into the video:
BB: Where was the President?
TV: In the White House.

Watch the whole interview:

Only after a series of edits — with various State, White House, and CIA officials massaging the talking points — do the talking points themselves “spontaneously evolve” to include a direct claim that there were demonstrations in Benghazi. Vietor will have you believe “that’s what bureaucrats do all day long.”

The fact remains that

The most serious attack on a US mission since the storming of the country’s embassy in Tehran in 1979 has occurred in a nation that Washington claims to have liberated from tyranny.

A retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general who was on duty at U.S. African Command headquarters in Germany during the Benghazi attacks said today said commanders quickly concluded that the event did not evolve from a protest, but that it was “a hostile military action.” This took place in the height of the 2012 presidential campaign, with the talking points of “Obama killed Bin Laden and al-Qaeda’s on the run.”

Where was Obama? Where was Hillary?

So where were they on the fateful night of September 11? Tommy Vietor–formerly Obama’s van driver, now, apparently, a foreign policy spokesman–says that Obama wasn’t in the situation room. Where was he? Resting up for his big fundraising trip to Las Vegas the next day? And how about Hillary? As Paul wrote earlier this evening, retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell testified today that the military should have tried to rescue the besieged Americans in Benghazi. Why didn’t they? They were waiting, he testified, for a request from the State Department that never came.

Now there’s another Benghazi email,

The private, internal communication directly contradicts the message that President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and White House press secretary Jay Carney repeated publicly over the course of the next several weeks.

BUT!
Jay Carney’s now saying those emails aren’t about Benghazi.

More questions: Why was Chris Stevens in Benghazi? Why were requests from an ambassador for additional security denied?

One more question: How did the attackers know the ambassador would be at the consulate in Benghazi rather than at the embassy in Tripoli?

But, hey, nothing to see here. “It’s all a partisan issue,” a phony scandal.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.