The Corner

The President’s Fundamentally Flawed Debate Statement (Libya Edition)

If anyone wonders why the Libya scandal just won’t go away, just look at the continued deception coming from the President of the United States. Here is the core of the president’s statement — made to almost 70 million Americans at the second debate:

So as soon as we found out that the Benghazi consulate was being overrun, I was on the phone with my national-security team and I gave them three instructions.

Number one, beef up our security and procedures, not just in Libya, but at every embassy and consulate in the region.

Number two, investigate exactly what happened, regardless of where the facts lead us, to make sure folks are held accountable and it doesn’t happen again.

And number three, we are going to find out who did this and we’re going to hunt them down, because one of the things that I’ve said throughout my presidency is when folks mess with Americans, we go after them.

While the jury is still out on the last item (and I’d readily concede that President Obama’s drone program has been quite deadly), the first two points are almost laughable. Did we beef up our security and procedures? Maybe now, but in the days immediately following the attacks, our embassies in Yemen and Tunisia were actually overrun, with the black flag of jihad shamefully replacing the Stars and Stripes over our own diplomatic soil. Additionally (and even more shamefully), the remains of our diplomatic outpost in Benghazi were so unsecured that CNN was able to waltz on to the property and scoop up our own ambassador’s private diary. Sensitive documents likely fell into enemy hands.

As for the investigation, President Obama omitted a crucial implied responsibility: Don’t deceive the American people in the course of your investigation. Here, the record is simply indisputable and captured vividly by American Crossroads:

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Words fail.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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