- The Washington Times - Friday, September 21, 2012

Ever since the deadly and destructive Sept. 11, 2012, anti-American attacks in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and more than two dozen other countries, the Obama White House has sought to lay blame on someone else. The O-Team — and the perpetrators — have had a lot of help from the useful idiots in the mainstream media. The disinformation campaign being waged by the Obama administration over the cause of this violence would be comedic but for the fact that six Americans have been killed and dozens have been injured.

From the perspective of many “covering” this story, the global jihad we’re witnessing is mostly the fault of an incompetent filmmaker and the “spontaneous outrage” is over a “provocative video.” Notably, the same is being said about protests against French diplomatic posts in the Middle East because “obscene cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad” were published in a French magazine. What’s really obscene is the way all of this has been covered by the potentates of the press — particularly the events in Cairo; Benghazi, Libya; and Afghanistan.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo was first off the block — issuing an apology for a poorly made Internet video titled “Innocence of Muslims.” Though the video was shot in 2011 — not by an Israeli, as first reported, but by an Egyptian living in the U.S. — it attracted almost no attention when brief segments first appeared on the Internet in July 2012. The Obama administration continues to tell us that the Muslim Brotherhood and a host of other Islamic radical groups in 30 countries just happened to come across the “offensive video” on the 11th anniversary of the devastating Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 of our countrymen.

That alone requires a willful suspension of disbelief by anyone at all familiar with reality. Only a tiny fraction of the young men assaulting our diplomatic posts, military installations and U.S. businesses and killing Americans have seen what the White House and our State Department have described as a “disgusting,” “insulting” and “distasteful” movie. Yet major networks and print outlets continue to parrot the administration’s propaganda. If a Republican were in the Oval Office, the press would be calling it a cover-up.

The failure of the media stars to ask questions and demand answers is particularly egregious in two cases: the “spontaneous” attack on our consulate in Benghazi, in which four Americans were killed on the night of Sept. 11, and the attack in Afghanistan in which two U.S. Marines were killed during a ground assault at Camp Leatherneck/Bastion. Both of those events warrant questions — and answers — as to how they could have happened.

For nine days, the Obama administration — including Susan Rice, our ambassador to the United Nations — refused even to describe what had happened at our Benghazi consulate as a terrorist attack. The White House and State Department insisted that Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed in an “unplanned attack” during a protest prompted by the offensive video and that there “was no intelligence about any threat in Libya.” Of course, that narrative exonerates the administration from a failure to plan for radical Islamic “anniversary attacks” on Sept. 11.

We now know that’s not what happened. As Catherine Herridge at Fox News discovered, there was intelligence about a possible terrorist attack in Libya two days before the event, and it was unrelated to the infamous video. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is investigating the “discrepancies” between the O-Team’s story line and the events on the ground. There are a number of additional questions that should be asked and answered:

Why was our ambassador to Libya in Benghazi, not Tripoli, on the eve of the Sept. 11 anniversary?

Who decided to delay placing U.S. Marine embassy security guards at our Libyan diplomatic missions?

Who made the decision to have our ambassador accompanied by such a small personal security detail on the trip to Benghazi, and when was it made?

Other than the Americans at the consulate, who else knew about the ambassador’s visit to Benghazi?

If the vaunted Obama national security team didn’t prepare adequately for the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks, Congress and the American people deserve to know. But they can’t use “we just didn’t know” or the “spontaneous outrage” excuses for what happened on the night of Sept. 13 at Camp Leatherneck/Bastion.

Nobody is saying the well-executed assault that killed two U.S. Marines was anything but well-planned. The enemy employed well-aimed indirect fire, automatic weapons and a suicide assault against the 1,600-acre U.S.-British base in Helmand province. The number of aircraft damaged and destroyed is staggering.

We were told the Arab Spring was going to make things better. President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize said as much. For all of what has transpired since Sept. 11, 2012, there is one overriding question that needs to be asked and answered: How could this happen?

Oliver North is host of “War Stories” on Fox News Channel, founder and honorary chairman of Freedom Alliance and author of “American Heroes in Special Operations” (Fidelis, 2010).