Matt Lewis

Did the Obama Administration just pretend the attack on the consulate in Libya wasn’t planned?

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

To the chagrin of Team Romney, I don’t spend a lot of time talking about Barack Obama’s failings here. That is mostly because it’s boring; you expect me to disagree with his policies (and he rarely fails to disappoint!). What is more, this little blog isn’t the only game in town. There are countless books, blogs, and reporters (some of them right here!) that dedicate countless hours to looking into the Obama Administration.

But sometimes glaring problems must be pointed out. And this is one such example.

As CBS News’ Margaret Brennan reported this morning: “Witnesses tell CBS News reports that there was never an anti-American protest outside of the [Benghazi] consulate. Instead, they say, it came under planned attack. That is in direct contradiction to the Administration’s account of the incident.”

Indeed it is.

Just days ago, for example, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told CBS’s “Face the Nation”:

Based on the best information we have to date [the attack] began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo, where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent…. We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.”

As I tweeted that same day, the kindest way to put it is to say this lacks verisimilitude.

I wasn’t alone. As the Washington Post fact checkers wrote the next day (Monday): “The attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans took place on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. That may simply be a coincidence, but if so, it would be a pretty big one.”

So why pretend this was spontaneous?

As the Post continued:

The administration obviously wants to play down the possibility of a planned attack because that would raise broader questions about whether U.S. intelligence and embassy security in Libya were adequate. But Rice’s comments strain credulity, especially after Libya’s president declared without a doubt that the attack was planned. (Emphasis mine).

So if it was clear to the Washington Post, yours truly — and nearly everyone else in the world — that this was planned, isn’t it troubling that the Obama Administration either didn’t know — or maybe worse? — lied about it?