Debate "moderator" Candy Crowley ought to be excoriated for her very misleading support of Obama's claim [transcript] that he labeled the Benghazi consulate attack as terror the very next day. [And she is not defending herself. Geez, send in the replacement moderators.]
Glenn Kessler of the WaPo has a timeline of the shifting Administration position. Obama did use the word "terror" late in his Rose Garden presentation after denouncing "senseless violence" linked to the Mohammed video; the White House press release made no mention of terror. In their coverage the Times inexplicably missed the idea that this was a terror attack, so I guess Obama was too subtle for them.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. So I wanted to begin tonight by just saying a few words about a tough day that we had today. We lost four Americans last night, who were killed when they were attacked at a diplomatic post in Libya. And they were serving overseas on our behalf, despite the dangers, despite the risks, to help one of the world’s youngest democracies get on its feet. They were working to advance the interests and the values that we hold dear as Americans. And as Americans, we stand united -– all of us -– in gratitude for their service, and we are mindful of their sacrifice, and we want to send out heartfelt prayers to their loved ones who grieve today. (Applause.)
It’s a reminder that the freedoms we enjoy -– sometimes even the freedoms we take for granted -– they’re only sustained because there are people like those who were killed, who are willing to stand up for those freedoms; who are willing to fight for those freedoms; in some cases, to lay down their lives for those freedoms. So tonight, let’s think of them and thank them.
As for the ones we lost last night: I want to assure you, we will bring their killers to justice. (Applause.) And we want to send a message all around the world -- anybody who would do us harm: No act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world, and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the United States of America. (Applause.)
However, the terror connection was lost and the Mohammed video was back by the time the President gave his Saturday address on Sept 15:
As we mourn their loss, we must also send a clear and resolute message to the world: those who attack our people will find no escape from justice. We will not waver in their pursuit. And we will never allow anyone to shake the resolve of the United States of America.
This tragic attack takes place at a time of turmoil and protest in many different countries. I have made it clear that the United States has a profound respect for people of all faiths. We stand for religious freedom. And we reject the denigration of any religion – including Islam.
Yet there is never any justification for violence. There is no religion that condones the targeting of innocent men and women. There is no excuse for attacks on our Embassies and Consulates. And so long as I am Commander-in-Chief, the United States will never tolerate efforts to harm our fellow Americans.
Glenn Kessler has more, but the laugh track wouldn't be complete without this excerpt from our tough-minded C-in-C with The View ladies on Sept 25:
QUESTION: “I heard Hillary Clinton say it was an act of terrorism. Is it? What do you say?”
OBAMA: “We are still doing an investigation. There is no doubt that the kind of weapons that were used, the ongoing assault, that it wasn’t just a mob action. Now, we don’t have all the information yet so we are still gathering.”
Leading from behind.
I think a fair criticism of Ms. Crowley will be that she took the President's side when the full record is far less supportive of the notion that he made clear from Day One this was a terror attack.