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Does Benghazi attack aftermath reveal an incompetent administration or one that politicizes with national security?

For the past forty-eight hours or so, I have been printing and reading articles, saving links and collecting notes for a blog post on the Obama administration’s reaction to the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya and the murder of our ambassador there.  I had a basic notion of my general theme, then last night, reading Michael Barone’s excellent piece on Obama’s campaign from the past, found that he had nicely, succinctly summarized my argument:

Biden’s [denying "that the White House knew that Ambassador Christopher Stevens was attacked by terrorists rather than in a spontaneous demonstration prompted by an anti-Islam video"] statement was either an untruth or a confession of incompetence. If the State Department had the information, why didn’t the White House?

Emphasis added.  And that is the nub of the matter.  The State Department, the intelligence community knew that this was an act of terror  Moreover, State was aware that we needed to beef up security at our consulate in Tripoli.

So, let’s say (for the sake or argument) that no one in the White House was aware of information that was in the hands of other members of the administration.  These members of the administration, at the State Department — and in various intelligence agencies — surely saw other administration officials offering incorrect information to the public.  Didn’t they have a system in place to alert White House officials to their errors?

In this case, to borrow Barone’s expression, Biden’s statement was an incredible “confession of incompetence.”  With his denial, he acknowledge then that officials in the Obama administration failed to communicate important national security information to the Obama White House.

If this is their story, why then haven’t they announced a shake-up in the way the intelligence community communicates with the White House?  Why aren’t they asking the individuals who failed to communicate the information to step down?

Citing a post by Ann Althouse, Sonicfrog does not even make the argument (made in the previous three paragraphs).  He instead thinks the administration was trying to play politics.  After faulting Mitt Romney for releasing a statement about the attack “before the facts were known“, Sonic contends

. . . the Obama administration, in their zeal to try and make Romney look bad, ran with the anti-muslim video story and committed the worse error of responding to Romney instead of waiting to comment on the actual events  and leaving politics out of the equation..

When it started to become clear that Benghazi was indeed a terrorist attack, the administration continued to run with the “video” story. Why? Because, in their isolated circle of advisers and in some of the media, it looked like that was working. Romeny seemed to be taking a hit from this.  But once the true nature of the attack permeated out into the regular media, they got caught in the trap they originally laid out for Romney. The administration became the Wiley Coyote of this story.

Read the whole thing.  Maybe Joe Biden was acknowledging the administration’s incompetence to obscure the extent to which the Obama team has politicized national security.

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9 Comments

  1. I see something a lot more sinister and, not beyond anything this gangster govt would do considering ‘Fast and Furious’, which was also repeated during obama’s overthrow of gaddhafi -mainly providing weaponry to al quaida,now being used against us.
    As Doug Ross and, a host of other have reported: What if this was a ‘false flag’ op-the oct surprise by an admin who is so desperate to win,going so far to set up a hostage situation of stevens being kidnapped, followed by an exch of the blind sheik,only to make obama the ‘foreign policy president and superman’?
    Here is the miscalculation: Two seals being there for other reasons; hearing of the attack and rushing to help stevens, causing theis set up to go awry followed by the murder, rape and torture of stevens, two seals among others.
    That is why nothing makes sense; following Walid Shoeblatt, Doug Ross, Rusty Shakelford (Jawa Report) – go and read what is the more plausible and criminally hacked plan obama and crew really had.

    Comment by cali — October 15, 2012 @ 7:10 am - October 15, 2012

  2. I completely agree-if the White House was unaware of what the State Department knew and that is their defense, then it is a really bad defense because it indicates they were either callous or incompetent.

    The question I want answered is whether Obama took the time to meet with the national security council before flying off to Vegas for a fundraiser and the evening talk show circuit.

    I would also love to know just how many of the prior attacks and requests for extra security were included in the national security briefings Obama was blowing off.

    My gut tells me that one huge motivation for the narcissist in chief to go with the “it was the youtube video” defense is Obama has been operating under a “killing Osama killed Al Quada” fist pump. To beef up security in the newly freed Libya would be to admit all is not happy and peaceful in the muslim world and they still hate America.

    Comment by Just Me — October 15, 2012 @ 8:53 am - October 15, 2012

  3. I vote for “Both”.

    Comment by alanstorm — October 15, 2012 @ 9:53 am - October 15, 2012

  4. I fixed the awkward sentence structure

    Comment by Sonicfrog — October 15, 2012 @ 9:59 am - October 15, 2012

  5. Dan should have it posted in a bit

    Comment by Sonicfrog — October 15, 2012 @ 10:00 am - October 15, 2012

  6. So, is the MSM reporting on this, or not? I’m guessing it isn’t, since I would think this would be a major scandal but I’m not hearing anything about from anywhere but the conservative media, and even then, not very much.

    My gut tells me that one huge motivation for the narcissist in chief to go with the “it was the youtube video” defense is Obama has been operating under a “killing Osama killed Al Quada” fist pump. To beef up security in the newly freed Libya would be to admit all is not happy and peaceful in the muslim world and they still hate America.

    Exactly; regardless of the reasons for the Obama administration’s deceptive response to the attack, the attack demonstrates Obama’s imcompetence on foreign policy (so, that is probably what the primary reason is). Unfortunately for him, his response (and lack of action) only multiplies that incompetence.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — October 15, 2012 @ 11:09 am - October 15, 2012

  7. Everytime somebody attempts to put a spin on this incident, the worse it smells. I thought it was arrogant of David Axelrod to try and cover the Administration and then to tell Chris Wallace to calm down when Chris cought the lie regarding the tale Ambassador Rice told on the Sunday talk shows following the 9/11 attacks in Benghazi. That whole bunch are bereft of morals and integrity.

    Comment by Roberto — October 15, 2012 @ 5:11 pm - October 15, 2012

  8. Throwing Hillary under the bus will not end well for them.

    Comment by V the K — October 15, 2012 @ 6:40 pm - October 15, 2012

  9. How often has this Obama White House used national security to make brownie points – even if it meant our intelligence community or special forces had to sacrifice lives for them?
    If spreading a secret is helpful, Obama spreads it.
    If keeping a secret is helpful, Obama keeps it.
    If lying about foreign action is helpful, Obama lies.

    Comment by Nan G — October 15, 2012 @ 6:43 pm - October 15, 2012

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