Carney, Week After Rose Garden Speech: ‘We Hadn’t’ Called It Terrorism

by Katrina Trinko

As Patrick noted last night, President Obama mentioned “acts of terror” in his remarks September 12, but without directly making the connection between that and Libya. Still, some have argued that nonetheless, it was clear that Obama meant the Benghazi attack to be construed as an act of terror from those remarks. Well, if that’s true, why did Jay Carney have to this to say on September 20:


Q    Can you — have you called it a terrorist attack before?  Have you said that?

MR. CARNEY:  I haven’t, but — I mean, people attacked our embassy.  It’s an act of terror by definition.

Q    Yes, I just hadn’t heard you –

MR. CARNEY:  It doesn’t have to do with what date it occurred.

Q    No, I just hadn’t heard the White House say that this was an act of terrorism or a terrorist attack.  And I just –

MR. CARNEY:  I don’t think the fact that we hadn’t is not — as our NCTC Director testified yesterday, a number of different elements appear to have been involved in the attack, including individuals connected to militant groups that are prevalent in eastern Libya, particularly in the Benghazi area.  We are looking at indications that individuals involved in the attack may have had connections to al Qaeda or al Qaeda’s affiliates, in particular al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

The “we hadn’t” is certainly an odd statement to make if we – the administration — had done otherwise, such as in a speech eight days prior to this press q & a.

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