Ordered Liberty

Obama Avoids Benghazi in Big Terrorism Speech on Eve of 9/11

The worst part of President Obama’s speech last night was the appalling failure to mention the Benghazi massacre. Today, we mark the second anniversary of that act of war by the enemy we have been at war with for 13 years, an act of war in which the enemy attacked sovereign American territory and murdered the representative of our country in Libya as well as three other brave Americans. Mr. Obama decided our fallen Benghazi heroes did not merit even a fleeting mention. Let’s focus on two things he did say. The first tells us he was not unaware that a speech about terrorism on the eve of September 11 was a time for reflection on the day’s significance:

My fellow Americans, we live in a time of great change. Tomorrow marks 13 years since our country was attacked. Next week marks six years since our economy suffered its worst setback since the Great Depression.

So the economic downturn gets a nod in a speech about the threat Americans face from radical Islam, but nothing about the Benghazi attack that al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called for and that the local al Qaeda franchise, Ansar al-Sharia, carried out two years ago to the day? Here’s the second passage worth noting:

I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.

Core principle? The Benghazi massacre was carried out by scores of jihadists. The commander-in-chief took no meaningful action to come to the rescue of Americans during the hours and hours they were under terrorist siege. In the two years since, the Obama administration has done nothing but indict one jihadist – one – in connection with the attack. Moreover, though Obama’s State Department has identified that man, Ahmed Abu Khatallah, as a senior leader of Ansar al-Sharia, his Justice Department did not charge him as one. As I’ve previously explained, it has filed a politicized indictment designed to fit the administration’s fictional account of Benghazi as a spontaneous uprising provoked by “protests” – an indictment that ignores the legacy of 9/11, al Qaeda’s longstanding jihad against the United States, Obama’s disastrous decision to change sides in Libya, the resulting empowerment of our enemies, and the shocking failure to provide adequate security for Americans mysteriously assigned to work in Benghazi (one of the most dangerous places in the world for Americans and one in which Western targets were repeatedly attacked in the months before 9/11/12). We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country? While Obama has done virtually nothing about the terrorists who killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Ty Woods and Glen Doherty – only after threatening our country and repeatedly attacking Western targets including the compound besieged on 9/11/12 – he has been springing terrorists who threaten our country out of Guantanamo Bay. Indeed, as I noted yesterday, two weeks after the Benghazi massacre – an attack that was orchestrated by a group led by a former Gitmo detainee – the administration announced the transfer of 55 jihadists out of Gitmo, most of whom had previously been categorized as a “high risk,” to go back to their anti-American jihad at the first opportunity. During the 2012 campaign, Obama found time again and again and again to claim that he had “decimated” al Qaeda. In fact, even as our killed and wounded were being removed from the Benghazi wreckage and transported out of Libya, Obama found time to mark 9/11 by flying to a Vegas fundraiser and claiming victory:

A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead.

And yet not a single word to honor our Benghazi heroes in last night’s highly touted speech. In what has been portrayed as an exhibition of the president’s resolve, no mention of the night two years ago when he showed none.