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Saturday, November 18, 2017

It follows that contrary to everything you hear from partisan mischief makers and their helpers among the Washington press, the Obama White House has never sought to deny the obvious: that the kinds of religious zealots who bring rocket-propelled grenade launchers to street demonstrations didn’t simply find them lying around in the bazaar.

The original CIA talking points released 11 months ago said pretty much what Ambassador Rice said: that outrage at a crude, American-made video mocking Islam sparked violent protests across much of the Middle East, and that militants took advantage of the resulting chaos for their own bloody purposes. The exact identity of those responsible isn’t yet known.

See, out there in the real world, it doesn’t always have to be either/or. Most often it’s both/and: armed terrorist groups and a provocative video. A Senate Intelligence Committee report released last January sharply criticized the State Department, but also concluded “that the attack was not a highly coordinated plot, but was opportunistic.”

David D. Kirkpatrick’s masterful reporting in The New York Times established that the anti-western Libyan militia Ansar Al-Sharia had long had the consulate under surveillance, although “[a]nger at the video motivated the initial attack. Dozens of people joined in, some of them provoked by the video and others responding to fast-spreading false rumors that guards inside the American compound had shot Libyan protesters….A Libyan journalist working for The New York Times was blocked from entering by the sentries outside, and he learned of the film from the fighters who stopped him.”

However, a 2012 White House email has recently emerged, re-stating CIA talking points in somewhat different language. So big deal.

They’ll be singing all summer: Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto.

Well, you know the rest.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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