Why Romney’s Not Talking About Benghazi Anymore

The GOP nominee has given up on a murky story line

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In conservative circles, the closing weeks of the election have involved a full-blown scandal: namely, that the Obama White House has covered up what really happened during the lethal Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The Obama Administration first failed to adequately protect U.S. personnel in Benghazi, this narrative holds; didn’t respond forcefully enough to save the four Americans who were killed; tried to deny that a coordinated attack occurred at all; and has concealed what the President and his top advisers knew about all this and when. “The Benghazi scandal” is how Fox News host Bret Baier referred to the story Thursday.

And yet Mitt Romney wants nothing to do with it. In the second presidential debate, Romney treated Benghazi as the most important national-security matter of the moment. But Romney sidestepped the issue in the final debate and, as far as I’m aware, hasn’t raised it since. It’s true that the topic blew up in Romney’s face in that second debate. But his sudden and complete abandonment of the topic has still been something of a mystery.

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Now the story has taken a new twist, as Massimo Calabresi explains. It seems as through the most important actor during the attack may not have been the President, but CIA director David Petraeus. That leaves the story line more confused than ever. Petraeus, the reputed savior of Iraq, is a hero to many of the same conservatives who have been driving the Benghazi story in an effort to burn the President. Now it seems possible that their ire could burn the general more than the President. Although Friday’s reports indicate that the CIA responded fast and aggressively as the attack unfolded, it also appears that the agency could have been more vigilant about security at the site in advance. It also seems possible that Romney fell silent on this issue because he came to understand that Petraeus is at least as politically exposed as Obama. (Bear in mind that Romney was recently granted classified national-security briefings, as is the custom for major-party nominees.)

To be sure, Obama’s role in all this does remain frustratingly opaque. The White House hasn’t said whether the President was presented with any decision options during the attack, like whether to order drone or fighter-jet strikes in the area (although it’s far from clear that either would have been practical in a confused situation). It’s still not quite clear why the Administration blamed that infamous anti-Islamic video for the attack as long as it did, even as contradictory reports added up. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken responsibility in a broad sense for inadequate security at the consulate, but we still don’t know just how involved she was in that debate. And finally, if Fox News is right that special forces based in Italy were “told to wait” rather than deploy to the scene, we still don’t know who gave that order. (Note that former Pentagon big Paul Wolfowitz, who is no Obama defender, claims that a military team in Europe was in fact mobilized immediately but could not have reached Benghazi in time to save lives.)

These are all frustrating questions. And while an official investigation is still ongoing, the White House could be offering more detail without spilling secrets. “The Obama Administration needs to level with the country about why it made its decisions,” the Washington Post’s fair-minded national-security columnist — and frequent Obama defender — David Ignatius wrote this week. But it’s far from clear that the full backstory here amounts to the damning indictment of Barack Obama that some Republicans are intimating. Which may be why Mitt Romney doesn’t bother to mention it anymore.

MORE: House Republicans Go After the Obama Administration over Benghazi Attack

652 comments
Kiwipolitico6
Kiwipolitico6

Aspects of this article are very inaccurate.  It has been proven now that not only was the White House situation room watching the attack at the consulate unfold in real time (including audio and video), but they had a drone positioned above the consulate for this purpose.  They were also in touch with the CIA, who were briefing them on the unfolding situation and options for intervention.  There were military assets positioned at Sigonella air force base in Italy that could have got to Benghazi within 40 minutes, and even if they'd decided not to send any military personnel in, an F-16 flyover of the compound was a relatively low risk option.  Then to hear Leon Panetta some weeks later stating to the media that he was unwilling to send marines into harm's way in an uncertain situation was nothing short of ludicrous.  That is exactly what seals and marines are trained for.  The four men in the Banghazi compound were left to die.  Their country abandoned them on that night, and no amount of posturing and obfuscation will erase that depressing reality.

EdPiedra
EdPiedra

BECAUSE THE WORLD KNOWS  THE INFAMY OF BENGHAZI !! 

