Monday, October 26, 2015

A Clinton News Network Falsehood

Andrew McCarthy has recently written on the falsehood (and outright lying) perpetuated by the Obama administration that the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous event in reaction to an anti-Muslim video.

But let us not forget another falsehood perpetuated by Obama, Candy Crowley, and to this day still defended by CNN here.  To recount the facts, in a very important moment in a debate between Romney and Obama, Romney claimed that Obama did not say the day after the attack that it was a terrorist attack as Obama claimed in the debate.  (Rather, the Obama administration continued to insinuate that it was a spontaneous attack precipitated by a video which we know to be false; it took two weeks to call it an act of terror according to Romney.)  Candy Crowley then, in a shameful display of partisanship, inserted herself into the debate defending Obama saying that the transcript does affirm that Obama called it an act of terror and that Romney was wrong.  Well, now it's two against one and Romney is flummoxed before the national audience and does not know what to say.  Then the conversation gets diverted.  This was a devastating part of the debate for Romney and victory for Obama thanks to Candy Crowley.

So what did Obama actually say?  Here is CNN from the second link above:

And here is the transcript from Obama's Rose Garden remarks on September 12, the day after the attack:"Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe," he said. "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done."Obama repeated the "acts of terror" line during a campaign event in Las Vegas on September 13:"No act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world, and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the United States of America."

So did Obama call it an act of terror?  No, he certainly did not.  Obama coyly mentions acts of terror without ever saying that Benghazi was an act of terror.  After all, at this point the Obama administration is still blaming the "spontaneous" event on a video.  Obama is no fool; he was a Constitutional lawyer, so he understands better than almost anyone else what words mean (remember "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is"?  Well, it does.)  He mentions "acts of terror" presumably because he knows that it was an act of terror and that this will eventually come to light in public (hopefully, from the perspective of the Obama camp, after the debate and the initial public shock over the event has subsided.)  But not a single time does he call the act an act of terror.

Am I making a case based on subtle semantics?  Not at all.  Again, Obama understand that words have meaning.  Imagine that I ran into your car with mine and never said that I was sorry.  I say "Apologies are very good things, and saying you're sorry is something that I completely agree with.  I hope you get the car fixed.  Have a good day."  Have I apologized for hitting your car?  Certainly not!  I have simply mentioned "apologies" in the context of hitting your car and that I agree with them in principle without ever admitting my fault and asking for your pardon.  I am trying to have my cake and eat it too.

Back to CNN:

But, as to the original accusation from the conservative critics that Obama never mentioned "acts of terror" until weeks after the attack, they were wrong. Crowley was right.

This is an ignoratio elenchi--an ignorant or willful fallacy in which one changes the subject to deflect from criticism.  Romney never said that Obama never mentions "acts of terror," he said that Obama never called the Benghazi attack a terrorist attack. And he didn't. Romney was right and Crowley was wrong.  Whether she very well knew that she was wrong I leave for the reader to pursue and decide.  Obama surely did.

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