A bipartisan Fox News panel universally agreed that President Obama was lying about the Benghazi attacks during his Sunday interview with Bill O’Reilly, with conservative commentator George Will accusing the president of spinning “rhetorical cotton candy” around the issue.
Will was joined by conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer and liberal columnist Kirsten Powers to discuss the interview, focusing particularly on the portion where O’Reilly grills the president over the deadly attacks on an American compound in Benghazi, Libya. “The president, who talks incessantly, talks increasingly a kind of rhetorical cotton candy — a flurry of adjectives that nullify the substance,” he claimed. “As when he said to Bill O’Reilly, ‘If you look at the video of the attack on the compound, you will see that it’s not a systematic, well-organized process.’”
“Well if you look at any war, any episode, it doesn’t look systematic and organized, it looks like war and chaos,” Will noted. He then explained that many of the facts of the assault — including the use of military hand signals and inside knowledge of the compound — did, in fact, lend the impression of an organized attack.
Even as a Democrat, Kirsten Powers felt compelled to agree. “I don’t understand why the administration can’t just tell the truth about this,” she said. “And that they keep saying things that, as George just pointed out, we know aren’t true. And we know aren’t true from sort of unbiased sources. You know, the Senate intelligence report is not Fox News.”
“Why didn’t he answer Bill’s question?” she continued. “You know, Bill just kept asking him, ‘What were you told?’ And he never really would answer the question, and then he turns around and says, ‘Well we were just focused on getting people safe.’ Well of course you were, but weren’t you also a little curious if it was a terrorist attack? So none of this really adds up, and it’s just so frustrating. ‘Rhetorical cotton candy,’ perfect way to describe it.”
Krauthammer noted that the cover-up has already been accomplished. “When Obama talks about this as if he didn’t know, I think he simply is continuing a successful stonewall,” he declared. “The idea was to stonewall until Election Day. The mainstream media had no interest in this — there’s a huge cast of characters, it’s a complicated event — and no one is talking about it. And he has succeeded now. He talks around it, he talks in a way that is not answering the question.”
“Did he know it was a terror attack?” he continued. “He obviously knew, because he met the afternoon of that day with General [Carter] Ham, who said — he met with the Secretary of Defense, who had just spoken with General Ham, our commander in Africa, who said he knew within 15 minutes it was a terror attack. He knew, he pretends he doesn’t, and he has succeeded in not getting the opprobrium he should as a result of that.”
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