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.
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.