Obama lied, then Denied and in BENGHAZI, 4 AMERICANS DIED !See it :( copy and paste_ --- http://tinyurl.com/br5hz5q ----  

Nixon succumbed to Watergate, Obama will to Benghazigate --

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=374339219308210&set=a.349349441807188.80610.339902456085220&type=1&theaterIn the Watergate nobody DIED. 4 americans were killed in Benghazi after --

immediate help was denied , 3 TIMES. TO THEM by Obama and his administration. --THIS IS A PROVEN FACT ! ---Breaking news: There was a live feed into the White House during the hours-long siege of theEmbassy, murder of the Ambassador and mortar attack on the SEALs.This Administration opted to do nothing: No air support, no reinforcement of the embassy, no plan toprotect the SEALs who had the targets in their sites, nothing.They sat there and refused to lift a finger as these brave souls were murdered. ---The people asking for Obama's impeachment are in the right track. THERE IS 
IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE and Obama has been FOUND OUT ! ---He and his administration are lying criminals ! -- Traitors and cover-uppers !
People supporting his reelection are his accomplices ! -- No place to hide !

FishHook
FishHook

They say that the easiest way to hand a dog is to give it a bad name. Fortunately, on the other hand, people also watch the history of the naming and the hanging. That way, the hanger and the namer never escape justice.

FishHook
FishHook

The real reason Romney has abandoned the topic is that the wife of one of the late ex Navy Seal that died in the attack was reported on ABC News to have ordered Romney to shut up and not use her husbands death to score political point against Obama. The same ABC News had also carried a funny tale of how Romney introduced himself awkwardly to the late Navy Seal in a Christmas Party THREE TIMES, saying "I'm Mitt Romney", as if he wanted the ex Seal to never forget that name or to make sure it stuck. A colleague of the Seal narrated the account to ABC News after the ex-Seal was killed in Benghazi. It was probably not a very tidy tale worth repeating so as to not hurt Romney. Romney probably felt it was better to not be connected to Benghazi anymore.

yrag46
yrag46

GWB's  Two Unfunded Wars killed  and maimed many hundreds of thousands and left Obama with the worst economic situation since the Great Depression....... and all you dweebs have to whine about is you're invented gibberish about  Benghazi ??

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Looks like all the loons were in this thread trying to draw blood from this stone, to no avail.

petenj777
petenj777

Nobody was killed at Watergate.  When Obama used the term "Terrorist" in the rose garden speech on 9/12 he was referring to the original 911 attack not Libya.  Candy Crowley assisted with the lie and shut Romney down waving her paper ready for the setup with a falsehood carried out in a planned attack on Romney.  Why else would she have had the paper ready?  Jay Carney said it was "The Film" five times the next day.  Two of America's bravest well trained soldiers along with the ambasadour are dead.  Please explain to the parents of the seals why we never came to help them in a 7 hour siege that the white house watched from drones and sattelite in real time.  The Obama administration left them to die like the Alamo instead of sending help which was only one hour away.  Obama chose not to send help in order to further his political aspirations.  Totally pathetic.  The seals and the ambasadour were just collateral damage. One of the seals was calling in airstrike coordinates and flashing his laser at the targets but no strikes came.  All for the sake of furthering the Liberal agenda.  Tell the seals' parents how this makes sense.

EdPiedra
EdPiedra

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=374339219308210&set=a.349349441807188.80610.339902456085220&type=1&theater

Nixon succumbed to Watergate, Obama will to Benghazigate --

In the Watergate nobody DIED. 4 americans were killed in Benghazi after --immediate help was denied , 3 TIMES. TO THEM by Obama and his administration. --THIS IS A PROVEN FACT ! ---Breaking news: There was a live feed into the White House during the hours-long siege of theEmbassy, murder of the Ambassador and mortar attack on the SEALs.

This Administration opted to do nothing: No air support, no reinforcement of the embassy, no plan toprotect the SEALs who had the targets in their sites, nothing.They sat there and refused to lift a finger as these brave souls were murdered. ---The people asking for Obama's impeachment are in the right track. THERE IS 
IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE and Obama has been FOUND OUT ! ---He and his administration are lying criminals ! -- Traitors and cover-uppers !
People supporting his reelection are his accomplices ! -- No place to hide !

EdPiedra
EdPiedra

BECAUSE HE KNOWS, ALL WORLD KNOWS. THE VOTERS KNOW  ABOUT THE INFAMY OF BENGHAZI GATE !

IF OBAMA WINS HE  WILL BE IMPEACHED LIKE  NIXON !

 PATRIOTS OF ALL PARTIES AND RACES:

Latinos and other minorities are people of honor and dignity



WE AS A WHOLE ARE AN HONORABLE NATION AND WE DESERVE AN

HONORABLE PRESIDENT ! 

NOT a Master Deceiver, Cove-upper in Chief ! 

