In the last few days it has become increasingly obvious that the Obama administration never understood the cause of the attack on the consulate in Benghazi as coming from a video which it is unlikely that anyone in Libya has ever seen. From the first statement that the President made on the tragedy he consistently misrepresented the facts surrounding the case.
At no time is there any credible evidence that the administration believed that the attack was caused by outrage but rather it came from a concerted attack by Islamic militants commemorating the eleventh anniversary of 9/11. Although the embassy in Libya recognized the growing threat to the consulate, the administration repeatedly refused requests to provide additional security. On September 14 the Press Secretary boldly stated "we don't have and did not have concrete evidence to suggest that this [the Benghazi attack] was not in reaction to the film." On the sixteenth UN Ambassador reinforced the claim in stating the attacks were a "spontaneous reaction" to "a hateful and offensive video that was widely disseminated throughout the Arab and Muslim world." "I think it's clear that there were extremist elements that joined in and escalated the violence. Whether they were al Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al Qaeda itself I think is one of the things we'll have to determine." At the UN on August 25 the President tried again to tie this attack not to extremists but to the video. He said "There is no video that justifies an attack on an Embassy." On September 16 the President of the Libyan Congress argued that there was no doubt that the attack was pre-planned and premeditated. The only conclusion that one can come to is there was a purpose for this kind of misrepresentation.
Every administration gets caught in some misrepresentations or shading of the truth - but this is considerably more. The timeline suggests two issues which are particularly troubling. First, as the Clinton ad in 2008 suggested, when a "3 AM" event took place, the Obama administration people seemed unprepared to respond in a credible way to the events. There is credible evidence that as the attack was going on the at some place in the Administration they had a live video feed from an unmanned drone above the consulate. It is not clear they could have saved the four Americans who died but that feed should have induced the Administration to respond. They failed in that very critical role.
The last three US ambassadors who have died in service were Ambassador Stevens (Libya) and Adolph Dubs, 1979 - Afghanistan and Francis Meloy, 1976 in Lebanon. All three were victims of militants in the Middle East.
Second, and even more troubling, for whatever reason the Administration understood immediately that this attack could become a political bombshell and thus chose to confuse the explanations for a serious period of time - to protect not American interests but their political position. That is inexcusable.
Even if the President's policies on the US economy had been successful, this clear dereliction of duty should influence most voters to reject Obama's request to be re-upped for another four years.