Obama admin recalibrating Benghazi narrative — again — before FP debate?

posted at 5:31 pm on October 20, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Since it now appears that the first two presidential debates did very much indeed have a resounding effect on the state of the race, Team O can’t afford to take any chances with Monday’s foreign-policy debate. Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s narrative on the president’s foreign-policy record has long been that all of those drone strikes and the death of Osama bin Laden have vastly deteriorated the strength and coordination of terrorism in the Middle East, and the attacks on the consulate in Benghazi and the death of four Americans on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 put something of a damper on that narrative.

Now it looks like the White House might be trying to rejigger that narrative yet again align more favorably with President Obama’s self-stated successes, do some damage control on his administration’s incompetent and bungled response to repeated security threats in the region, and may be most particularly looking get any “al Qaeda”-related language out of the Libya story. Fox News reported last night:

The intelligence community on Friday once again modified its assessment of what caused the deadly terror attack last month on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya – returning in part to claims that the violence was in reaction to a protest at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo over an anti-Islam film.

At the same time, the latest assessment acknowledged there was no actual protest in Benghazi at the time of the attack and that “extremist” elements were likely involved. …

The latest assessment appears to fall somewhere between the flawed account U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice gave on Sept. 16 claiming the attack was “spontaneous” and a subsequent revision on Sept. 28 by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claiming it was a coordinated terror attack.

Then, as Stephen Hayes summarized at the Weekly Standard this morning,

The administration’s new line takes shape in two articles out Saturday, one in the Los Angeles Times and the other by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. The Times piece reports that there is no evidence of an al Qaeda role in the attack. The Ignatius column makes a directly political argument, claiming that “the Romney campaign may have misfired with its suggestion that statements by President Obama and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice about the Benghazi attacks weren’t supported by intelligence, according to documents provided by a senior intelligence official.”

If this is the best the Obama administration can offer in its defense, they’re in trouble. The Times story is almost certainly wrong and the central part of the Ignatius “scoop” isn’t a scoop at all.

As Hayes goes on to point out, this new intelligence claiming that there is no evidence that al Qaeda was involved in the attacks, directly contradicts earlier reports and evidence claiming that al Qaeda and/or affiliates may very well have been involved in the attacks — and either way, none of this gets around the undeniable fact that the Obama administration failed to deal with longstanding security concerns.

It’s really quite jarring that Team Obama can accuse Mitt Romney & friends of trying to distort the Benghazi situation for political purposes, when it is abundantly clear that that is what’s going on with the White House here. This is raising some serious questions in the intelligence community and from Congress about the White House’s manipulative handling of the situation, and certain Republicans (rightly) aren’t going to let this go, per Politico:

The chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security late Friday demanded President Barack Obama release the intelligence reports behind the administration’s evolving explanation for the  burning of the Benghazi consulate.

In a letter, Peter King (R-N.Y) echoed fellow House Republicans’ calls in  demanding the release of intelligence that led the administration to initially conclude protests over an inflammatory Internet film led to the attack, and  “subsequent Intelligence Community analyses which led your Administration to determine that the events of September 11, 2012 represented a terrorist attack.” …

In a letter to President Barack Obama sent earlier Friday,  Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) called for a “full and immediate account”  of the administration’s decisions leading up to and in the wake of the  attack. …


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L I E S !

KOOLAID2 on October 20, 2012 at 5:33 PM

…wonder how the moderator will help JugEars this time?

KOOLAID2 on October 20, 2012 at 5:34 PM

rejigger

RAAAAAAACIST!!!

Tim_CA on October 20, 2012 at 5:34 PM

…the whole debate will be about binders or golf!

KOOLAID2 on October 20, 2012 at 5:34 PM

New line: Terrorists not affiliated with Al Queda enjoying frappes watching Egyptian protest on al jazzera decide to spontaneously attack embassy with a premeditated plan on 9/11.

rubberneck on October 20, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Try with all your little evil hearts to somehow spin this bho/team you are going DOWN on this one! You can lie till your forked tongue snake rots off, you own this!
L

letget on October 20, 2012 at 5:36 PM

It’s no use, Barry: The world saw your incompetence and lying play out live on our TVs and in the UN. The wheels are off this clown car.