 ---

 -- http://tinyurl.com/br5hz5q ---



Message was taken down by Facebook TWICE

The message contained in a meme suggesting that Obama relied on the SEALS when he wanted to get Osama bin Laden, but then turned round and denied them back up when they called for it in Benghazi. 

Hurricane Sandy is AN ACT OF GOD, time to pause an reflect to whom we'll trust to be THE STEWART of our USA ! ---

4 MORE YEARS,  NO WAY !!

ROMNEY = VOTE FOR LOVE OF COUINTRY.: USA WILL COME BACK ROARING !dear leader OBAMA = Vote FOR REVENGE , DIVIDER,. Master CAMPAIGNER FIRST !Obama lied, then Denied and in BENGHAZI, 4 AMERICANS DIED !

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

The most encouraging aspect of President Obama's win to me is the defeat of the religious industry.  I watch the religious channels for comic entertainment, ant it has been full blast to vote against the unnamed president.  May they all burn in hell along with Cardinal Timmy.   

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Here is the facts the newest Fox Rumors are based on. Notice the Israelis never make any claims about US involvement in the arms shipment.:

Egyptian authorities seized a large shipment of missiles and weapons smuggled from Libya on Thursday.

Authorities uncovered the munitions — including 40 surface-to-surface missiles, 17 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, mortar rounds, automatic rifles and around 10,000 artillery shells — in three vehicles near the Mediterranean resort city of Marsa Matrouh, some 430 kilometers (270 miles) northwest of Cairo, the official said.

Three Egyptian Bedouin smugglers were arrested, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media. Two of the men were from the Egyptian town of Rafah on the border with the Gaza Strip.

The official said the men claimed they were transporting the weapons to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to use “against army and police forces securing the borders to create chaos before presidential elections.”

Egyptian security sources told the London newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that Iran was supporting radical Islamic groups in the Sinai peninsula to open a new front against Israel.

The leak of weapons out of Libya since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi last year is a pressing issue for Israel and Egypt alike. Last month, Israeli security officials said they possessed evidence that rockets fired from Sinai and the Gaza Strip during March’s bombardment were smuggled out of Libya.

 http://www.timesofisrael.com/egypt-busts-big-haul-of-libyan-arms/

akpat
akpat

More embassies and people were killed under GWB and that does not include the 3000 killed on US soil in the real 9/11

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

After the electoral count is in, and President Obama's win is validated, I will have as much affection for Romney as I could muster for any Republican.  He is the best of the worst of the Republican party.  He defeated the worst of his party, and i am thankful for it.  I will be even more thankful if he supports President Obama after the election and helps to mend the obstructionism of his party. 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@EdPiedra You disgusting ghoul. Why do you keep posting these horrid lives and dishonoring these brave men?

Kiwipolitico6
Kiwipolitico6

@yrag46 Four people - good men who had served their country tirelessly and faithfully, died in the Benghazi attack.  They were left to die when those with power to stop it knew exactly what was happening.  Why this happened we may never know, but in any case it's nothing short of being a national scandal and disgrace; whatever your political affiliations are.

EdPiedra
EdPiedra

@thewholetruth  WE DO HAVE  FREEDOM OF RELIGION   , right !   we are not electing a Pastor

we are election the  best man for  POTUS !

yrag46
yrag46

@thewholetruth 

What a pile of gibberish...... all made up by a real snake-oil-salesman only 150 years ago......

Fla4Me
Fla4Me

@petenj777 Actually the President was referring to people like you who seem so bent on misleading others in your quest to destroy a good American that you will come here and post crap like this.  That's about as likely as what you're offering.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@petenj777 Why must you keep using this stupid lie. There was no 7 hour siege. Just two attacks hours apart the first of which was over in minutes and the second at a different location which was mortar shelling. Does it make you feel important to continue spreading a ghoulish Fox News lies which no other news network in the world believes?

wprout31756
wprout31756

@EdPiedra 

Here, I thought my hatred for Obama was extreme but you sir, TAKE THE CAKE !

You better have some HARD FACTS that can be proven in a court of law and that's a big maybe on that part !  

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

And yet even the Neo Con Paul Wolfwitz says that all possible aid was provided and there was no order to stand down. But here you are with your silly graphics and ghoulish lies.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@EdPiedra Enough with you idiotic lies and graphics. Get a life an stop trying to profit from a tragedy.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout Oh we have indeed been lied to. Lied to by Fox News, the Republican party and mindless drones like you. But by all means please post more fringe right wing sites that no one has ever heard from.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout Bombshell this sight has less credibility than you do. Perhaps you can show me a picture of Obama with Big Foot next?

