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Benghazi Evolves And So Does Mitt Romney

Category: GOP Presidential Candidates
Posted: 10/20/12 11:31, Edited: 10/20/12 11:36

by Dave Mindeman

As we come to the foreign policy debate on Monday, it is should be noted that a CIA report came out, in the last day or so, that was referenced in the Washington Post this way....

The Romney campaign may have misfired with its suggestion that statements by President Obama and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice about the Benghazi attack last month weren?t supported by intelligence, according to documents provided by a senior U.S. intelligence official.

?Talking points? prepared by the CIA on Sept. 15, the same day that Rice taped three television appearances, support her description of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate as a reaction to Arab anger about an anti-Muslim video prepared in the United States. According to the CIA account, ?The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.?

Romney's continuing attempts to make political points on this tragic circumstance seem to have no understanding how things work in US Intelligence.

If Susan Rice had reported ideas different from the most recent CIA report, Romney would have criticized that as well. The reality is that she carefully quoted what US Intelligence was giving the administration at the time. It might have been totally wrong - intelligence has been wrong before as we all know - but it would have also been irresponsible to say otherwise.

Romney, of course, is not going to let this go. He can't - he has already doubled and tripled down on this. But his arguments will be evolving (as they always do) as he tries to fit his criticism into the facts that keep changing as this investigation goes forward.

Not exactly Presidential, but then for Mitt Romney, political points are more important than backing US policy.
comments (1) permalink
10/21/12 09:11
Wag the dog.

IMO, this is good fodder as GOP talking points and to create doubt in Obama ... thus a winning strategy for Romney.
Yet, this actually shows the difficulty of foreign affairs ... events happen that we cannot control.

In this instance, there were two events that happened .... Benghazi was the result of the ongoing War on Terror -- when you have success with drone strikes, you should expect some response ... yet since I have not heard of any group claiming credit for the attack, it would be logical not to cite it as an act of terror until proven. Now compound that with the movie and the documented protests in other countries, it is only reasonable it must be considered as a possibility in Benghazi (then not now).
Obama had to squelch the movie violence and stop the protests ... he did that by his statements. Obama's actions were proper from a foreign relations standpoint but politically damaging to him at home.

Yes, Obama did not handle it in the best way ... but would Romney have done anything different?

My fear is not Benghazi but instead the Bangladeshi man who drove a van packed with what he thought was a 1000-pound bomb to the Federal Reserve building in Lower Manhattan ... imagine what that would have done to the election.

Watch for Romney to cite during the Foreign Policy Debate that Obama has thrown Israel under the bus putting them at risk from Iran ... yet, Bibi has now moved the "red line" out to next year ... which will be after Israel holds its elections. (In case you missed it, Bibi Netanyahu has now called for early elections on January 22nd citing that that "there were no wars" during his tenure. If Bibi can claim credit for not bombing Iran, what does that say about Obama's policy ... the answer is that Obama's policy is working.)


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