Bret Baier’s special “Death and Deceit in Benghazi” will air Sunday (tomorrow) at 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. I highly recommend watching it. It aired originally last night.

Philly on October 20, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Why am I not surprised this administration is trying to change “their story.” Their forte is revisionist history!

CoffeeLover on October 20, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Now it looks like the White House might be trying to rejigger that narrative yet again align more favorably with President Obama’s self-stated successes, do some damage control on his administration’s incompetent and bungled response to repeated security threats in the region, and may be most particularly looking get any “al Qaeda”-related language out of the Libya story

…you think Uncle Bob got a thick envelope yet?

KOOLAID2 on October 20, 2012 at 5:37 PM

What a bunch of lightweights. Our Intelligence Professionals will spill the beans on this incompetent bunch of ninnies.

kingsjester on October 20, 2012 at 5:37 PM

…wonder how the moderator will help JugEars this time?

KOOLAID2 on October 20, 2012 at 5:34 PM

His employer had no problem using Fake documents to help the Dem in 2004.

Del Dolemonte on October 20, 2012 at 5:38 PM

If they have to come up with a new narrative, the last debate is already a win for Mitt.

ThePrez on October 20, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Have they forgotten that Mitt gets security briefings now?

Mitsouko on October 20, 2012 at 5:40 PM

The Sunday line up of bho’s lying bunch should be good! Lets see, axelrod, cutter, dws, is a start.

I can’t wait for Rush’s show Monday!
L

letget on October 20, 2012 at 5:41 PM

He’s trying to play the ..”See..it’s foolish to jump to conclusions before knowing all the facts. Mitt acted foolishly” card.
Not credible.

Mimzey on October 20, 2012 at 5:44 PM

They are cutting this kind of close, aren’t they? If they are still working on the reworking of the reworked re-reworked story this close to the debate, they might not have enough time to get the transcript to Bob Schieffer for him to have in hand to correct Romney if he dares challenge The Won.

natasha333 on October 20, 2012 at 5:44 PM

rejigger
RAAAAAAACIST!!!

Tim_CA on October 20, 2012 at 5:34 PM

this, hahahaha

Dr. Demento on October 20, 2012 at 5:45 PM

directly contradicts earlier reports and evidence claiming that al Qaeda and/or affiliates may very well have been involved in the attacks —

That’s definitely their new approach- that pig, buffoon Bob Beckel was screaming about how there was no Al Qaeda connection all week long. It’s as if the administration has convinced themselves that it the terrorism isn’t called Al Qaeda, it isn’t “real terrorism”.

Whoopie Goldberg approves this message.

BettyRuth on October 20, 2012 at 5:45 PM

How long until the dimocRATs come up with an accusatory sex story scandal against one or both team R&R?

Seems like that would be next to come with this “kitchen sink” of a disaster for an explanation in Benghazi.

You can smell the desperation.

RealMc on October 20, 2012 at 5:47 PM

BettyRuth on October 20, 2012 at 5:45 PM

You are so right. I am always yelling at the TV when this administration RENAMES something to adjust to their changing narrative.

CoffeeLover on October 20, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Sure. This makes sense. A nonexistent mad mob was the cause of a planned Al Quaeda affiliate attack which did not happen because it was not as well planned as it might have been. Or something like that. And as for Ambassador Rice? Who?

pat on October 20, 2012 at 5:48 PM

They can recalibrate all they want but four Americans are still dead, albeit “not optimally.”

natasha333 on October 20, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Yep, it was only a matter of time til the Obama Water Carriers in the media changed the story for the sake of the Marxist Messiah! So, will Mitt & the eSTAB-lishment Repubs let them get away with it? You never know with these surrender artists. Look at McCain2008. Remember also, the Obama regime is more interested in getting the Moron vote to the polls, then winning over any undecided’s or Indi’s.
How many times do the eSTAB-lishment Repubs have to be proven WRONG, on their pandering to the Obama Enemy media, before the “smart guys”, get a clue & start fighting the Enemy, they allow to beat them like idiots, regularly? Here’s a simple way of taking on the Obama Enemy media & Winning: http://paratisiusa.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-those-who-should-know.html?spref=tw

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 20, 2012 at 5:49 PM

I hope Bolton and Newt are heavily involved in Mitt’s debate prep.

