Tuesday, October 6 , 2015, 11:57 pm | Fair 63º

Mona Charen: An Ambassador Died. Obama Lied.

White House purposely misled the country over Libya attacks, and has not been held accountable

By Mona Charen | @mcharen |

“Bush Lied, People Died” they chanted. When the intelligence about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq — information that was believed by the intelligence agencies of our major allies; that was described by the Clinton-appointed head of the CIA as a “slam dunk”; and that was agreed to by heads of state and leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties — turned out to be badly mistaken, President George W. Bush was branded a liar.

Even Democrats such as former President Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Tom Daschle and Ted Kennedy, who had warned about Saddam Hussein’s WMD program on various occasions, quickly scurried to the “Bush lied, people died” slander when the intelligence proved inaccurate.

Neither Bush nor Secretary of State Colin Powell lied about Iraq. They received bad information. Error is part of the human condition. So is venality, and that is what marked the Democrats’ scurrilous attacks on Bush when the intelligence failure came to light. They could have reasonably criticized Bush for not being more skeptical of intelligence reports, but no, they resorted to slurs.

On the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, an al-Qaeda-linked band of terrorists attacked our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and killed our ambassador and three other Americans. President Barack Obama and his entire administration denied that the attack had anything to do with the anniversary of al-Qaeda’s greatest victory, attributing the attack to spontaneous rage at an Internet video. On Sept. 13, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “The protests we’re seeing around the region are in reaction to this movie. They are not directly in reaction to any policy of the United States or the government of the United States or the people of the United States.” They stuck to this story for more than a week, even as evidence accumulated that it was false.

If it were a simple matter of bad information, the administration had ample opportunities to modify its initial response to the tragedy. As Eli Lake reported in The Daily Beast, intelligence agencies were confiding within 24 hours that the attacks seemed pre-planned. Intercepts showed that an al-Qaeda affiliate boasted of its success to another al-Qaeda group on Sept. 12. “There was very good information on this within the first 24 hours,” an intelligence official told Lake. Skeptical Republicans with military experience like Sen. John McCain and Rep. Mike Rogers also observed, in those first hours after the attack, that RPGs are not usually carried to “spontaneous” protests.

Nevertheless, five days after the attacks, and long after it was clear that the consulate (along with a safe house a half-mile away) had been targeted by terrorists, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice toured five Sunday morning TV shows to deliver the administration’s line that the murder of our diplomats was a case of mob violence that had been “hijacked by extremists.” Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Rice said, “Our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo.” Carney repeated that spin at White House briefings.

Except that, as CBS reported, there was never any protest at all in Benghazi about the Internet movie. It was a straight-up terror attack. Only on Sept. 20 did Carney finally acknowledge the obvious: “It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. Our embassy was attacked violently, and the result was four deaths of American officials.”

Why would the administration attempt to deceive the world about a terror attack?

Two possibilities suggest themselves. The Obama administration has substituted a bumper sticker, “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive,” for a foreign policy. They’ve been hoping that the death of bin Laden would be seen as total victory over al-Qaeda and jihadism. A brazen and successful attack against Americans in Libya, including the first assassination of an ambassador in more than three decades, undercuts that self-satisfied narrative, suggesting that, while bin Laden is dead, bin Ladenism is very much alive.

The second explanation is that this administration has relied on the supposed appeal of Obama’s persona in place of American military and diplomatic strength. That appeal is proving chimerical, and the administration will go to great lengths to disguise that reality.

But whatever the rationale, the facts are clear: The administration purposely misled the country, and has so far not been held accountable.

Mona Charen of National Review magazine writes for Creators Syndicate. Click here for more information or to contact her. Follow Mona Charen on Twitter: @mcharen.

comments powered by Disqus

» on 10.02.12 @ 12:07 PM

It has not been recorded in the West’s version of history that the US and the UN attacked Libya in 2011 under the guise of Humanitarian Aid and later boasted about assassinating a world leader. The country has been reduced to rubble and war has ignited. However for the last 18 months most americans have been oblivious to the conflict. The unsuspecting american public continue to be led to believe that the only violence in Libya has been the killing of a US Ambassador and an isloated terrorist attack. The US needs more boots on the ground and its selling the war.

When will the american people see that televised events are false flag attacks in order to push an agenda through, following the Hegelian Dialectic model, identify the problem, alert the public, and present the solution.

Lets not lose sight of the fact that people defending their own country are not the terrorists.

» on 10.02.12 @ 04:57 PM

Charen has an interesting approach to political ethics.

The lies of the Rove-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Greenspan-Bush administration Charen slavishly supported for eight years, resulted in an unncessary war, based on lies
about al Qaeda and WMDS, that cost thousands of American lives, and a $Trillion
in money we did not have - as Team Bush’s economic and tax policies were no
better than their foreign or military ones.

Now, she has the temerity to compare that prolonged, bloody Iraqi fiasco to the
murder, under murky circumstances, of our Libyan ambassador during an attack
at a U.S. consulate in a city divided among feuding, heavily armed warlords?

I know it’s an election year, and all, so Hilary is probably dissembling a bit on all
this - and she will have to answer for it, as Condi Rice never had to.

But if Charen really believes Libya’s lame response to a terrorist attack is the same as what Rove-Cheney-Bush did to our military and our nation, then she’s
going Michelle Malkin on us, and should dial it down.

» on 10.02.12 @ 05:42 PM

Any person that thinks that there is a difference between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party than you are the problem, and you are easily manipulated by the hegelian dialectic model for manufacturing consent.

Obama has passed Executive Orders that have gone un-opposed by either party, and the same for Bush. None of these executive orders will be challenged in a presidential debate.

» on 10.02.12 @ 07:58 PM

You know, if you are going to call someone a liar, then show the proof. Both comments here accuse without facts. Mona does the same. You have the SPLC out accusing other non profit groups of hate crimes with no proof. Our society has gotten to the point where it is so easy to just say someone is wrong or lied and never feel the need to back it up.

Mona, lets see the proof, same for you Publius, prove it. That goes for you too TTLITC.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.