Via BuzzFeed, simple question from the Univision moderators: Why wasn’t your administration better prepared to secure America’s embassies on September 11th? The response, true to form, is nearly six minutes of meandering about how it’s important to stay engaged in the Middle East, how the Mohammed movie is “offensive” but shouldn’t be a pretext for violence, how he’s decimated Al Qaeda’s leadership, etc etc etc — everything except an answer to the question that was asked. The closest he gets is insisting that they redoubled their security efforts afterward, which is super but not much of a consolation to Chris Stevens, I’d imagine. And if you’re thinking maybe he’ll address this at length later, go watch the video of Ben LaBolt that Guy Benson’s posted. For obvious reasons, the Foreign Policy President will not be speaking about this particular foreign-policy “achievement.” In fact, according to The Cable blog at Foreign Policy, the Marines aren’t expecting to deploy a security detail to Libya for a good five years or so — even though Chris Stevens himself reportedly worried for months before his death about being on an Al Qaeda hit list. Why the Romney campaign isn’t destroying Obama over this instead of hammering at that old “redistribution” audio, I’ll never understand. Presumably, after the media wet itself over his earlier Libya-related attack on O, Team Mitt has simply decided to back off.
Two clips for you, one of Obama and the other from CBS this morning citing witnesses to the Benghazi attack who say there was no Mohammed-movie protest at all beforehand. That’s three credible news sources that have reported that; McClatchy was on it first and then Fox News’s sources chimed in a few days later. The press seems consumed with the daily spectacle of Jay Carney lurching from one new talking point to another about whether the Benghazi attack was preplanned or whether it was even a “terrorist attack” (yes to the latter, says Carney — finally), but those are secondary questions. The threshold question is why Chris Stevens was left effectively without security in an area that’s crawling with jihadis and has been for years. Forget for a moment whether the assault on the consulate was spur of the moment or carried out by Al Qaeda versus some other paramilitary group. The fact that some group would attack at some point and would do so quite effectively was a foregone conclusion. Why wasn’t the White House prepared?