Then, on the 16th, we heard Susan E. Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, stolidly deliver the talking points on "Face the Nation":
“Based on the best information we have to date ... it began spontaneously...What's the scope of "it"?
... in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo, where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent.... We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.”So there first thing that happened was the video-related protests, and then others joined in, but we don't know whether they did that spur of the moment or if it was planned. "We do not have information" about those"extremist elements, individuals," but we do have "the best information" about things beginning spontaneously.
On the 20th, Jay Carney was saying "It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack," but claiming a lack of info on whether it was "a significantly preplanned attack" and asserting however much it might have been preplanned — what does "pre-" add to "planned"? — it was still "opportunism, taking advantage of and exploiting what was happening as a result of reaction to the video that was found to be offensive." Note the clever merger of the planned attack with the cover provided by the offense taken at the video.
Obama kept stressing the video and avoiding saying "terrorism," though Hillary Clinton called it terrorism on the 21st. Confronted with her statement on the 25th, Obama would only say we're "still doing an investigation, and "it wasn’t just a mob action." That was on "The View."
Yesterday, Carney was asked whether "there any reason why the President did not — he was asked point-blank in The View interview, is this a terrorist attack, yes or no? Is there any reason why he didn’t say yes?" Jeez, "The View" was too tough. Carney said:
“He answered the question that he was asked, and there's no reason that he chose the words he did beyond trying to provide a full explanation of his views and his assessment that we need to await further information that the investigation will uncover. But it is certainly the case that it is our view as an administration, the President’s view, that it was a terrorist attack.”It's our view and his view, but he wouldn't say it on "The View."