Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Libya Moment in Debate #2 - By Ryan Hawkins

  By Ryan Hawkins |  - 11:29 AM

That Libya moment during the debate is something we Romney supporters need to hammer on a daily basis for the next three weeks. Romney told the audience it took two weeks for Obama to call the Libya event an act of terror, which Obama disputed by claiming that his Rose Garden speech (the day after the attack) called it an act of terror. The moderator stepped in an backed up Obama’s claim despite its inaccuracy, which helped Obama get away with the false claim. This is a must-read article on the topic, written September 30.
Obama’s Rose Garden speech was far from calling Benghazi attack an Act of Terror.
Obama said during the speech that ‘No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation’ — but at no point was it clear that he was using that term to describe the attack in Benghazi. He’d also spent the previous two paragraphs discussing the 9/11 attacks and the aftermath. ‘Acts of terror’ could have just as easily been a reference to that. Or maybe it wasn’t a direct reference to anything, just a generic, reassuring line he’d added into a speech which did take place, after all, the day after the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.”
It seems like a mere technicality, so why is this even an issue? Here’s why (from the last paragraph of the article):
“Actually, this is much more than an issue of semantics. Calling it a terrorist attack would have given Obama powers under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF) to use military action, including drone warfare, against the perpetrators. If he were serious about “bring[ing] to justice the killers,” which he vowed to do in the speech, then labeling this incident a terrorist attack (if he believed that’s what it was) would have been critical.  Instead, we now have the FBI sitting with its hands bound in Tripoli, unable to move forward with a serious investigation.” (Emphasis added)
In other words, once the president officially designates the event as an “Act of Terror” — there are a lot more options “on the table” to forcefully respond and bring the perpetrators to justice.That is the decision that Obama “uhm’d and awe’d” about for weeks before making up his mind as the administration went back and forth between the “act of terror” conclusion vs. a “minor protest over a video” conclusion. It was September 11, our country had a crisis on its hands, and Obama made sure he didn’t miss his Las Vegas fund raiser that day.
The Libya event is the epitome of Obama’s failed leadership that has become the hallmark of his presidency…and Obama dodged a bullet with this issue in last night’s debate (with a little help from a moderator who has since corrected herself.)