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Bryan Preston

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October 17, 2012 - 9:11 am

American Crossroads has dug up a transcript of White House spokesman Jay Carney from Sept 20. Carney held a press gaggle aboard Air Force One, and the subject of Benghazi came up.

On September 20 – eight days after Obama claims to have called the Benghazi attack an “act of terror” – Jay Carney affirmed to reporters that the White House had never called it “a terrorist attack.”

From the gaggle on Air Force One, en route Miami, 9/20/2012:

Q: Can you — have you called it a terrorist attack before? Have you said that?

MR. CARNEY: I haven’t, but – I mean, people attacked our embassy. It’s an act of terror by definition.

Q: Yes, I just hadn’t heard you –

MR. CARNEY: It doesn’t have to do with what date it occurred.

Q: No, I just hadn’t heard the White House say that this was an act of terrorism or a terrorist attack. And I just –

MR. CARNEY: I don’t think the fact that we hadn’t is not — as our NCTC Director testified yesterday, a number of different elements appear to have been involved in the attack, including individuals connected to militant groups that are prevalent in eastern Libya, particularly in the Benghazi area. We are looking at indications that individuals involved in the attack may have had connections to al Qaeda or al Qaeda’s affiliates, in particular al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

So on Sept 20, over a week after the Benghazi assault that left four Americans dead and al Qaeda crowing, the White House’s own spokesman admitted that the Obama administration had not publicly described the sacking as a terrorist attack. Note also that Carney denied any connection between the 9-11-12 attacks and the anniversary of the 9-11-01 attacks.

That the administration mysteriously took quite a while to describe Benghazi as a terrorist attack was Mitt Romney’s position during the debate, with Obama pinning his story on his Rose Garden remarks on 9-12. In those remarks, Obama alluded to “acts of terror” but blamed the YouTube video for that particular action. Romney was was right on the facts, but moderator Candy Crowley corrected him and made hash of everything.

Meanwhile, during the back and forth, the original question was never answered. The sequence began with a question from a man in the audience, who asked why security requests at the consulate had been denied. President Obama managed to dodge that question entirely, as Ben Howe notes by way of video edit.

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More: And let’s back up to Sept 14. The Pentagon had already described Benghazi as a pre-planned terrorist attack. But the White House, through Jay Carney, was blaming the film:

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Had Candy Crowley paid attention only to what Obama said in the Rose Garden, and only to part of that, and not to the entire sequence of events that have come to be known as a cover-up? Isn’t it her job to report facts?

Update: On Sept 30, Candy Crowley said that Obama administration took weeks to admit that Benghazi was terrorism. Clearly, Candy Crowley needs to get with Candy Crowley to get their story straight.

More: On Sept 25, Obama Refused to Describe Benghazi as a Terrorist Attack

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
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