Obama on Benghazi: “There is no there there”

posted at 3:21 pm on May 13, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

If Republicans’ insistence on getting to the bottom of the terrorist attack on Benghazi last September is really a “sideshow” borne of “political motivations,” that’s only the case because of Democrats’ clownish antics attempting to downplay and dismiss the issue. Here’s the latest Exhibit A, from the president himself at his presser this morning:

The whole issue of talking point, frankly, throughout this process, has been a sideshow. We have been very clear about throughout that immediately after this event happened we were not clear who exactly had carried it out, how it had occurred, what the motivations were. It happened at the same time as we had seen attacks on U.S. embassies in Cairo as a consequence of this film and nobody understood exactly what was taking place during the course of those first few days. And the e-mails that you allude to were provided by us to congressional committees. They reviewed them several months ago, concluded that in fact there was nothing awful in terms of the process that we had used. And suddenly, three days ago, this gets spun up as if there is something new to the story. There is no there there.

Spare us the sanctimonious indignation, please. For one thing, as to those “attacks on U.S. embassies in Cairo as a consequence of this film,” Andrew McCarthy explains at NRO that the much-discussed video was neither the only nor even the main provocation for the near-simultaneous chaos going on in Egypt at the time, despite the administration’s insistence that they got that one right; and for another thing, if terrorism was always on the list of options (as it obviously should have been, since they knew from the beginning that it was a terrorist attack), why was it systematically scrubbed from the talking points? What do you even mean, there’s “no there there”? ‘Cause if we want to get real about ‘political motivations,’ pretending like nothing new is coming out of this investigation lately in order to cover the poor results of your foreign policy most definitely qualifies.

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa had some words for the president following his self-righteous display of misdirection: “Only the president could tell us with a straight face that there’s never been any confusion and that from the beginning they’ve said the right thing. … As you go through the facts as they were, yes, in real-time, we knew this was an al Qaeda backed terrorist attack and everything else in between is simply revisionist history.”



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