Because this is an election year and nearing voting time, and because the media is invested in the outcome, we will not get an accurate account of the events leading to the murder of Ambassador Stevens and others. We know only that almost immediately key administration spokespeople asserted things that not only could not be true, but also that they may well have known could not be true — a fact fading from memory as various cabinet secretaries now change the narrative to a premeditated terrorist attack quite independent from a two-month old obscure video.
Perhaps most worrisome were the loud declarations of the director of natural intelligence, James Clapper, who insisted, in firing-before-aiming style, that the murders were not premeditated but were opportunistic attacks caused by the video. Clapper, remember, not long ago assured us the Muslim Brotherhood was “largely secular.” Earlier at a key juncture he had announced that Moammar Qaddafi would “prevail” over the rebels. And earlier this year, Clapper also asserted that Iran’s building a nuclear weapon within the next two years was not likely.
At some point, the director of national intelligence being wrong in assessments on most of the critical moments in the Middle East should matter.