“Jake, we’re not impotent. We’re not even less popular, to challenge that assessment. I don’t know on what basis you make that judgment. It’s actually the opposite. First of all, let’s be clear what transpired here. What happened this week in Cairo, in Benghazi, in many other parts of the region, was a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated, that the US government had nothing to do with, which we have made clear is reprehensible and disgusting.
— Susan Rice, Obama’s UN Ambassador, to ABC’s Jake Tapper today.
I won’t belabor this next point: the reason why ‘spontaneous demonstration’ is so appealing an answer for the Obama administration is because that answer absolves them of having to take most of the responsibility for letting the attacks succeed. A genuinely spontaneous reaction to something that the administration didn’t actually do would be legitimately impossible to predict and hard to defend against, and people do know that. On the other hand, if the attack was premeditated, then the questions become Why didn’t the Obama administration catch this ahead of time? and Why wasn’t the Obama administration prepared for trouble? And the reasons why those questions are problematical is because they’re the same questions that Democrats asked the Bush administration, in the aftermath of 9/11. And the Democrats were notably contemptuous of the Bush administration’s answers, back then.
Which is pretty much why Ambassador Rice did her best today to keep the Obama administration from being in the same boat. Better that the administration look like victims, instead of incompetents; and besides, who’s getting harme… err, who’s getting harmed in the Oval Office by that?
Or to put it another way, “We knew what was happening, but the Americans preferred to find excuses.”
But hey, a guy was hauled away by law enforcement officials in the middle of the night for making a crappy YouTube video, so all’s now right the world, isn’t it?