State Department: We didn’t say all that stuff we said about Benghazi

Jim Treacher | Blogger

Never mind!

Associated Press:

The State Department now says it never believed the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was a film protest gone awry, giving congressional Republicans new fodder for criticizing the Obama administration’s initial accounts of the assault.

The State Department’s extraordinary break with other administration offices came in a department briefing Tuesday, where officials said “others” in the executive branch concluded initially that the protest was based, like others in the Middle East, on a film that ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad.

That was never the department’s conclusion, a senior official told reporters.

Oh, of course it wasn’t.

None of that happened.

Wondering why they’re scrambling to lie about their lie? They’re on a deadline. Eli Lake reports:

The former top U.S. diplomatic security official in Libya will tell Congress Wednesday that the State Department reduced security personnel for Libya over his objections.

Eric Nordstrom, the regional security officer for the U.S. embassy in Tripoli from September 2011 to June 2012, is slated to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, where he will discuss publicly for the first time a 51-page report he prepared this summer on security incidents in Libya since June 2011.

“The incidents paint a clear picture that the environment in Libya was fragile at best and could degrade quickly,” Nordstrom wrote in an Oct. 1 letter to the committee. “Certainly not an environment where post should be directed to ‘normalize’ operations and reduce security resources in accordance with an artificial timetable.”

They knew Libya was a problem, and yet they actually reduced security there. Our ambassador was murdered by terrorists, and the Obama administration lied about what they knew. They placed the blame squarely on a private citizen exercising his right to free speech. Now that their cover story has fallen apart, their position is “evolving.” Which is another way of saying they’re updating their lies with what they think are more plausible lies, and pretending that’s what they’ve been saying all along.

Molly K. Hooper at The Hill knows what this is all about, though: those dirty Republicans.

A House Republican lawmaker and surrogate for Mitt Romney launched a media offensive on the eve of a high-profile hearing on Libya.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) took to the airwaves late Monday and Tuesday to highlight his findings after making a quick trip to Libya. Chaffetz was the first lawmaker to travel there since the Sept. 11, 2012, killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi…

“The heart of what I’m concerned about in this situation is there was a conscious decision: Politics were driving the decisions rather than security. … Based on what I’ve seen thus far, the Obama administration was so anxious to have it appear to be ‘normalizing’ [relations] as quickly as possible that they forgot security was really job one for our personnel,” Chaffetz said in an interview with The Hill.

The ambitious two-term lawmaker expanded on those accusations Tuesday morning on “Fox and Friends.”

Chaffetz is a “Romney surrogate” — as opposed to all the Obama appointees, who speak only for themselves — and he’s “ambitious” — as opposed to, um, everybody else in Washington. And now he’s “launching a media offensive.” It’s not about Democrat malfeasance, but the Republican response to it.

Divert. Deflect. Distract. Repeat as needed.

Maybe the Obama administration would’ve reacted better to the murder of Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens if Romney had blamed it on Big Bird.

Gregg Re has more.

Update: Mitt Romney tells Jennifer Rubin, “I think there was misleading on the part of the administration. It took way too long for the president to acknowledge that there had been an executed terrorist attack on September 11, 2012.”

Update: Say… Where’s Hillary?

Update: And where’s Jay?

Update: “Intelligence.”

Update: In case you’re still confused, which is how the Obama administration likes it: There was no protest in Benghazi on 9/11/12. It did not happen.

Update: How many “security incidents” happened in Libya during the 12 months before the attack? Only 230.

Update: Yet again, David Burge sums it up.

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