Every administration has its aims, its worldview, and shapes its message accordingly.
If the attack on the Benghazi consulate was right away understood to be an act of terrorism, then putting Susan Rice (or any similarly willing messenger) out on CBS news to ply a different message is curious. Rice’s talking points on the program came directly after the Libyan President declaration that it was pre-planned and pre-determined.
Some reasons might include:
1. We gave a lot of latitude to Ambassador Stevens and his team to stay proactive in the area. When the call came in that the consulate was under attack, and that some of the security threats in Benghazi finally materialized, it was deemed a loss. Now, many months later, that attention is being paid, we’re seeing standard State Department ass-covering and the political fallout make its way down the food-chain. The threat may not have been properly addressed.
2. The administration’s goals needed to stay faithful to his own Cairo speech to some extent, and sought out people who believed similarly to stay on message (even Hilary Clinton and her team were more hawkish). Remember, the Arab Spring and deep unrest was roiling the region, with dozens of protests going on simultaneously, with long-standing regimes falling like dominoes. Here’s what I wrote speculatively back then:
‘This could explain Secretary Of State Hilary Clinton’s PR tour across the region, the insistence on the video as the source of the attack (Susan Rice as well), and the lengthy, slow and visible, investigation.
Engaging directly and aggressively with terrorism, radical Islam, and forms of Islamism is a subject that still does not line up with this administration’s stated goals and worldview. The base is ‘pro-peace.’
3. There was political calculation involved, and incentive to simply push anything anything that would appear to compromise the administration’s ability to realize its goals aside until after the election (natural to all politicians).
4. Something was going on at the Benghazi consulate that the rest of us probably still don’t want to know about.
Related On This Site: Eli Lake At The Daily Beast: ‘U.S. Officials Knew Libya Attacks Were Work of Al Qaeda Affiliates’ From The BBC Via Michael Totten: ‘Libya: Islamist Militia Bases Stormed In Benghazi’
Walter Russell Mead At The American Interest Online: ‘Obama’s War’…From The WSJ: “Allies Rally To Stop Gadhafi”…From March 27th, 2009 At WhiteHouse.Gov: Remarks By The President On A New Strategy For Afghanistan And Pakistan…From The New Yorker: ‘How Qaddafi Lost Libya’…