EDITORIAL: Obama’s jihadist cover-up

The president has a habit of avoiding the ‘T’ word

The Obama campaign keeps having to answer questions about White House reluctance to use the word “terrorism” in describing the Sept. 11 killing of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. The latest argument in Mr. Obama’s defense is that he had no reason to conceal the attack’s true nature. We’re to believe he was simply the victim of conflicting intelligence reports. For this gambit to work, we’d have to forget the president’s well-established pattern of going easy when discussing terrorists.

If the attack is a “spontaneous mob action,” it clears the White House from charges of intelligence failure. No one could be blamed for something that’s unpredictable. What happened in Benghazi, however, was easily anticipated given the repeated anti-U.S. and anti-western terrorist attacks and threats in the city, particularly going into the highly symbolic Sept. 11 anniversary. The evidence shows Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens knew the nature of the threat and wanted additional security. Mr. Obama may also have a difficult time explaining why a U.S. surveillance drone was on hand to observe an attack that was unanticipated.

The “blame it on YouTube” story also fits the administration’s curious pattern of downplaying the motives of jihadists operating in the United States. The most infamous case was the Nov. 5, 2009, Fort Hood massacre. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan screamed “Allahu akbar” before opening fire on his fellow soldiers, killing 14 and wounding 30. The attack was originally labeled a case of “workplace violence.” A comprehensive “force protection review” of the attack omitted any reference to Hasan’s jihadist motives or contacts with al Qaeda.

On June 1, 2009, Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Muslim convert who had recently traveled to Yemen and claimed to have al Qaeda connections, shot and killed U.S. Army private William Long and wounded private Quinton Ezeagwula at a recruiting station in Little Rock, Ark. The White House waited two days before making a statement about this “criminal” attack, which omitted any reference to terrorism, the attacker or his jihadist motives.

On Dec. 25, 2009, al Qaeda-linked terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted his “underwear bomb” attack on Northwest flight 253. He was not initially charged with attempting to commit an act of terrorism. Faisal Shahzad, who attempted the Times Square bombing in May 2010, was also called a lone wolf with no ties to terrorism. Instead, he was described as a victim of the economic downturn more than a committed Islamic extremist.

On March 2, 2011, Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden and Airman 1st Class Zachary Cuddeback were gunned down at the Frankfurt, Germany, airport by Albanian Muslim Arid Uka. At trial, Uka said he had been motivated by a jihadist YouTube video that allegedly showed American troops raping Muslim women. After the shooting, Mr. Obama appeared at the daily White House press conference to make a statement but made no mention of terrorism or the jihadist nature of the attack. Mr. Obama ducked out of the press room when a reporter tried to ask a follow-up about “fear of terrorism” in Libya.

Studiously avoiding the use of the word “terrorism” is standard operating procedure for this White House. In downplaying the jihadist content of the Benghazi attack, Mr. Obama was behaving true to form. The mystery is not that he did it, but only why he always has.

The Washington Times

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts