As frustrated as I am with the media’s refusal to give the Benghazi security failures and subsequent White House cover up the coverage and attention deserved — you know, like half the coverage Big Bird got yesterday — there are some good guys pressing, digging, questioning, and pushing. In the arena of reporting, ABC News’ Jake Tapper has been a big part of that Dream Team and today Tapper asked White House Spokesman Jay Carney everything I would’ve, if given the chance.
First and foremost, why were reasonable security requests ignored:
TAPPER: Lieutenant Colonel Wood and Eric Nordstrom, the former regional security officer, have both suggested that there were efforts from the U.S. embassy in Libya to have more security, and the State Department — State Department officials wouldn’t let it happen. Why? Why didn’t the State Department listen to these men on the ground in Libya who wanted there to be more security?
CARNEY: Jake, as I said, there is no question that the result of what happened in Benghazi is not acceptable. Four Americans killed is not an acceptable situation, and that is why the president moved so quickly to ensure that an investigation was launched to bring the perpetrators to justice, the killers to justice, and a review was launched at the State Department to look at our security posture at the Bengali — I mean, not Bengali — at the Benghazi facility and elsewhere.
You know, those matters are under investigation. They are also being discussed in a public hearing on Capitol Hill today by the individuals and officials, both career and otherwise, who know the specifics of that. What I can tell you is what the president’s interest is in. He is very interested in bringing the perpetrators to justice and ensuring that we find out what happened, why it happened and taking steps to ensure that it never happens again.
TAPPER: Well, it’s been roughly a month. You have absolutely no idea why it happened? You don’t know why the State Department — (inaudible)?
CARNEY: Well, I think — I think, as we’re hearing on Capitol Hill today, we have learned a great deal as this investigation has progressed, and we have been very clear about what we have known at different stages of this process over the last several weeks and what we have yet to learn and the fact that at each stage, the investigation continues, and more facts may be developed that change our understanding of what happened. State Department officials are on Capitol Hill today being very clear about what we know now based on the several weeks of investigation that have taken place. They are also making clear that the investigation continues and that the Accountability Review Board that is looking into the issues of diplomatic security is continuing its work. You know, I’m not prepared to preview the results of an investigation that — or a review that have — that are not yet complete or to second-guess what the experts in the field are going to conclude.
It’s pretty obvious the White House is using today’s hearings as a way to avoid answering direct questions. That will work for a while, but probably not for the full ninety-minutes of the final presidential debate, which is all about foreign policy.
If you watched today’s congressional hearings on Libya, what you’re seeing is the wheels come off the lies we were told and a story of criminal incompetence when it came to security. Tapper, however, removed another wheel — one directly attached to President Obama.
So who really shot first and aimed later? That was the question Tapper asked a flustered Jay Carney:
TAPPER: President Obama shortly after the attacks told “60 Minutes” that regarding Romney’s response to the attack, specifically in Egypt, the president said that Romney has a tendency to shoot first and aim later. Given the fact that so much was made out of the video that apparently had absolutely nothing to do with the attack on Benghazi, that there wasn’t even a protest outside the Benghazi post, didn’t President Obama shoot first and aim later?
CARNEY: First of all, Jake, I think your assessment about what we know now is not complete. But I would simply say that –
TAPPER: What part are you talking — because I’m just going by what the State Department said yesterday, what –
CARNEY: There is no question that in the region, including in Cairo, there were demonstrations reacting to the –
TAPPER: I’m talking about Benghazi –
CARNEY: — the release of that video. And I will leave it to those who are testifying on the Hill to talk about, as they are –
TAPPER: The State Department said yesterday there was no protests.
CARNEY: That — that’s not what you said, though. You — there were — there were –
TAPPER: I’m talking about in Benghazi.
TAPPER: I’m not –
If you remember, in a press conference held the morning after news of the attack broke, Romney rightfully criticized the White House for an apology our embassy in Cairo re-emphasized just hours after being attacked by Islamists. The result was the Obama campaign and its media allies screaming bloody murder at Romney for days afterwards. In the middle of all this, Obama — in full calm, cool, in-control commander-in-chief mode — went on “60 Minutes” and accused Romney of shooting first and aiming later.
Well, as it turned out, Romney was 100% correct in his criticism and it was the Obama administration that was wrong about absolutely everything; including its security priorities and an utterly false narrative spun out for over a week blaming the attack on a spontaneous protest over this video.
Here’s Fox News’ Ed Henry pressing Carney on this laughably false narrative:
Carney’s being nothing short of Orwellian here. Five days after the attack, UN Ambassador Susan Rice told CBS News’ Bob Schieffer in no uncertain terms…
We do not– we do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.
….which wasn’t true. It simply wasn’t true.
What I want to know is what evidence the White House had this was a spontaneous protest gone bad. Because I’ve seen nothing that points to that.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC