The Obama White House on Thursday released a photo of the president, sitting on the back of a couch in the Oval Office. His arms are folded and he looks dejected, maybe mournful. Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan stands before him. According to the White House, the photo shows the moment that Obama learned of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, in which 20 children and six adults lost their lives to a mad man.
Obama has described the killings as the “worst day of his presidency.”
About three months prior to that day, four Americans died in a terrorist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya. In the immediate aftermath of that attack, and for the two weeks that followed, President Obama and his top lieutenants blamed the attack on a movie. But it was later revealed that the administration received information from the scene indicating that the attack was a pre-planned terrorist assault, orchestrated by Ansar al-Sharia, an al Qaeda group operating in Libya and across that region. Reports emerged that someone in the administration ordered forces standing by to assist the Americans during the assault to “stand down.” No relief was sent.
The Obama White House has not released any photos of President Obama from the night of September 11, 2012. The American people have been told that the president met with his top national security officials and the White House Situation Room was monitoring the attack as it unfolded. The president went to bed the night of the attack, not knowing whether US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was missing at that point, was dead or alive. Stevens was murdered in the attack. Obama delivered brief remarks on the attack the following morning, and then flew to Las Vegas for a political fundraiser.
The Obama White House has never explained its decision not to release photos from the night of the assault in Benghazi.
Update: Well, looky here.