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October 23, 2012
Supporting Obama's Libya Deception
On October 22, 2012, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled "Intelligence Stressed Libya Protest Scenario" by Adam Entous and Siobhan Gorman. It can be read here. There are several reasons why it appears to be an attempt to help President Obama deceive the public about the murder of our ambassador to Libya and several other heroes. I will address only one.
In general, the article tries to place the blame on the Central Intelligence Agency for President Obama's numerous erroneous public statements that the Libya attack was caused by a YouTube video that incited a group of demonstrators, rather than being a planned military attack by people who want to murder Americans in the name of Islam. But the WSJ waited until paragraph 16 of the article to say this:
Based on new information, the CIA developed on Sept. 20 its new assessment that there wasn't a protest directly preceding the attack and provided that information to top national security officials at the White House. It took until Saturday, Sept. 22, for the CIA to update the daily intelligence brief [to the President] to refute the previous assessment. The new one concluded there was no protest.
In the future, when you look up the phrases "burying the lead" and "deception by omission" you will see a reprint of this article. The article omitted two critically important facts. The article failed to state that on September 24, 2012, President Obama taped an episode of ABC televison's "The View" that aired the next day in which he answered questions about the Libya attack and stated:
Well, we're still doing an investigation. There's 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, and so we're still gathering it...
Well, look, there's never an excuse for violence. I don't care how how offensive this video was, and it was terribly offensive. And we should shun it. But there's never an excuse for violence, never an excuse for attacking embassies, never an excuse for killing innocent people, or assaulting our diplomats. In the age of the Internet and the way that any knucklehead who says something can post it up and suddenly it travels all around the world. Every country has to recognize that the best way to marginalize that kind of speech is to ignore it, or to speak out against it and use, use, use words to counteract those words, and to affirm that we respect all religions...
The article also failed to state that on September 25, 2012, President Obama stated the following in his speech at the United Nations:
...a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. Now, 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...
I know there are some who ask why we don't just ban such a video. And the answer is enshrined in our laws: Our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech...
And on this we must agree: There is no speech that justifies mindless violence. (Applause.) There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There's no video that justifies an attack on an embassy. . . . .
In this modern world with modern technologies, for us to respond in that way to hateful speech empowers any individual who engages in such speech to create chaos around the world. We empower the worst of us if that's how we respond...
We do not expect other nations to agree with us on every issue, nor do we assume that the violence of the past weeks or the hateful speech by some individuals represent the views of the overwhelming majority of Muslims, any more than the views of the people who produced this video represents those of Americans...
Therefore, the WSJ article reported that on September 20, 2012, the CIA provided "information to top national security officials at the White House" that the CIA's "new assessment" was "that there wasn't a protest directly preceding the attack." But the article failed to report that on "The View" on September 24, 2012, and before the United Nations on September 25, 2012, President Obama condemned the video in the context of discussing the Libya attack. Moreover, the article reported that on September 22, 2012, the CIA put this information in President Obama's daily intelligence brief.
Assuming that the article is accurate about these facts, President Obama lied when he spoke on "The View" and before the United Nations. We have a President of the United States who is lying to us, during wartime, about an attack on us by the enemy with whom we are at war. He is not doing this to protect the route of a troop ship or for some other national security reason. He is doing it to cover up his errors for political reasons to preserve his re-election chances.
This should have been the focus of the article. Perhaps someday soon we will have a different president. Perhaps someday the news section of the WSJ will be as accurate as its editorial page.
Allan J. Favish is an attorney in Los Angeles. His website is allanfavish.com. He has co-authored with James Fernald a new book about what might happen if the government ran Disneyland entitled Fireworks! If the Government Ran the Fairest Kingdom of Them All (A Very Unauthorized Fantasy).
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