Jake Tapper: ‘Were These Attacks a Failure of the Obama Administration’

by Greg Pollowitz

Tapper is the only one in the White House Press Corps worth a damn:

TAPPER: One of my colleagues in the Associated Press asked you a direct question, was there any direct intelligence suggesting that there would be an attack on the U.S. consulates. You said that a story — referred to a story being false and said there was no actionable intelligence, but you didn’t answer his question. Was there any intelligence, period — intelligence, period, suggesting that there was going to be an attack on either the –

CARNEY: There was no intelligence that in any way could have been acted on to prevent these attacks. It is — I mean, I think the DNI spokesman was very declarative about this, that the report is false. The report suggested that there was intelligence that was available prior to this that led us to believe that this facility would be attacked, and that is false.

TAPPER: Why was there not adequate security around Ambassador Stevens?

CARNEY: In terms of the security at the Benghazi facility or post, I would have to refer you to the State Department for specifics about what security was there.

There was a security presence. It was, unfortunately, not enough to resist the attacks that we saw, and resulted in the tragic loss of life, but there was security. It is also the case that in reaction to this, the president has ordered that we review all of our security arrangements for embassy facilities and other diplomatic facilities around the world. But in terms of the specific security that was in place at Benghazi, I’d have to refer you to the State Department.

TAPPER: Wouldn’t it seem logical that the anniversary of 9/11 would be a time that you would want to have extra security around diplomats and military posts?

CARNEY: Well, as you know, there — we are very vigilant around anniversaries like 9/11. The president is always briefed and brought up to speed on all the precautions being taken. But let’s be -

TAPPER: Obviously not vigilant enough.

CARNEY: Jake, let’s be clear. This — these protests were in reaction to a video that had spread to the region –

TAPPER: At Benghazi?

CARNEY: We certainly don’t know; we don’t know otherwise. You know, we have no information to suggest that it was a preplanned attack. The unrest we’ve seen around the region has been in reaction to a video that Muslims, many Muslims find offensive. And while the violence is reprehensible and unjustified, it is not a reaction to the 9/11 anniversary that we know of or to U.S. policy.

The rest of Tapper’s Q&A here.

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