- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 10, 2012

President Obama’s spokesman said Wednesday that the White House was not avoiding a politically damaging admission when officials resisted describing the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that killed four Americans as the work of terrorists.

“From the beginning, we have provided information based on the facts that we knew,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

State Department officials acknowledged for the first time Tuesday night that the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, did not involve any anti-American protests over a film disparaging Islam that was produced in the United States. For more than a week after the attack on Sept. 11, Mr. Carney and others in the administration portrayed the violence as a result of the film.

But the government now acknowledges that Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed as part of a deliberate, planned attack on the U.S. diplomatic post by terrorists using heavy weaponry such as mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

Mr. Carney said the president described the attack on Sept. 12 as an act of terror, when he said in the White House Rose Garden, “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation.”

But the president has refrained in his comments since then from describing the assault in Benghazi as terrorism. Even after some administration officials acknowledged on Sept. 19 that the U.S. had suffered a terrorist attack, Mr. Obama gave a speech to the United Nations on Sept. 25 in which he talked at length about the movie but never mentioned the word “terrorism.”

Mr. Carney said the administration was relaying reliable information to the public as quickly as possible, and he denied that there was a political motive in the midst of the president’s re-election campaign.

“We’re focused on the facts as we get them,” he said. “Efforts to rush to a conclusion are not helpful.”

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide