So I watched last night's debate with Gwendolyn by my side, and she questioned why I felt it necessary to watch a debate between the two men running for president when both of us know already who we're voting for. And I had to admit, it would be really easy to switch the channel and watch My Cousin Vinny for the 32nd time, or catch Justin Verlander dispatching the Evil Empire in game three of the ALCS. But then up popped a question on Libya. And no, I'm not even going to get into the whole "Candy Crowley jumped in on Obama's side, was wrong to do so, and was wrong about what the President said in the Rose Garden" thing.
As I watched, I tweeted. Here's a sample of my tweets (and a few re-tweets) from that segment.** (read from the bottom up)
Well, maybe I - and a number of others - were wrong. We must have simply missed the answer, but it was there. Just slipped past us. Errr, no.
Right. I didn't think he answered the question. Now, onto the lameness. I swung by Real Clear Politics to see what the topics of conversation might be, and was surprised ... shocked really ... to see this.
Oh, he did? Really? Here's the link to Mr. Drum's piece, and the actual title: "It's time for Romney to give Benghazi a rest." The central point Mr. Drum makes is this:
But what I really wonder is: how has this become a serious question anyway? Why does anyone care if it took two weeks to decide that Benghazi was an act of terror? Two weeks! That's not exactly an eternity. Even if it were true that Obama spent a few days waiting for firm intelligence reports before making firm statements, is there anything wrong with that? Isn't that what a president should do?
It's a serious question because four people, including an ambassador, died. It's a serious question because it highlights the truthfulness, or lack thereof, of the administration in dealing with this tragedy. It's a serious question because Mr. Obama didn't treat those deaths as serious, choosing to go to fundraisers in Las Vegas when an ambassador had died. Here are a few inconvenient ones for those cheering Mr. Obama's answer (and Ms Crowley's partisan efforts) last night.
- The slain ambassador wrote in his journal about his own security concerns and his desire and need to improve security.
- Testimony in Congress by Eric Nordstrom indicates he was rebuffed for months in attempts to improve security. And a Lt. Colonel who was the leader of a security team that was called home knew right away that it was a terrorist attack.
- The Libyans knew within less than 24 hours that a) no protest took place that day in Benghazi about any video, and b) the attackers were well-organized and associated with Al Qaeda.
- Despite that, administration officials spent almost two weeks repeatedly blaming the attack on an anti-Islam video trailer, including arresting the video's producer. If they weren't sure it was terrorism initially, how were they so sure it was the video? Are some out-on-a-limb accusations acceptable, but not others?
So no, this doesn't put the Benghazi story to rest. Not at all. And the fact that the President failed to answer Mr. Ladka's question of who declined the extra security, and misled viewers about his own statements on the day after the attack doesn't help him one iota.
*Let's just say that Mr. Obama didn't explicitly call it terrorism, and didn't specifically condemn that particular attack as a coordinated act of terror. He did call it an "attack," and later in the speech condemned "acts of terror" generically. But he also linked the attack to the video, as later that week so did Susan Rice on five separate Sunday morning shows.
**If anyone can inform me how to post the entire timeline of my tweets, or a section of them, I'd be most appreciative. These are screenshots - best I could do.