Kataklysmic on October 20, 2012 at 5:49 PM

The Times piece reports that there is no evidence of an al Qaeda role in the attack.

“Now with a larger safe haven and increased freedom to maneuver, terrorists are seeking to extend their reach and their networks in multiple directions. And they are working with other violent extremists to undermine the democratic transitions under way in North Africa, as we tragically saw in Benghazi.”

- Hillary Clinton, 26 September 2012

The “they” to whom she refers is Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/27/world/africa/clinton-cites-clear-link-between-al-qaeda-and-attack-in-libya.html?ref=global-home

Resist We Much on October 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Romney should embrace Obamas anti terror campaign. Its Bushs tactics that Obama adopted.

Rope a dope by embracing him and then sharply point out a few major differences.

rickyricardo on October 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Romney

for God sake – do not ask him questions
he will unravel thinly veiled lies

lay out the facts
don’t forget the presvious bombings on the british and American embasseys (the brit’s got out of there)

that’s a good start

then disect the time line

then contrast Fast and Furious 1 American 300 Mexicans dead
(Mexico not even notified)

Putin and “more flexibility”

audiotom on October 20, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Initially I thought they were trying to run out the clock on Benghazi. But now that it is Romney’s race to lose, they need to change the narrative – and quick.

And so here it comes.

Not going to work, though. Too many reporters, too invested (Steve Hayes, Eli Lake, Bret Baier, Kirsten Powers, etc).

kevinkristy on October 20, 2012 at 5:51 PM

rickyricardo on October 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Just shut up and go away.

kingsjester on October 20, 2012 at 5:52 PM

This administration seems to think that we are all Pamelas and that Benghazi is Arabic for “Hey, forget all of last season. Bobby didn’t die. He’s just coming out of the shower!”

Resist We Much on October 20, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Can’t spin or shine shite. You just can’t. Stay strong during the debate, Mitt. Don’t let Barry or the moderator-in-shill throw you.

Slainte on October 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM

“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

– Sir Walter Scott

farsighted on October 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM

rickyricardo on October 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Our lefty FB friends are already passing around the claims that Mitt is Bush 2.0.
OY.

pambi on October 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM

…wonder how the moderator will help JugEars this time?

KOOLAID2 on October 20, 2012 at 5:34 PM

There will be an interesting dynamic at play on Monday. Yes, Schieffer is a CBS lib, but CBS has reporters who’ve been on the front lines of both Fast and Furious and the resurgence of AQ. I don’t have their names handy, but both have been aggressive when it comes to investigating and reporting two stories that BHO probably doesn’t want aired. I would actually be surprised if Schieffer went totally into the tank for Obama, it would contradict some good work done by his CBS coworkers.

joejm65 on October 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Let us see.
Charlene Lamb from State on phone throughout the entire attack. Also has security cameras in tac room showing the attack in real time, live to the State Dep’t.
CIA drone. Filming attack as it happens.
WH informed of attack. Does nothing.
WH informed next day that State, CIA, and Libyan President are reporting facility was attacked by an armed militia affiliated with Al Qaeda.
Conclusion of WH?
A movie trailer that is frankly incomprehensible made Muslims go mad and an enraged mob over ran facility.

pat on October 20, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Our lefty FB friends are already passing around the claims that Mitt is Bush 2.0.
OY.

pambi on October 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Pretty funny, since we’re living under Carter 2.0.

joejm65 on October 20, 2012 at 5:56 PM

I’m not sure this Benghazi thing is going to convince a single voter one way or the other. It may help fit into the narrative that Obama is a failure, but if you don’t already know that then Libya isn’t going to make a difference for you.

The best thing it does is keeps Obama on defense going into the last 2 weeks.

That being said, the arrest of the filmmaker and the subsequent condemenation of free speech at the UN by our president was easily the most disgusting thing I’ve seen from any White House in my lifetime.

happytobehere on October 20, 2012 at 5:56 PM

The intelligence community on Friday once again modified its assessment of what caused the deadly terror attack last month on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya – returning in part to claims that the violence was in reaction to a protest at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo over an anti-Islam film.

