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On Libya & Egypt: More questions than answers
In the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack, it is difficult to tell exactly what is going on. First impressions often are not quite accurate. Take Tuesday’s attacks on the U.S. embassy in Cairo and the U.S. consulate in Libya, for example.
At first the media told us that these attacks came in protest of an obscure anti-Muslim video posted online. The United States government seemed to think so too.
“Protesters angered over a film that ridiculed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad fired gunshots and burned down the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, killing one American diplomat, witnesses and the State Department said,” reported The Associated Press. But the story had changed by Wednesday.
Obama administration officials “studying the events of the past 24 hours,” as The New York Times put it, had concluded that the deadly attack in Libya, which killed the U.S. ambassador and three others, was a planned terrorist attack, not a spontaneous protest of an obscure film.
That raises some important questions.
-- Why were American diplomats in the Middle East left so vulnerable on a 9/11 anniversary?
-- A British think tank that monitors al-Qaida web chatter thought an attack was coming. Did our intelligence agencies miss that, or did we simply fail to prepare?
-- Does the successful taking of an American consulate have any connection to the fact that the President missed more than half of his daily national security briefings since taking office (reported in The Washington Post)?
-- Why are so many in the media more concerned about Mitt Romney’s criticism of a statement issued by the Cairo embassy on Tuesday than about the President’s actual handling of this crisis?
Well, we know the answer to the last question. As for the others, maybe the national media will stop piling on Romney long enough to find the answers.
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