Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski snagged an interview with President Obama over the weekend, and they asked him about the Benghazi debacle. Two things are notable about this exchange.
First, Joe and Mika only asked two questions, and they were both softballs. Here they are:
Mika: Why has it been so easy for critics to say the administration does not have its story straight on Benghazi?
Joe: Was it the intel community giving you bad information early? The stories keep changing.
The first question focuses not on Benghazi but on critics. It’s a setup for the President to dismiss his critics as merely trying to politicize the issue. The second question is a setup for the President to blame someone else for the failures. Neither of these questions really gets to the real issue. Did you refuse the requests for military support during the attack? Were you in the situation room? What did you know and when did you know it?
Second, the President asserted for a second time that he is offended by those who question his handling on the attacks. In his own words,
But I do take offense, as I’ve said during one of the debates, with some suggestion that, you know, in any way we haven’t tried to make sure that the American people knew as information was coming in what we believed happened.
This is really astonishing. He’s offended that people have questioned his account of what happened in Benghazi? He first blamed the attack on a video, and then nearly a month later acknowledged that it was a terrorist attack. Since then, it has come out that requests for security were denied before the attack and requests for help during the attack were also denied. There are four dead Americans and a bungled response from the Obama administration.
I think the last thing anyone needs to worry about is whether or not the President is offended. The president needs to give an account of his part in what happened that day, and he still hasn’t done it.
Let me see if I understand, Mr. President. The attack happens. Your administration spends weeks explaining to us that it was the result of a video. You have the man who made the video arrested and jailed for violating his parole.
Then, it turns out, it wasn’t the video. Furthermore, we find out that you knew all along that it wasn’t the video. But, instead of explaining what is WAS, you have gone all “hush-hush” because, you know, the investigation is ongoing now, and we need to find out exactly what happened before we give straight answers. It’s funny how you did not exercise that kind of caution in the weeks that you maintained your first explanation for this event.
I don’t care if you are offended, Mr. President. All decent Americans are offended at your incompetent and corrupt mishandling of this event that resulted in the loss of American lives. Next week the country will repudiate your leadership, and not a moment too soon.
He should not answer any questions until he has enough information. You and others keep trying to stir up this hornet’s nest and he is smarter than that.
He has every right to be offended by folks who are trying to make a political issue over a very tragic situation.
Obama knows what *he* was doing on that day. He knows what orders *he* gave.
Even assuming that he doesn’t have all the relevant facts (which is very trusting of you), he doesn’t need to wait for more information to come in to answer questions about his own level of involvement in what went down that day.
For that matter, he could allow other members of his security team to answer questions.
And, yes, now is the right time to make a “political issue” out of this. It’s a question of political leadership, and whether we should change leaders while we have the chance.
You said:”Next week the country will repudiate your leadership, and not a moment too soon.”
I am willing to be that you are wrong about the election.
I am offended at the continued refusal to answer basic factual questions by this administration. We don’t need a complete investigation for simple questions to be answered.
The fact we can’t know everything doesn’t mean we can’t know anything.
Why the rush? This only happened about 2 months ago. This is a serious situation and requires time. Would your reaction be the same if the current President was a Republican? I am offended that so many are in such a rush.
The President sure seemed to be in a rush to explain that this was a spontaneous demonstration in response to a video, which turned out to be completely false. Why wasn’t he more cautious then about offering explanations?
This is 100% a political issue, because the American people have to decide whether Mr. Obama deserves a second term. He is accountable to us, and for him to act like this has no bearing on that question is utterly ridiculous.
Tom – “Why the rush? This only happened about 2 months ago” “I am offended that so many are in such a rush.”
LOL!! Are you being serious?
E-mails prove that the Obama administration knew the attack was from terrorists, and NOT because of that stupid video they more than likely had waiting in the wings to use to obfuscate just such a situation and get them off the hook for their complete incompetence.
They were weak, cowardly, and liars. And their inaction in the face of enemy forces attacking Americans, on American soil (all embassy property abroad is considered American soil) is disgraceful, immoral, and probably illegal.
I cannot wait to see these people go away. If they do not, this once free and proud nation is sure to see a much sooner demise.
Whether your critique is valid or not, I can’t help put read your blog posts, your tweets, and your RTs in the context of your utter silence to the screw-ups of the Bush Administration on foreign policy matters.
I read folks like Robert Parham of EthicsDaily who has not spared President Obama nor President Bush plenty of criticism on the foreign policy front. Why aren’t you and your friends capable of doing the same?
I see folks like yourself, Malcolm Yarnell, James Smith in Florida, all retweeting and tweeting the same criticisms of Obama re: Libya. Yet, I can’t recall a single Southern Baptist who ever offered a substantive critique of the Bush Administration on foreign policy and his handling of a whole host of mishaps.
So while your critique now might be valid (the President’s answers are far from satisfying), it just comes across as more partisan than someone genuinely concerned about holding elected leaders accountable in our foreign affairs.
If I’m wrong, please correct me. I simply don’t remember any Southern Baptist having a critical voice in the Bush years – and there have been conservatives willing to critique President Bush along the way. Joe Scarborough, for example.
I would not categorize Joe Scarborough as a conservative.
BDW, I did question Bush’s invasion of Iraq, but that was on the BBC, which does not get wide play here, and before Twitter. Moreover, it was muted criticism, so your critique has some minor validity perhaps. However, I never had the sense that there was blatant dishonesty occurring. The jury is still out on this with regard to Benghazi, but all the indications are that something is horribly wrong with President Obama’s administration’s responses, something that strikes a deep moral chord. I apologize if my tweets have been offensive to you in any manner. I really try to avoid such, for I respect those who take different political positions. Peace to you, brother.
People who say lets not “rush” and give this time to play out put this in the world of abstract. As if what we are talking about is a probe to Mars and waiting for the results.
His answers and delay on this situation are highly dubious because the truth is just a phone call away if you are the President. If he really does not know what happened (which I doubt) he could have a meeting tomorrow and ask any question he wants of anyone involved.
Do people forget that all the people involved work for him? This is not a matter of the information not being available to President Obama, this is matter of not wanting to reveal it.
He purposely did not answer if a security request was denied, not because he did not know (once again he could call the Director of the CIA and have the answer in the time it take to order a latte) but because he realizes that this is a major failure on his part, and because it does not fit his narrative that there is no Muslim terrorist problem.
Seems like to me the president is just trying to wait until the election is over before he answers anything. Very political of him. i can’t really blame him because he is a politician. that is what we get nowadays. not leaders. Politicians. i do not think Romney is much better but I am voting for him. And i think I would say to the president when he says that he is offended that I as his boss (at least part of his boss) is offended.
One of the worst storms in history is occurring as I type these words and all you seem to be concerned about is politics.
I would think you could set aside politics long enough to be concerned about the millions of people who will be impacted by this storm but it appears you can not–how sad.
This is a silly ad-hominem; a person can’t comment on a blog and pray and serve others? It’s not a mutually exclusive situation, but this is a shamefully silly comment.
Tom, millions of people are in danger and you’re leaving a comment on a blog post!!
I think Mika’s in love.