Most people, including many Obama supporters, were stunned when the Obama administration blamed the Innocence of Muslims video for the 9/11 attack on our Benghazi Consulate. With his recent swagger ("bin Laden is dead" and "Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat"), Mr. Obama seemed to be telling us that his conciliatory diplomacy was winning the day. Surely no one could have predicted that an obscure internet video, based on an obscurer film, would cause the murders of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans. But that was the administration’s explanation for the shattering of its Middle East policy.
As for the film: All of us should have been stunned by the administration's betrayal of our first amendment. Instead of defending free speech, Hillary Clinton denounced the film as "disgusting and reprehensible." Many liberals, of all people, condemned the producer, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, for the violence he allegedly incited -- the equivalent of yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater. Nakoula is a sleazy character by all accounts. But if a third-rate, 14-minute trailer can thrust thousands of Muslims into a barbaric, murderous rage, then "Fire!" is precisely what should be shouted; the theater is already in flames.
Tiny Denmark defended the free speech of Jyllands-Posten, publisher of the Muhammad cartoons, doing so in the face of violent threats by Islamic extremists. America didn't have the spine; we apologized for the film, asked Google to remove it, and arrested the filmmaker.
A conflicted Google defended free speech in refusing to remove the video in the West, but caved to White House pressure in pulling it from several Arab-Muslim countries. A confused Nakoula was arrested in a disgraceful, groveling attempt to appease the Islamic world. When it comes to politically incorrect films, Muslims everywhere can now look to America for intolerence rivaling their own.
The foreign policy ineptitude of the Obama administration was exposed by its use of both the film and the arrest: the former as pretense for causing the attack; the latter as pretense for calming Muslims sympathetic to the attackers. White House and State Department officials were no doubt heartened by the spectacle of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department taking Nakoula from his home, perhaps hoping that it would quench post-Arab Spring hatred of Americans. But the true spectacle was that the number of law enforcement officials hustling Nakoula off to jail in the US exceeded the number of security guards protecting the four Americans murdered in Libya.
In America, where inflammatory artwork such as the "Piss Christ" is celebrated, the moral enlightenment of the politically correct usually comes back to bite them in the ass. So it was with Hillary Clinton, who once pasionately defended the free speech right of "The Holy Virgin Mary," a painting that depicts a black Madonna, smeared with elephant dung, and surrounded by collaged pornographic images of female genitalia. That passion is now a distant, hypocritical memory. In the Obama era of apology and appeasement, Mrs. Clinton is embarassed by free speech. On Pakistan's 'Day of Love for the Prophet,' she ran an ad featuring president Obama, blathering about our tradition of religious tolerance, and herself, pleading that our government had nothing to do with 'The Innocence of Muslims' video.
The day of Muslims loving their prophet ended with 23 people killed in Pakistan alone and revealed the deep folly of Obama's Middle East policies. Violent anti-American protests spread throughout the hyper-senstitve, irony-challenged Muslim world. People burned American flags, ransacked American businesses, attacked American embassies, etc. It's hard to imagine that a more "disgusting and reprehensible" display would have happened, if Mrs. Clinton had run a free speech ad instead.
To the consternation of Barack Obama, the sons of men who hated, but respected, George Bush, have become men who both hate and disrespect him. Subsequent to the Benghazi attack, "Obama, Obama, We Are All Osama" became the chant of the new liberal Arab youth. To many, perhaps millions, of them, Obama's achievement is an abomination. He murdered bin Laden, the spiritual champion who lives in their hearts -- hearts that will be inconsolably inflamed upon the release of Zero Dark Thirty, a movie celebrating the killing of their hero. That will be the day when Obama's "bin Laden is dead" mantra will come back to bite him in the ass.
And it is Obama's movie. According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, the White House worked closely with director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal to incorporate administration talking points and to play up the president's role as the gutsy decision maker. To the dismay of Mrs. Clinton, our government is not innocent in the case of 'Zero Dark Thirty.'
What, then, will the Obama administration do to prevent the rampant violence that this film will certainly incite? Pressure Sony to stop its distribution? Perp-walk Bigelow and Boal to jail? These steps may be unnecessary, if the administration succeeds in shifting blame to the intelligence community. Finally admitting that the Benghazi massacre was a terrorist attack, administration officials now tell us that they were unaware of terrorist threats converging on the consulate with the anniversary of 9/11. Had they known, measures would have been taken to protect the Americans stranded in Benghazi, tacitly absolving them from their perceived negligence.
But, dashing hopes for an Obama Oscar (to go with his Nobel Peace Prize), they did know. There were numerous intelligence and DoD reports warning of the intense al Qaeda buildup in Libya during the six months prior to the Benghazi attack. According to reports such as “Al Qaeda in Libya: A Profile” (released in August), al Qaeda terrorists were probably bumping into each other in Benghazi. Ansar al Sharia held a June demonstration at Liberation Square; 15 militias showed up. Recent news reports reveal that, contrary to its repeated claims of ignorance, the administration was well aware of 13 threats or attacks on western diplomats and officials in Libya during the period. This is where president Obama's "Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat" mantra comes back to bite him in the ass, viciously.
Not only was the Obama administration cognizant of the emerging al Qaeda threat, it was aware of repeated requests from Benghazi for additional security -- requests that were denied. Moreover, as these al Qaeda forces were advancing, US forces were being withdrawn. According to CBS News, the State Department removed three Mobile Security Deployment teams and a 16-member Site Security Team between February and August. In the sobering aftermath of such blunders, the stern Obama warned of the consequences to countries that fail to protect Americans: we will send the FBI three weeks later, after reporters have left, examine the crime scene for an hour, and write a nasty report condemning the murders (after the election).
Audaciously taking credit for the death of bin Laden, Obama purposefully evades responsibility for the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and his three colleagues. It is a shameless cover-up for monumental ineptitude. He conceals his failed conciliatory policies, his misreading of the Arab Awakening, and his disinterest in actionable intelligence information. Calls to seek justice and to form yet another investigatory panel ("We're still doing an investigation," said president Obama, yucking it up on the 'View' while FBI agents fretted in Tripoli) merely hide the negligence -- the same negligence that left four Americans stranded in a pathetically unprotected facility to die valiantly and alone, murdered by a horde of terrorist cowards. And it is ineptitude that has neglected American principles such as freedom of speech, and defiance, where "Don't Tread On Me" is Obama-Speak for "Grin and Bear It."