I kind of like that he’s going through with the campaign rally tonight — held in America’s quintessential vacation destination, no less — just because it helps further expose the media’s fake outrage over Romney’s statement this morning for the concern-trolling fraud that it is. If they really cared as much about “optics” as they pretended to a few hours ago, they’d destroy him over the callousness of a big rally in Sin City while people are wondering what the hell happened yesterday in Libya. There’d be no need to raise points like this:
Had George Bush gone to Vegas for a fundraiser on a day like today, the nat’l political press would be in an uproar.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) September 12, 2012
As it is, Obama’s going to be given a pass from most of the press when he shows up in Vegas tonight for another speech about how righteous his foreign policy record is. Quick question for President Pitching Wedge if he’s not too busy with more important stuff: Did he have reason to know that jihadist groups have been threatening the consulate in Benghazi for months? International correspondents seem to have noticed:
The group suspected to be behind the assault — the Imprisoned Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades — first surfaced in May, when it claimed responsibility for an attack on the International Red Cross office in Benghazi. The following month the group claimed responsibility for detonating an explosive device outside the U.S. Consulate, and later released a video of that attack…
Benotman, who had earlier warned of the likelihood of renewed attacks against U.S. interest in Libya, said the Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades is a prime suspect in the Benghazi attack Tuesday. He believes it is likely the deadly attack was also linked to a video statement released by al-Zawahiri on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. In the video, al-Zawahiri confirmed the death of al-Libi — a prominent member of the al Qaeda-linked group — adding: “His blood is calling, urging and inciting you to fight and kill the crusaders.”
The video released by the Brigades in June showed nighttime explosions around the consulate, interlaced with footage of Osama bin Laden and al-Zawahiri, along with images from the 9/11 attacks. At the time the Brigades claimed it had launched the attack in response to the first reports of al-Libi’s death in a drone strike in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Notably, the Brigades said the June 5 attack was also timed to coincide with preparations for the arrival of a senior U.S. State Department official.
Go figure that a jihadist group that had targeted the consulate before might try something on 9/11, just as the leader of Al Qaeda was putting out a message eulogizing one of AQ’s Libyan capos. The signs were there; one of the Marines at the consulate apparently even saw Libyan “security” taking photos of the compound beforehand. What did the State Department do to prepare? Why are Marines only being sent now, after the fact, to beef up security? Why was there no evacuation plan in place? Why, apparently, didn’t Obama attend any of his daily intel briefings this week with the anniversary of 9/11 bearing down? Why did his campaign move more quickly to condemn Romney for his statement than the White House did to condemn the mob activity in Cairo and Benghazi? Why do these questions only seem to get asked of presidents from the party disfavored by the concern trolls we call reporters?
Here’s O chatting with CBS this afternoon by accusing the most famously cautious presidential candidate in recent U.S. history of being a “shoot first, aim later” kind of guy. Question for CBS: Did you ask him any questions about the security failures in Benghazi yesterday? If so, why isn’t his answer to that being circulated as the clip du jour instead of this dial-tone critique of Romney?
Update: This is actually happening, guys. You’re not dreaming. We live in a country where “serious” political media is actually pushing this meme:
Chris Matthews: The tragedy in Benghazi that cost Ambassador Stevens his life has been overshadowed by the desperate reach by Mitt Romney
— Hardball (@hardball) September 12, 2012