In its public statements, the Obama administration has put no daylight between itself and the embassy rioters in insisting that this is all about the video. Susan Rice, the ambassador to the U.N., went so far as to tell ABC’s Jake Tapper yesterday that even the murder of four Americans in Libya, including the ambassador, was the result of a “challenge” to the video having been “hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons.”
As The Wall Street Journal notes in an editorial: “That doesn’t square with the view of Libyan officials, who say they believe the attack was the work of Islamists linked to al Qaeda. Peaceful protesters don’t typically carry rocket-propelled grenades and other heavy weapons to a demonstration. The fact that the attack happened on the anniversary of September 11 also suggests terrorist planning.”
If you think of the Obama administration as an extension of the Obama campaign, it’s easy to understand its insensitivity to civil liberties and its eagerness to embrace the pretext that the embassy riots were about the video. From the standpoint of Obama’s re-election, it is imperative that voters be as distracted as possible from Obama’s failures. The murders in Libya and riots across the Middle East underscore failures both tactical (insufficient protection of diplomatic missions and personnel) and strategic.