The echo chamber of the right wing noise machine has invented a myth that it took Barack Obama fourteen days to call the attack in Libya an act of terrorism. Many right wing blogs are attacking Candy Crowley for confirming the fact that Obama did refer to this as an act of terrorism on September 12. For the sake of discussion, let’s ignore his statement of the 12th as, certainly if the right wingers are wrong, there should be further statements referring to this as terrorism before two weeks had passed. We have to go all the way to the next day to find documentation that Obama was referring to the attack as an act of terrorism. From a speech in Colorado on September 13:
Let me say at the outset that obviously our hearts are heavy this week — we had a tough day a couple of days ago, for four Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Libya. Yesterday I had a chance to go over to the State Department to talk to friends and colleagues of those who were killed. And these were Americans who, like so many others, both in uniform and civilians, who serve in difficult and dangerous places all around the world to advance the interests and the values that we hold dear as Americans.
And a lot of times their work goes unheralded, doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it is vitally important. We enjoy our security and our liberty because of the sacrifices that they make. And they do an outstanding job every single day without a lot of fanfare. (Applause.)
So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice. (Applause.) I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world. No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America. (Applause.)
And I’ve directed my administration to do whatever is necessary to protect all Americans who are serving abroad. It’s one of my highest priorities as President. And we’re also in contact with other governments to underscore that they’ve got an obligation to cooperate with us to protect our citizens. That’s part of their job.
In any situation such as this, the fog of war is going to make it difficult to say with certainty what exactly happened in the initial hours after such an event. The Obama administration reacted appropriately in keeping their minds open over details such as whether demonstrations over the anti-Muslim video played a part. In contrast, Mitt Romney acted irresponsibly in jumping to conclusions and playing politics with the deaths of Americans before all the facts were in.
It is an example of the degree to which conservatives, including Mitt Romney, accept the false information of the right wing noise machine that they continue to believe Libya is an issue which can be used to their benefit. Besides being totally wrong in their claim that Obama didn’t refer to this as an act of terrorism for two weeks, testimony before Congress showed that increased security would not have prevented the killings. Further damaging to the Republican position is the fact that it was the Republicans who had cut funding for security below levels requested by the Obama administration. I wonder if Mitt Romney, who has never let a fact stand in his way of an attack, will bring this up again in the next debate, or if he learned his lesson after walking into this trap.