Following the president’s righteous smackdown of Mitt Romney during the second presidential debate, the GOP and Fox News have slowly recognized the fact that the president did call the attack on the American embassy in Libya an “act of terror.”
They have not, however, accepted the administration’s explanation for why initial reports from the scene painted a mixed message concerning the motives of the attackers.
That’s going to change now because documents released yesterday prove senior administration officials were being completely honest about what they were initially told by the intelligence community.
“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.” […]
The official said the only major change he would make now in the CIA’s Sept. 15 talking points would be to drop the word “spontaneous” and substitute “opportunistic.” He explained that there apparently was “some pre-coordination but minimal planning.”
During the vice presidential debate Joe Biden said the administration was told by the intelligence community that the protests spawned the attack, and he was absolutely correct. As was Ambassador Susan Rice who, as you may recall, was on the receiving end of loud calls for her resignation from the right wing.
Mitt Romney was wrong when he held his no apologies, terrorist sympathizer press conference within hours of the attack. He was wrong during the second presidential debate. And if he so much as mentions Libya during Monday night’s debate, he’s going to pay for it in the press.
The Republicans’ talking points on Libya have become such a failburger that Fox News began the walk of shame by forcing Geraldo to play devil’s advocate.
Fox’s Geraldo Rivera went against that narrative on Friday. After Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy once again mocked the notion that the video was an impetus for the attack, Rivera instead presented the idea that it was in fact both a reaction to the video and a terrorist attack. The hosts quickly attempted to pull Rivera back on-message after he completed explaining his theory, but couldn’t persuade him to drop it completely.
Fox reporter Peter Doocy later also reported that the attack may have been “tied to that anti-Islamic video”, a short film, purported to be part of a full length movie known as “The Innocence of Muslims,” and its derogatory portrayal of the Prophet Mohammed.
Playing this again.
Questions may remain about the integrity of security at the embassy, but the administration has otherwise been unequivocally vindicated following an avalanche of manure from the conservative noise machine.
And the irony is that this wouldn’t even be up for discussion if not for the opportunistic hackery of the Romney campaign and Fox News. Through their own shortsightedness, they handed this victory to President Obama.
May they eat a healthy portion of humble pie.