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.