Looks like Petraeus is heading back to his original BS lie.

Yet a congressional source told Fox News that CIA Director David Petraeus, during a briefing with members of the House Intelligence Committee three days after the attack, also espoused the view that Benghazi was an out-of-control demonstration prompted by the YouTube video. According to the source, this was “shocking” to some members who were present and saw the same intelligence pointing toward a terrorist attack.

VorDaj on October 20, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Our lefty FB friends are already passing around the claims that Mitt is Bush 2.0.
OY.

pambi on October 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Do they mean he might revert back to only wiretapping the phones of suspected terrorists overseas rather than drone-striking American citizens, who haven’t been charged with a crime?

At this point, Bush seems mild compared to Obama on the issue of civil liberties…and as a libertarian, I was aghast at what he did.

Resist We Much on October 20, 2012 at 5:57 PM

the White House might be trying to rejigger that narrative yet again

Again? How many re-writes are we up to? I lost count.

lynncgb on October 20, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Absolutely no consideration of TRUTH. Only a recalibration, untwisting, different emphasis and new presentations of the old lies. Typical.

PaCadle on October 20, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Romney should embrace Obamas anti terror campaign. Its Bushs tactics that Obama adopted.

Rope a dope by embracing him and then sharply point out a few major differences.

rickyricardo on October 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

“Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi, here we go again.”

Del Dolemonte on October 20, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Resist We Much on October 20, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Honestly, I can’t make hide nor hare (?) of what they’re spewing about it all.
Mostly, their links are to sites I refuse to click on. LOL.

pambi on October 20, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Whatever the lie is today.

I’ll be impressed if the Regime doesn’t have anyone killed in Libya for political purposes before the debate.

forest on October 20, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Fox says Mitt met with Bibi to talk about some things prior to Monday’s debate. Not surprising, seeing that they are friends not frenemies (like Barry is).

Philly on October 20, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Philly on October 20, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Over the phone ?

pambi on October 20, 2012 at 6:04 PM

AQI is doing quite well thanks to Obama’s complete exit from Iraq and now they are coming back in Afghanistan too.

http://news.yahoo.com/al-qaida-afghanistan-attempting-comeback-144002075.html

Wigglesworth on October 20, 2012 at 6:05 PM

pat on October 20, 2012 at 5:55 PM

When CBS News turns on you…

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-33816_162-57536611/could-u.s-military-have-helped-during-libya-attack/

You know you might have a problem.

CPT. Charles on October 20, 2012 at 6:05 PM

U.N. Election Monitors Will Be At Polling Stations In U.S. To Look For Voter Suppression By Conservative Groups…

http://weaselzippers.us/2012/10/20/u-n-election-monitors-will-be-at-polling-stations-in-u-s-to-look-for-voter-suppression-by-conservative-groups/

Also on Drudge Report

Zcat on October 20, 2012 at 6:06 PM

This is just ridiculous.

It reminds me of that old Abbot and Costello joke..who’s on first:

Abbott: You throw the ball to first base.
Costello: Then who gets it?
Abbott: Naturally.
Costello: Naturally.
Abbott: Now you’ve got it.
Costello: I throw the ball to Naturally.
Abbott: You don’t! You throw it to Who!
Costello: Naturally.
Abbott: Well, that’s it—say it that way.
Costello: That’s what I said.
Abbott: You did not.
Costello: I said I throw the ball to Naturally.
Abbott: You don’t! You throw it to Who!
Costello: Naturally.

Costello: Now I throw the ball to first base, whoever it is drops the ball, so the guy runs to second. Who picks up the ball and throws it to What. What throws it to I Don’t Know. I Don’t Know throws it back to Tomorrow—a triple play.
Abbott: Yeah, it could be.
Costello: Another guy gets up and it’s a long fly ball to Because. Why? I don’t know. He’s on third, and I don’t care!
Abbott: What was that?
Costello: I said, I DON’T CARE!
Abbott: Oh, that’s our shortstop!

Terrye on October 20, 2012 at 6:06 PM

…wonder how the moderator will help JugEars this time?

KOOLAID2 on October 20, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Moderator: Mr. Obama, if you were President, how would you have stopped the assault? Would have have made the gutsy call like you did with Bin Laden?

