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The Benghazi scandal: Obama's buck

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Amid rightful public anger over the planned terrorist attack on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, one key player in the ongoing obfuscation has been all but excused from accountability for what he said — not to select media outlets but to a forum of world leaders.

Two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack and more than a week after U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice blamed the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans on an anti-Muslim video, President Obama picked up the very same ball and ran with it before the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 25.

Emphasizing that “we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of the crisis,” Mr. Obama specifically noted “a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.”

On this Obama minced no words: “There's no video that justifies an attack on an embassy.”

Except the video didn't justify anything. What occurred was a premeditated terrorist attack. And the U.S. knew so immediately afterward, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., confirmed on Sunday. Why, the administration simply was being “cautious,” she said.

So cautious, in fact, that Obama throughout his U.N. speech used the word “terrorist” just once — in reference to groups supported by the Iranian government and in no relation to the Benghazi attack.

What unraveled in Benghazi reached the top of Team Obama. That's where attention must focus. And that's where the buck must stop.

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