The Mystery of Obama’s Response: In the new Left Coast/Right Coast podcast — with a Romney-critical Jennifer Rubin — I try to explain what I don’t understand about the whole Obama/Libya disclosure mess: If the Obama administration had a choice between a) blaming the attack on an anti-Islamic video, which then put them on the tricky international terrain of defending the First Amendment to devout masses for whom it sounds like a defense of blasphemy, and b) saying “We’ve been attacked by terrorists,” which has a proven rally-round the flag effect, why would the White House consciously choose to push (a)? Especially since Obama has a decent track record when it comes to pursuing and punishing terrorists? ….
P.S.: Here’s David Ignatius’ explanation:
The administration has a lot invested in the public impression that al-Qaeda was vanquished when Osama bin Laden was killed on May 2, 2011. Obama would lose some of that luster if the public examined whether al-Qaeda is adopting a new, Zawahiri-led strategy of interweaving its operations with the unrest sweeping the Arab world.
Still makes no sense to me. Has Obama ever pretended that killing bin Laden vanquished al-Qaeda for good? Does his team think the voters are dumb enough to think that? …
Update: Walter Russell Mead’s explanation (in a tweet) —
@kausmickey W/o ‘end’ to WoT, BO defense plans & Asia pivot don’t work. Much bigger DoD $ needed if MEAST, Asia both in crisis.