Gatsu on October 20, 2012 at 6:07 PM

When you’re getting your story straight…it means you’re lying.

Rational Thought on October 20, 2012 at 6:09 PM

The only thing that Americans need to know about this administration’s foreign policy is that Obama prefers golfing to protecting our interests.

His administration turned down requests for more security and our Ambassador and three of his staff are now dead.

Obama trumpeted the “Arab Spring”, abandoning a solid ME policy that has allowed jihadists to run wild and destabilize most of North Africa.

The Resident has routinely brushed off security/intelligence briefs in favor of campaign appearances and face time on TV shows.

Obama is a rank amateur, surrounded by sycophants, who has pilfered our treasury, sacrificed our military for no good reason, almost destroyed our economy, and is in over his head while denying any problem exists.

He wants four more years to finish his work.

THAT ought to be reason enough to deny him that opportunity.

TKindred on October 20, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Well, it’s a lot easier for this administration to change messages than it would be for any Republican administration. They can enlist the aid of Candy Crowley to get to a narrative that Obama called this terorism on the 2nd day, they can get David Ignatius to put out a column spouting their talking points. The problem for them is everyone who’s watched their response knows something’s up and, IMHO, the only thing that would save Obama is if the October surprise was that had captured the guy that did it and the al Qaeda #2 and the only way they could do it would be to not tell the truth because they would figure out they knew more, which would alert them to run and hide.

Duplicitous is all I can say.

bflat879 on October 20, 2012 at 6:09 PM

The Plasma Defense – is it a solid? a gas? a liquid? It is a separate state of matter; it’s like the foregoing, but not like the foregoing.

Make malleable that which can be used against us. Take credit for the good. Deflect and redirect that which is deemed bad.

John Kettlewell on October 20, 2012 at 6:10 PM

EVOLVE!!!

If it were not for lying the Obama regime would have nothing at all. I hope that Bob Schieffer was in on this staff meeting.

jukin3 on October 20, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Where did I leave that picture of Osama and Bert… ?

beatcanvas on October 20, 2012 at 6:13 PM

U.S. officials announce Iran open for new negotiations over nuclear program. How convenient and (transparently) contrived.

andy85719 on October 20, 2012 at 6:14 PM

…wonder how the moderator will help JugEars this time?

KOOLAID2 on October 20, 2012 at 5:34 PM

President Obama, could you explain how Mr Romney’s impetuous, premature statement regarding the Egyptian demonstrations contributed to the death of an ambassador and the brave personnel who attempted to save him from the furious devout Muslims?

pat on October 20, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Zcat on October 20, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Insane.
If they are looking for “suppression” by conservative groups they have already proven their bias.
What are their qualifications and under WHAT authority do they interfere with a sovereign nations elections?

Mimzey on October 20, 2012 at 6:15 PM

It’s really quite jarring that Team Obama can accuse Mitt Romney & friends of trying to distort the Benghazi situation for political purposes, when it is abundantly clear that that is what’s going on with the White House here.

Keep sowing seeds of confusion over the people doing the attacking to avoid talking about the security for the people who were being attacked.

STL_Vet on October 20, 2012 at 6:17 PM

STL_Vet….absolutely correct diversion and confusion…hoping few are paying attention. And, of course, they do think we are all stupid.

CoffeeLover on October 20, 2012 at 6:20 PM

This is quickly becoming a bad script for a sequel to the movie “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight”. Either that, or a new episode of the Twilight Zone.

CharlieCA on October 20, 2012 at 6:22 PM

I expect all sorts of treachery in the staging of the “debate”. But Schieffer’s grip is pretty tenuous.

Mitt really did remarkably well finishing most of his points versus Crowley – hopefully he can power through as well against Schieffer. Of course, then the spin will be that he is an ageist and a bully…

bofh on October 20, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Too late. Much too late for Obama and his crew. Read J.D. Dyer post on Benghazi for a very nice overview on this massive FUBAR. There are personal and professional reputations at stake now among the military and intellienge community not to talk. Both the Sec. of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence are caught literally between a rock and a very hard place. What scares me the most, is that Obama has clearly walked away from his duties as Commander and Chief, and our adversary’s know it. We have now arrived at the worst case situation, with seventeen days remaining. Time to start praying….

flackcatcher on October 20, 2012 at 6:25 PM

There is a certain (deliberate?) vagueness about who or what is speaking when the references are made to the “intelligence community.” Are the WH communiques sent to the media coming from DNI Clapper? the CIA? intelligence withing the State Department? the investigating FBI? review of the audio-video feedback in real time? analysis of Stevens’s cables and diaries? interviews with Libyans?

Or is the information coming from the Axelrod-Jarrett-Obysmal-Biden Magic 8 Ball and Propaganda Machine? Is Susan Rice the messenger and coffee provider for this nonsense?

Are we back to the video trailer excuse that has not merit? Hasn’t that chicken been plucked and ph*cked to death?

Where is the paper trail about requests and denials for better security?

And to repeat Schadenfreude’s question: What was Stevens doing in Benghazi on September 11?

There is talk that Murdoch is trying to buy the LA Times. Maybe he can make an honest publication of her and release the tape of Obysmal and Khaladi.

onlineanalyst on October 20, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Maybe this is what Mitt and Bibi discussed. Fox News reports that Israel was not notified of these negotiations.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/21/world/iran-said-ready-to-talk-to-us-about-nuclear-program.html?hp&_r=2&pagewanted=all&

Philly on October 20, 2012 at 6:28 PM

I know they think this is important, but it isn’t. Romney is still going to win.

John the Libertarian on October 20, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Let him recall rate all he wants.

Hopefully Romney won’t get too bogged down in the coverup aspect of this, or in the abstract foreign policy questions.

There are very concrete, rather damning, questions that everyone, from the most isolationist dove to the most aggressive hawk can understand: (shamelessly cut and pasted from my comment in a dying headlines thread)

“Mr. President, why did you set up an embassy in a war-torn country with no marines or other real security?

“Mr. President, when you decided to set up an embassy in a war-torn country with no marines or other real security, why did you pick a country that was crawling with Al Qaeda?

“Mr. President, when said embassy was attacked, repeatedly, in the preceding months, why did you take no action? We’re you unaware that these attacks had taken place? What did you personally know about the security situation in Libya in the months and weeks before the attack?

“Mr. President, why did you feed us all that transparent BS about a video?

“Mr. President, why did you deal with a terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11 on the phone, from Vegas? We’re you aware of the attack while it was going on? Was Secretary of State Clinton aware?

“Mr. President, are you even remotely involved in your own administration’s foreign policy?”

RINO in Name Only on October 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

RINO in Name Only on October 20, 2012 at 6:29 PM

The next line ….

“Ambassador Stevens and the three other Americans who perished were the unfortunate victims of a bizarre fire set off by a bumbling waiter attempting to prepare ‘Baked Alaska.’ No AQ were involved in the accident – in fact, no AQ are alive. Anywhere. Seriously. We mean it.”

BD57 on October 20, 2012 at 6:32 PM

“It wasn’t ‘terrorism terrorism’”
~Whoopi Nutball

Strike Hornet on October 20, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Obama admin recalibrating Benghazi narrative — again — before FP debate?

Recalibrating recalibraters recalibrate.

dirtseller on October 20, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Let him recall rate all he wants.

iPad’s autocorrect doesn’t understand the word “recalibrate”? Perhaps it just needs some recalibration.

RINO in Name Only on October 20, 2012 at 6:33 PM

It’s really quite jarring that Team Obama can accuse Mitt Romney & friends of trying to distort the Benghazi situation for political purposes, when it is abundantly clear that that is what’s going on with the White House here.

That is one of their central tactics. Accuse the right of committing the dastardly things you are doing(many times openly and without shame)loudly, often and from many sources. The public will ignore your actions and be outraged that the right would stoop to such things. It is working well with the war on women and racism.

tdarrington on October 20, 2012 at 6:35 PM

The ambassador is still dead.
Can’t recalibrate that.

albill on October 20, 2012 at 6:35 PM

The White House dog ate the intelligence report and it took 8 days to print up another report because they were out of ink for their printers.

logman1 on October 20, 2012 at 6:36 PM

…either way, none of this gets around the undeniable fact that the Obama administration failed to deal with longstanding security concerns.

^^^
This! If Romney doesn’t rub Obama’s nose in this during the debate, then it will be very disappointing.

KS Rex on October 20, 2012 at 6:37 PM

He can recalibrate all he wants. The unavoidable truth remains that his foreign policy has been disastrous, and that he has repeatedly and deliberately betrayed our allies in favor of our enemies.

He will pull the usual “that’s offensive” garbage, but it is not about him and his delicate sensibilities. It is about what is best for America.

Romney should minimize addressing Obama and treat the final debate as a one-on-one presser between the incoming new administration and the American people, filling them in on what the anti-social media (Anybody else coined that, yet?) has refused to cover with a Dem in the White House.

Christien on October 20, 2012 at 6:40 PM

In other words: no matter what Mitt Romney says about the Benghazi assassination, Barack Hussein Obama can just shake his head, purse his lips, and bemoan Romney’s lack of understanding of the “complexities” involved with deciding whether American embassies in civil-war-torn contries should have security or not.

logis on October 20, 2012 at 6:40 PM

There will be an interesting dynamic at play on Monday. Yes, Schieffer is a CBS lib, but CBS has reporters who’ve been on the front lines of both Fast and Furious and the resurgence of AQ. I don’t have their names handy, but both have been aggressive when it comes to investigating and reporting two stories that BHO probably doesn’t want aired. I would actually be surprised if Schieffer went totally into the tank for Obama, it would contradict some good work done by his CBS coworkers.

joejm65 on October 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM

IIRC, they were Lara Logan (Foriegn Affairs Correspondent) and Sheryl Attkisson (Investigative Reporter Fast and Furious) .

Strike Hornet on October 20, 2012 at 6:41 PM

As Hayes goes on to point out, this new intelligence claiming that there is no evidence that al Qaeda was involved in the attacks, directly contradicts earlier reports and evidence claiming that al Qaeda and/or affiliates may very well have been involved in the attacks

“The intelligence community” hasn’t figured out whether AQ was or was not involved, whether it was pre-planned or not, whether there was a demonstration or not, whether it was about a video, or not BUT they do know the exact state of the Iranian nuclear program, and they will be able to tell us precisely when the Iranians weaponize their nuclear material.

tdarrington on October 20, 2012 at 6:41 PM

If it were not for lying the Obama regime would have nothing at all. I hope that Bob Schieffer was in on this staff meeting.

jukin3 on October 20, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Are you kidding? Schieffer is probably writing the script.

Why not have Sheryl Atkinson be the debate monitor since she seems to be most informed about international issues?

onlineanalyst on October 20, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Seriously?

All Mitt has to do is point out all of the narratives at the debate – look Obama in the eye and go is it one of these or have you changed your mind again?

gophergirl on October 20, 2012 at 6:44 PM

logis on October 20, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Only O knows the complexities involved in stationing Marines at the embassy in Jamaica, but not Libya.

tdarrington on October 20, 2012 at 6:45 PM

schieffer will prop up dear leader during the debate…don’t you worry….

cmsinaz on October 20, 2012 at 7:01 PM

One FAST team from Bahrain, and this would never be an issue, this is why they are there in the region. They could have responded in time, yet no call went out, nor were they there to secure afterwards. Lambs leading Lions, never ends well for the Lions!

MarshFox on October 20, 2012 at 7:03 PM

keep throwing the stuff at the refrigerator Obama! maybe something will stick! (his words, not mine).

teejk on October 20, 2012 at 7:03 PM

RINO in Name Only on October 20, 2012 at 6:29 PM

And to think that I know people with graduate degrees who think Candy settled this whole thing for us.

Better explain that we aren’t just mad about our guy losing. Bob Schieffer said that the other day.

And he is the next moderator up.

IlikedAUH2O on October 20, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Have they forgotten that Mitt gets security briefings now?

Mitsouko on October 20, 2012 at 5:40 PM

LOL! Mitt actually reads them.

