On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, President Obama blamed the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, on inattention.
“There was just some sloppiness — not intentional — in terms of how we secure embassies in areas where you essentially don’t have governments that have a lot of capacity to protect those embassies,” Obama told David Gregory, the show’s host.
The president’s statement begs a whole host of questions, especially given the long string of cables from our foreign mission in Libya, all expressing security concerns, coupled with the protested removal of existing security personnel and the abandonment of both the British and Red Cross missions due to local terrorist activity.
Apparently, Gregory couldn’t think of a single one of those questions.
The president also said that although investigators “have some very good leads” on who carried out the Sept. 11 attack, “this is not something that I’m going to be at liberty to talk about right now.”
There are, however, other matters he should be at liberty to address.
Was the president aware of the escalating danger in Benghazi, and if not, why not?
Why wasn’t the Benghazi foreign mission made secure before Sept. 11, given all the cable traffic of al-Qaida activity in the area?
Why was security reduced under repeated protest?
Why weren’t troops deployed to assist the Foreign Service personnel during the seven-hour attack?
Who decided not to help our fellow Americans, both before and during the attack?
Who put together the talking points that the attack resulted from a protest that got out of hand, and why was this lie fed to the American people for weeks afterward, even though it was known within an hour that terrorists were responsible for the violence?
And then there’s always this burning question: “What did you know, and when did you know it?”
In November, ABC News described the pace at which the government was offering information as “the Benghazi drip-drip-drip.”
It’s still dripping.
The New York Times described the president’s “Meet the Press” responses as “his most detailed comments” on the Benghazi events to date. That may be, but they’re still not close to being detailed enough.
Watch this video of the president’s remarks on Benghazi: