Candy's not so dandy

Marcus Ebenhack
After watching last night's debate and observing moderator Candy Crowley rushing to defend President Obama on his assertion, after being challenged by Governor Romney, that he (Mr. Obama) had attributed the Benghazi Consulate attack of 09/11/12 a terrorist attack:

Romney: "I think it's interesting, the president just said something which is that on the day after the attack he went in the Rose Garden and said this was an act of terror?"

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."

Crowley: "He did, in fact, sir."

And to be fair, from Obama's Rose Garden Address on 9/12/2012:

"No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for."

But earlier in that same address he stated:

"The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack.  We're working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats.  I've also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world.  And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.

Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.  We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.  None.  The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts."

So it would appear Mr. Obama has covered all of his bases here.  In retrospect, given all that has passed, we must credit Mr. Obama with delivering a brilliantly parsed speech under these circumstances.  He certainly implies the attack was, in some way, attributable to the internet video: "We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence."  The presumption here is that "this type of senseless violence" is in reference to the Benghazi attack, and this quote would tend to tie it directly to the internet video from Mr. Obama's perspective.

Yet toward the end of his address, goes on to state: "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.  Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.  We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.  And make no mistake, justice will be done." 

I will certainly give Mr. Obama credit for having the ability to talk a lot without saying anything of substance, or more importantly, anything that could be held against him.

As we have all heard before, a good lawyer never asks a question he does not know the answer to.  I'm in no way trying to make the case that Mr. Obama is a good lawyer, but under these circumstances, I can't imagine him goading Mr. Romney to follow this potentially damaging line of questioning, without knowing full well that someone 'had his back'; "Proceed Governor Romney...", are you kidding me?  

And, as if by magic, moderator Crowley springs forth to declare, upon her 'in real time fact checking' according to the liberal talking heads, "He did, in fact, sir."  Wow, that is impressive.  But I'm not buying it for a second!  Pardon my cynicism, but this just does not happen by accident.  I can't explain why Mr. Romney chose the Rose Garden Address of 9/12/12 to question, but both his challenger and the moderator were ready to spring the trap when he did.     

OK Ms. Crowley, you can parse that address and split those hairs to that end (which I'm now hearing she's 'walking back', better late than never, I suppose) but how, on God's green earth, can you say that subsequent addresses from Mr. Obama do not explicitly blame the Benghazi attack on the internet video?

From Obama's speech at the UN on September 25 2012 (with a pretty good chunk of 'context'):

"That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well - for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and religion. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion - we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.

I know there are some who ask why we don't just ban such a video. The answer is enshrined in our laws: our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech. Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. Moreover, as President of our country, and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so. Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views - even views that we disagree with.

We do so not because we support hateful speech, but because our Founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views, and practice their own faith, may be threatened. We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can become a tool to silence critics, or oppress minorities. We do so because given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech - the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.

I know that not all countries in this body share this understanding of the protection of free speech. Yet in 2012, at a time when anyone with a cell phone can spread offensive views around the world with the click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete. The question, then, is how we respond. And on this we must agree: there is no speech that justifies mindless violence."

There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There is no video that justifies an attack on an Embassy. "

Ms. Crowley, if you don't see the first and last sentences of this excerpt from the speech delivered by Mr. Obama to the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, 2012, more than two weeks after the attack, as Mr. Obama very directly and specifically attributing the Benghazi attack to the internet video you are willfully blind, intellectually dishonest or both.  And shame on you for foisting your partisan perspective on a public that is not engaged or informed enough to be looking out for it.

After watching last night's debate and observing moderator Candy Crowley rushing to defend President Obama on his assertion, after being challenged by Governor Romney, that he (Mr. Obama) had attributed the Benghazi Consulate attack of 09/11/12 a terrorist attack:

Romney: "I think it's interesting, the president just said something which is that on the day after the attack he went in the Rose Garden and said this was an act of terror?"

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."

Crowley: "He did, in fact, sir."

And to be fair, from Obama's Rose Garden Address on 9/12/2012:

"No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for."

But earlier in that same address he stated:

"The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack.  We're working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats.  I've also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world.  And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.

Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.  We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.  None.  The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts."

So it would appear Mr. Obama has covered all of his bases here.  In retrospect, given all that has passed, we must credit Mr. Obama with delivering a brilliantly parsed speech under these circumstances.  He certainly implies the attack was, in some way, attributable to the internet video: "We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence."  The presumption here is that "this type of senseless violence" is in reference to the Benghazi attack, and this quote would tend to tie it directly to the internet video from Mr. Obama's perspective.

Yet toward the end of his address, goes on to state: "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.  Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.  We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.  And make no mistake, justice will be done." 

I will certainly give Mr. Obama credit for having the ability to talk a lot without saying anything of substance, or more importantly, anything that could be held against him.

As we have all heard before, a good lawyer never asks a question he does not know the answer to.  I'm in no way trying to make the case that Mr. Obama is a good lawyer, but under these circumstances, I can't imagine him goading Mr. Romney to follow this potentially damaging line of questioning, without knowing full well that someone 'had his back'; "Proceed Governor Romney...", are you kidding me?  

And, as if by magic, moderator Crowley springs forth to declare, upon her 'in real time fact checking' according to the liberal talking heads, "He did, in fact, sir."  Wow, that is impressive.  But I'm not buying it for a second!  Pardon my cynicism, but this just does not happen by accident.  I can't explain why Mr. Romney chose the Rose Garden Address of 9/12/12 to question, but both his challenger and the moderator were ready to spring the trap when he did.     

OK Ms. Crowley, you can parse that address and split those hairs to that end (which I'm now hearing she's 'walking back', better late than never, I suppose) but how, on God's green earth, can you say that subsequent addresses from Mr. Obama do not explicitly blame the Benghazi attack on the internet video?

From Obama's speech at the UN on September 25 2012 (with a pretty good chunk of 'context'):

"That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well - for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and religion. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion - we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.

I know there are some who ask why we don't just ban such a video. The answer is enshrined in our laws: our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech. Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. Moreover, as President of our country, and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so. Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views - even views that we disagree with.

We do so not because we support hateful speech, but because our Founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views, and practice their own faith, may be threatened. We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can become a tool to silence critics, or oppress minorities. We do so because given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech - the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.

I know that not all countries in this body share this understanding of the protection of free speech. Yet in 2012, at a time when anyone with a cell phone can spread offensive views around the world with the click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete. The question, then, is how we respond. And on this we must agree: there is no speech that justifies mindless violence."

There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There is no video that justifies an attack on an Embassy. "

Ms. Crowley, if you don't see the first and last sentences of this excerpt from the speech delivered by Mr. Obama to the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, 2012, more than two weeks after the attack, as Mr. Obama very directly and specifically attributing the Benghazi attack to the internet video you are willfully blind, intellectually dishonest or both.  And shame on you for foisting your partisan perspective on a public that is not engaged or informed enough to be looking out for it.