Those who watched the second debate between Romney and Obama the other night got to see the sickening sight of the moderator, Candy Crawford, intervening at a critical juncture to save Obama. The issue was the attack on Benghazi, and the Administration's denial that it was a terrorist attack for two weeks after the attack on the consulate. Fox News has the transcript of the exchange:
ROMNEY: I think (it's) interesting the president just said something which -- which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.The Neo-Neocon has reviewed the transcript from the Rose Garden speech, and in fact Obama neither says nor insinuates that the attack was a terrorist attack. After setting out the transcript of the speech, he notes:
OBAMA: That's what I said.
ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you're saying?
OBAMA: Please proceed governor.
ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.
OBAMA: Get the transcript.
CROWLEY: It -- it -- it -- he did in fact, sir ... call it an act of terror.
Obama, indicating he thought he had just gotten a boost from the moderator, then chimed in: "Can you say that a little louder, Candy?"
You can see that in his speech Obama characterizes the Benghazi violence and/or its perpetrators ten separate times, in an address that is only about 800 words long in its entirety. Each time, he might have chosen to have said “terrorist attacks” or “terrorists” or “terrorism,” but each time he chose not to do so. Instead, he used the words “attack” or “attackers” seven times, the word “act” twice, and the word “violence” once. He’s not shy about employing adjectives to modify those words, either: he calls them “senseless,” “brutal,” “terrible,”outrageous,” and “shocking.”Moving back to the Fox News article, it notes that the administration very specifically dismissed any theories it was a terrorist attack:
Note, however, that the word “terrorist” is never used as an adjective to modify Obama’s descriptions of what happened in Benghazi, nor is it used as a noun to describe the perpetrators. There is no question that the omission was intentional on Obama’s part, because if Obama had wanted to call it a terrorist attack it would have been natural to actually, like, you know, do so.
Four days after Obama's Rose Garden remarks, Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., went on five networks' Sunday shows and cast the attack as hardly a coordinated strike by terrorists.
"We are obviously investigating this very closely. The FBI has a lead in this investigation," Rice said Sept. 16 on "Fox News Sunday." "The information, the best information and the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned, premeditated attack. That what happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video. People gathered outside the embassy and then it grew very violent and those with extremist ties joined the fray and came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are quite common in post-revolutionary Libya and that then spun out of control.
"But we don't see at this point signs this was a coordinated plan, premeditated attack. Obviously, we will wait for the results of the investigation and we don't want to jump to conclusions before then. But I do think it's important for the American people to know our best current assessment."
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and other administration officials did little to discredit that assessment until Sept. 19, when Matt Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, testified at a Senate hearing.