The ongoing scandal over former CIA Director David Petraeus’ affair and the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya were two of the main topics when President Barack Obama had his first post-election White House press conference this afternoon. President Obama promised thorough investigations would be done to uncover details about the FBI investigation that unearthed the Petraeus scandal and the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi attack. He also had high praise for Mr. Petraeus and harsh words for anyone who might attempt to block him from nominating diplomat Susan Rice as secretary of state because her role in the widely-criticized shifting explanations for the Libyan embassy attack.
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — The Obama administration has been criticized for offering evolving, confusing explanations for the cause of last month’s attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. However, current senior Obama campaign advisor and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs thinks his successor in the press office handled the situation well.
rolling with rudy
You can officially count former Mayor Rudy Giuliuani among President Barack Obama’s critics over his controversial handling of last month’s attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. At a fundraiser for GOP congressional hopeful Dan Halloran earlier this week, Mr. Giuliani simply unloaded on the Obama administration’s “cover-up” of the incident’s terrorist roots, which he described as a “bunch of lies” based on Mr. Obama’s political calculations and “fantasy world” delusions.
“This was a ‘terrorist attack,’” Mr. Giuliani said. “The president has hard time saying those words. He has a hard time saying those words because he lives in a fantasy world. The fantasy world he lives in is that Islamic extremist terrorism, even if it exists, shouldn’t be acknowledged. We pretend they’re not at war with us; we’re certainly not at war with them.”
Earlier today, State Department officials testifying before a congressional hearing investigating the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya last month admitted they felt there was a terrorist threat in the region. While making the media rounds tonight ahead of the vice presidential debate Mitch McConnell, the leader of the U.S. Senate Republicans, said this new information creates the “suspicion” that the White House’s initial attempts to tie the attack to a video mocking the Muslim prophet Muhammad rather than terrorism may have been a dishonest and politically-motivated coverup.
“Well, we’re finally getting the right story from the professionals down at the State Department who’ve been saying, apparently from the beginning, that it’s a terrorist attack,” Mr. McConnell said. “I don’t know where this notion that this thing was video-inspired came from in the first place. It leaves you with the suspicion that, since the president was in the campaign, going around, reminding everybody that bin Laden was gone and that we’re out of Iraq and we’d soon be out of Afghanistan, and implying that the War on Terror was over, the campaign just felt it was inconvenient that we had a terrorist attack that had killed four Americans, as I say, inconveniently within a month of the election.”
Mitt Romney is going to stop telling the story of a time he met Glen Doherty, one of the two former Navy SEALs who died during the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya last month while they were providing security at the facility, in stump speeches because of Doherty’s mother’s wishes. The Romney campaign told Politicker they will remove the story from the candidate’s speeches after Barbara Doherty gave an interview expressing her wish that Mr. Romney stop mentioning her son on the campaign trail.
“Governor Romney was inspired by the memory of meeting Glen Doherty and shared his story and that memory, but we respect the wishes of Mrs. Doherty,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said.
In multiple recent appearances, Mitt Romney has been discussing his personal tie to Glen Doherty, a former Navy SEAL who was killed in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya last month.He brought up the story again at a rally in Ohio this afternoon in spite of the fact the man’s mother gave an interview to WHDH TV in Boston in which she expressed her wish that Mr. Romney stop discussing her son on the campaign trail.
“I don’t trust Romney. He shouldn’t make my son’s death part of his political agenda. It’s wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama,” Barbara Doherty said of Mr. Romney’s speeches mentioning her son.
Special Ops OPSEC, one of the anti-Obama political action committees formed by ex-Navy SEALs that have been attacking President Barack Obama for inappropriately politicizing the killing of Osama bin Laden has released a new ad slamming the White House’s response to the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya last month. The Obama administration has faced harsh criticism for allegedly ignoring security warnings ahead of the attacks and offering confusing, evolving explanations for the incident, which left four people dead including U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and two former Navy SEALs who were working as security contractors protecting diplomatic personnel. The ad specifically targets comments the president made referring to the Benghazi attack and other recent unrest in the Middle East as “bumps in the road.”
“President Obama wanted credit after our military killed Bin Laden. Highly classified secrets were leaked endangering real heroes and their families, but when terrorists kill SEALs and diplomats in Libya, this administration doesn’t tell the truth about what happened and the president says it’s just a bump in the road,” OPSEC president and former SEAL Scott Taylor says in the ad. “There is nothing acceptable about playing politics with national security and American lives. Aren’t some things more important than politics?”
the holy land
Despite being a fellow Democrat, former Mayor Ed Koch was harshly critical of President Barack Obama’s attitude towards Israel last year. Time and time again, Mr. Koch railed against Mr. Obama, notably using his clout to help elect Congressman Bob Turner win a Democratic-leaning district last summer in a campaign largely based on Mr. Obama’s alleged lack of support for the country. After the election, however, Mr. Koch flipped and said Mr. Obama was indeed a friend of Israel declaring, “I’m now on board the Obama Re-election Express” and vowing to campaign for him in Florida. In light of the recent attacks on the U.S. embassy in Libya, however, Mr. Koch has returned to criticizing Mr. Obama’s stance on Israel.
“President Obama on a number of occasions has publicly stated, ‘I have Israel’s back,’” Mr. Koch said in a statement this afternoon. “I don’t know what that means in practice.”
This morning, President Barack Obama delivered a statement from the White House Rose Garden on the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in a rocket attack last night. The attack occurred during a protest outside the U.S. embassy in response to a trailer for a movie that was posted online last month and paints an insulting picture of the life of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. Mr. Obama vowed that, in the wake of the attacks, his administration will work to secure American diplomatic posts and identify those responsible for the four deaths.
“Today, the American people stand united in holding the families of the four Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers. The United States condemns, in the strongest terms, this outrageous and shocking attack,” said Mr. Obama. “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. Make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.”
Stand By Your Man
WASHINGTON Michele Bachmann made a speech at the American Conservative Union’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. where she accused President Barack Obama of making a series of dangerous foreign policy “miscalculations” including failing to support Israel and not standing by ousted Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak in his quest to keep the Muslim Brotherhood at bay.
“Obama failed to stand by Mubarak and that helped fuel the revolution in Egypt and it led to a regime that was based on sharia law with 72 percent of the seats in the Lower House in Egypt now occupied by the Brotherhood and an even more radical Salafist party,” Ms. Bachmann said.