The NY Times commiserates with its readers:
Shifting Reports on Libya Killings May Cost Obama
By MARK LANDLER
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s shifting accounts of the fatal attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, have left President Obama suddenly exposed on national security and foreign policy, a field where he had enjoyed a seemingly unassailable advantage over Mitt Romney in the presidential race.
Hard to imagine - the Admiistration failed to anticipate terrorist attacks on the anniversary of 9/11,then misled the public about their failure, and this is news?
Unfortunately, this is not just partisan hackery the Times can pooh-pooh:
But the questions are likely to come not just from partisan Republicans. The Benghazi attack calls into question the accuracy of intelligence-gathering and whether vulnerable American personnel overseas are receiving adequate protection. Even allies of the president like Senator John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have petitioned the White House for more information about how the government protects diplomatic installations abroad.
But not to worry- the Times won't be trying too hard to knock down Team Obama's spin. For example, here is this howler, reported without rebuttal:
White House officials dispute that the press secretary, Jay Carney, cited the anti-Muhammad video as the cause of the attack in Benghazi.
MR. CARNEY: In terms of the security at the Benghazi facility or post, I would have to refer you to the State Department for specifics about what security was there. There was a security presence. It was unfortunately not enough to resist the attacks that we saw and resulted in the tragic loss of life. But there was security.
It is also the case that in reaction to this the President has ordered that we review all of our security arrangements for embassy facilities and other diplomatic facilities around the world. But in terms of the specific security that was in place at Benghazi, I’d have to refer you to the State Department.
Q Wouldn’t it seem logical that the anniversary of 9/11 would be a time that you would want to have extra security around diplomats and military posts?
MR. CARNEY: Well, as you know, we are very vigilant around anniversaries like 9/11. The President is always briefed and brought up to speed on all the precautions being taken. But let’s be --
Q But saying you’re very vigilant and being very vigilant are different things.
MR. CARNEY: Jake, let’s be clear, these protests were in reaction to a video that had spread to the region --
Q At Benghazi? What happened at Benghazi --
MR. CARNEY: We certainly don't know. We don't know otherwise. We have no information to suggest that it was a preplanned attack. The unrest we’ve seen around the region has been in reaction to a video that Muslims, many Muslims find offensive. And while the violence is reprehensible and unjustified, it is not a reaction to the 9/11 anniversary that we know of, or to U.S. policy.
Q But the group around the Benghazi post was well armed. It was a well-coordinated attack. Do you think it was a spontaneous protest against a movie?
MR. CARNEY: Look, this is obviously under investigation, and I don’t have –
Q But your operating assumption is that that was in response to the video, in Benghazi? I just want to clear that up. That’s the framework? That’s the operating assumption?
MR. CARNEY: Look, it’s not an assumption --
Q Because there are administration officials who don’t -- who dispute that, who say that it looks like this was something other than a protest.
MR. CARNEY: I think there has been news reports on this, Jake, even in the press, which some of it has been speculative. What I’m telling you is this is under investigation. The unrest around the region has been in response to this video. We do not, at this moment, have information to suggest or to tell you that would indicate that any of this unrest was preplanned.
What is true about Libya is that -- well, a couple of things. One, is it’s one of the more pro-American countries in the region. Two, it is a very new government; it is a country that has just come out of a revolution and a lot of turmoil, and there are certainly a lot of armed groups. So the fact that there are weapons in the region and the new government is not -- is still building up its capacities in terms of security and its ability to ensure the security of facilities, is not necessarily reflective of anything except for the remarkable transformation that’s been going on in the region.
Well, Mr. Carney stuck to the line that it is under investigation, but to claim that he did not cite the movie as a possible cause is a long stretch. But not too long for the Times to ignore it.