Fla4Me
Fla4Me

@formerlyjames Don't hold your breath.  Mitt will be quickly shown the door never to be heard from again and the crazies, as represented on this board, will continue to obstruct our progress while blaming the President for not getting enough done.

ahandout
ahandout

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout  Attacking the only new organization that has investigated the Benghazi scandal is the only defense that morons like you have.  Where is the president on this?  He's stone walling.  Nixon would be proud.  At least the press did not openly cover for a corrupt president during the Watergate scandal.  This is far worse and involves possibly arming Jihadis.

ahandout
ahandout

@mantisdragon91  Sure, and everything that the CIA states is true.  Do you have you list ready for Santa, MD?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout And here is the really idiotic part about the site you posted. It claims that we are arming Al Queda with Surface to Air Missiles. How does that square up with the fact that we are killing them with drones every chance we get. Now I admit I'm 20 years removed from my military days but I don't remember it being a viable strategy to arm the people you are killing.

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

@Fla4Me 

I know what you say, but Romney won't go away, and he can be a positive influence.  Just hoping for that.

wprout31756
wprout31756

@ahandout @mantisdragon91 

ahandout, Am going to call you out on this post ! Were you there ? Did you actually OBSERVE this happening ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Why don't we admit that whomever comments on these forums, all were doing to PASSING, the same information where we got it from ! UNLESS, you were actually there, NONE of the info your commenting on is the HONEST TO GOD TRUTH !

Don't go betting your life on something you don't have any KNOWLEDGE OF TRUTHFULLY !

ahandout
ahandout

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout  The CIA put out misinformation (what a surprise) at the request of Obama to make this go away.  It won't work because their were witnesses in the neighborhoods and from the hired security that have already refuted the CIA timeline.  Witnesses have stated that there were armed trucks setting up roadblocks three hours before the attack.  In fact, one big question is how did the Turkish Counsel General make it out of the area?  And why didn't he warn the US Ambassador that there were heavily armed men all around the counsel?  The security teams stated that they warned of trouble at least an hour before the CIA timeline even starts.  More lies from Obama. 

wprout31756
wprout31756

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout 

You 2 seem to have a bit of a party going on, don't you's ?

Why don't you both give each other a high-5,and admit that both of yous are beating a DEAD HORSE, over nothing ?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout @mantisdragon91 Actually almost every news organization here and abroad have looked into what happened in Benghazi. Only Fox has decide to try and manufacture evidence  which is why the Pentagon and the CIA specifiably came out on Friday and put an end to their lies.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout @mantisdragon91 I trust the CIA more than I trust Fox News a company owned by Rupert Murdoch who is currently being investigated by the UK government for wire tapping and run by Roger Ailes a former  PR operative for Nixon/

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout @mantisdragon91 Just for the record we have tracked down less than 20,000 of the missiles Libya had prior to the revolt. So there are many still unaccounted for. I am positive some of those 15,000 plus that are unaccounted for are ending up in Syria. I have yet to see any credible sources(Egyptian or otherwise) make the claim you just made. While Libyans are certainly going to Syria to fight, just as many of them went to Iraq to fight us. All of my sources here and in Israel are stating categorically that the US has nothing to do with it.

ahandout
ahandout

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout  Where are the SAMS that were either bought from Libya or confiscated?  And why are they showing up in Syria?  Why has is been reported by Egyptian sources that Stevens was recruiting Jihadists to fight in Syria?  If he is recruiting the men, he is going to arm them.  And, what is worse?  The fighters or the weapons?  

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout @mantisdragon91 Read the article you posted idiot. It says there are concerns that Libyan fighters and weapons are appearing in Syria. Unlike your conspiracy site that claims that we are running arms to Al Queda. Slight difference don't you think?

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

@Fla4Me 

All of the Republican fools in the primary make big bucks in speaking engagements.  Romney doesn't need the money, but he will take the attention.  

I have in mind something like Christi's honest endorsement.  The Republicans could recover and find sanity.  It could happen, and Romney could help.

Fla4Me
Fla4Me

@formerlyjames @Fla4Me He might make an occasional appearance on Faux News like Rudy G. but that will be it.  The Republicans dont like loosers and he wont run again and has no seat to keep him relevent.  The whole Republican field was flawed and he just the least flawed and best funded.  He's done.