White House Press Secretary Jay Carney can say it:
“It is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters traveling yesterday with President Barack Obama.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can say it:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says it was a “terrorist attack” that killed the American ambassador to Libya and three others, and she says the U.S. will not rest until those responsible are brought to justice. Clinton told reporters Friday at the State Department that, quote, “what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.” And she said the U.S. would track down, quote, the “terrorists who murdered four Americans.”
National Counterterrorism Center (CTC) Director Matthew Olson can say it:
During testimony on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Counterterrorism Director Matt Olsen acknowledged that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was a terrorist attack. When asked by Senator Joe Lieberman about the deaths of four Americans, he said, “They were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our Embassy.”
But nowhere in his speech to the United Nations today will you see the President of the United States refer to the attacks in Libya that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, as terrorism.
Why would we? The President is still clinging to the desperate notion that a video that nobody has seen is what sparked the ‘spontaneous’ attack that just so happened to occur on September 11th, in which protesters just so happened to be carrying rocket propelled grenades launchers.
An excerpt from today’s speech:
That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well – for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and religion. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion – we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.
The biggest problem with blaming radical Muslim rage on a video, aside from the common sense evidence that indicates it played no role in the attacks, is that Ambassador Stevens himself saw other reasons to be concerned about his safety.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper recently explained, using Ambassador Stevens’ journal that, “Christopher Stevens was concerned about security threats, Islamic extremism, and an al-Qaeda hit list in the months leading up to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.”
The President went on:
I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video. The answer is enshrined in our laws: our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech. Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. Moreover, as President of our country, and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so. Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views – even views that we disagree with.
Apparently however, the answer wasn’t enshrined in our laws just a couple of weeks ago, when the President’s administration was calling for YouTube to pull the controversial video.
The irony here is that perhaps the President’s unwillingness to stand up against terrorist attacks, and to stand for freedom of speech, may be what leads a person to say awful things about him.