As Think Progress noted this weekend, Mitt Romney's attacks on the Obama administration's response to the attack on our embassy in Libya are falling apart as more and more information comes out about just what happened and who had what information when, but never mind that over at Fox. They're still going to beat this dead horse for Willard as we saw Mike Huckabee do during his show this Saturday.
Mitt Romney has recently made the administration’s response to the attacks in Libya a centerpiece of his campaign. Romney and his campaign allege that the Obama administration “covered-up” the facts about the attacks for their political benefit. Romney’s core message is that: 1. The attacks were linked to al Qaeda, and 2. The attacks had nothing to do with an anti-Muslim video on YouTube. Here’s an excerpt from Romney’s major foreign policy address on October 8:
The attack on our Consulate in Benghazi on September 11th, 2012 was likely the work of forces affiliated with those that attacked our homeland on September 11th, 2001. This latest assault cannot be blamed on a reprehensible video insulting Islam, despite the Administration’s attempts to convince us of that for so long.
A new report this morning from the LA Times casts serious doubt on Romney’s claims:
The assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi last month appears to have been an opportunistic attack rather than a long-planned operation, and intelligence agencies have found no evidence that it was ordered by Al Qaeda, according to U.S. officials and witnesses interviewed in Libya.
…[I]n in Benghazi, witnesses said members of the group that raided the U.S. mission specifically mentioned the video, which denigrated the prophet Muhammad.
The LA Times bolsters earlier reports by the New York Times and Reuters. (The involvement of al Qaeda is a complex issue and the attack, if not ordered by al Qaeda, may have involved individuals sympathetic to or loosely affiliated with the group.)
A peice in the Washington Post by David Ignatius reveals that the adminstration’s initial statements citing the role of the video were based on talking points provided by the CIA:
The Romney campaign may have misfired with its suggestion that statements by President Obama and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice about the Benghazi attack last month weren’t supported by intelligence, according to documents provided by a senior U.S. intelligence official.
“Talking points” prepared by the CIA on Sept. 15, the same day that Rice taped three television appearances, support her description of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate as a reaction to Arab anger about an anti-Muslim video prepared in the United States. According to the CIA account, “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex.”
The article by David Ignatuis came out well before Mike Huckabee's show went on the air Saturday, but they chose to completely ignore it. Expect more of the same over at Fox in the upcoming weeks where they'll continue attack the Obama administration over this made up controversy right up to election day and then we'll never hear another word about it from them after that.
In the mean time, we're also treated to follow ups like this one where HuckaJesus brought on Bush spokespuppet Dana Perino to weigh in on whether the Obama administration is being honest with the public about the attack. After coming to the podium to carry water for the Bush administration, I guess she knows a thing or two about lying to the public. Why anyone thinks she's got anything worth adding to this debate is beyond me, but it's upside down world at Fox, so this is what they put on the air -- Dana Perino -- the supposed bastion of journalistic integrity when it comes to administrations telling the public the truth. Lord help us.
Video below the fold.