BetseyRoss on October 20, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Tacticly, the main thing Romney must NOT do is ask Obama questions, as he was doing in Debate 2. If Obama lies, it puts Romney in the defensive position of refuting. It is far better to make points/allegations in the affirmative, in this kind of setting, which would require Obama to have to dissemble and/or refute, giving Romney a chance to repeat the point once again.

Substantively, as to Benghazi, it is better to stay away from the coverup or the reasons why they changed their stories, those are but “process” issues. The strongest point to raise here is their complete failure to provide even minimum security to (and actually withdrew security assets from) a consulate that had been attacked twice, in April and June, a consulate located in a part of the country swarming with AQ and its affiliates, and after numerous requests by security professionals and the Ambassador himself for enhanced security, and on none other than the first anniversary of 9/11 after taking out OBL.

TXUS on October 20, 2012 at 7:30 PM

You know I have never gotten the point of why it matters when they called it terrorism or not. What matters is that they put our ambassador in harms way with no protection in order to lead from weakness to win the favor of our enemies.

That’s the whole theme here. Leading from weakness brings war. Leading from strenght brings peace.

mitchellvii on October 20, 2012 at 7:33 PM

I don’t think excuses are going to work here. People I don’t care how many Democrats try and tell how many stories. This time there is an election around the corner and people get to vote whether they want to believe this or not. Previously there was no recourse for the American people. Well this time there is. Nobody needs permission from the MSM or friggin scumbags on the left or Obama to say “You aint getting my vote douchebag!”. As a matter of fact trying to snake your way out of it will lose any wavering voter.

Conan on October 20, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Yes, just take the top shelf approach, do not get into the blame and coverup dialogue. Instead, take the high road on how you would have put security in place to prevent it, would have stayed home in DC to investigate it with Sr. officials of all entities involved vs. campaigning, found answers for families of the victims and stayed in contact with them, reported back the truth the 1st time, etc…HIGH ROAD only on this so Bob and Bobblehead dont play any “gotchas”…

hillsoftx on October 20, 2012 at 7:45 PM

…wonder how the moderator will help JugEars this time?

KOOLAID2 on October 20, 2012 at 5:34 PM

They will wheel the corpse of Stevens out on the stage and conduct a forensic examination to “prove” that he was killed by a spontaneous mob.

Bishop on October 20, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Sooo… now we’ve come full circle to the ‘spontaneous demonstration over a video that spun out of control’ story. Perfect. That squares well with the AQ connected leader of the Benghazi attack who is giving press interviews like some kind of Jihadi rock star. Brilliant

ghostwalker1 on October 20, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Team Obama seems to have pushed Panetta to have the CIA come up with this report so that The One can basically use the Certs defense during Monday’s debate — “It’s an al Qaida attack!/It’s a spontaneous demonstration!/It’s two! Two! Two attacks in one!

The new talking points allows Obama to go back to Spin Option A — go back to blaming Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and his movie for sparking the Benghazi demonstration. Or he can stick with Spin Option B — use the 9/12 mention of terrorism in general terms to act like he was johnny-on-the-spot on IDing this as a pre-planned attack from the get-go. Or he could try and use both options within the same debate, if Obama is confident enough that Bob Schieffer will run even more interference for him to deflect Romney’s statements than Candy Crowley did.

You’d think Schieffer would have more self-respect after this week’s post-debate kerfuffle to let either claim go without being challenged, let alone allowing both to be used in Monday’s debate. But desperate times sometimes call for desperate media measures.

jon1979 on October 20, 2012 at 7:52 PM

They will wheel the corpse of Stevens out on the stage and conduct a forensic examination to “prove” that he was killed by a spontaneous mob.

Bishop on October 20, 2012 at 7:50 PM

If you said this in room of these clowns they would start talking to each other about doing it. Seriously. Cutter would be right there. Axelrod too.

Conan on October 20, 2012 at 7:52 PM

“The attack was carried out by rogue Bush administration ATMs disguised as Big Bird and using binders of women for shields.”

StubbleSpark on October 20, 2012 at 7:55 PM

I am curious why they printed these 2 articles that tip their hand. Any theories? Seems even the board here can start gaming a Romney answer now. However imperfect the Rose Garden thing was its main effectiveness was the element of surprise (with the exception of Crowley)

Conan on October 20, 2012 at 7:55 PM

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