The Chicago Way

by Victor Davis Hanson

Conservatives are aghast at how the Obama administration sent out its operatives — Hillary Clinton, Jay Carney, James Clapper, Susan Rice — to insist that the catastrophe in Libya was spontaneous and not premeditated. That laughable narrative, to quote Ms. Clinton in another context, required a suspension of disbelief, and could easily be disproved. But the team effort — intended to keep intact the Democratic convention’s triumphalism over killing bin Laden and al-Qaeda kingpins while helping to galvanize the Arab Spring — succeeded brilliantly, albeit in cynical fashion. For nearly two weeks, the supportive press ran with the story of sudden unexpected violence that just happened to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11, as protesters unexpectedly showed up with heavy machine guns and RPGs and accidentally stumbled onto the ambassador’s safe house, and were stunned and surprised to learn that there was no American security and then were driven to murderous fury by a Florida preacher and a Coptic film promoter.

And those loud lies about inexplicable events beyond the control of any human agency resonated far more than the walk-back peeps we are hearing now about a terrorist attack and the assorted inoperative statements.

The final result is that the public is told there is a “fog of war,” where no one knows anything, and everyone is of course too prone to jump to even preliminary conclusions. And so the issue dies and no one seems to worry about the lack of security afforded an American diplomat, the deliberate government distortion of what happened, or the wider context of compromising notions of free speech in deference to radical Islamists.

Around mid-2013 a reporter will offer us a believable narrative.

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