Embassy Attack Timelines

As we all know, Romney criticized the Obama administration on it’s handling of the events surrounding the attack on American embassies in Cairo and in Libya.  Chief among those critiques was Romney’s statement taking Obama to task for his administration’s “apology” to the perpetrators of those attacks.

I’ve already “awarded points” to those defending Obama by going after Romney on two parts:

  1. In failing to admit that he had the timeline wrong that evening.
  2. Continuing to label the Cairo statements as an apology.

However, I have been strong in my defense of Romney issuing his statement because I felt that everyone was in the dark surrounding the timing of those statements.

I’m here to tell you that I was wrong.

Foreign Policy is reporting that an embassy employee sent an e-mail to the State Department in Washington to clear the statement:

Before issuing the press release, Schwartz cleared it with just one person senior to himself, Deputy Chief of Mission Marc Sievers, who was the charge d’affaires at the embassy on Tuesday because Ambassador Anne Patterson was in Washington at the time, the official said.

Schwartz sent the statement to the State Department in Washington before publishing and the State Department directed him not to post it without changes, but Schwartz posted it anyway.

Clearly this shows that the Obama administration was not operating under what I have been referring to as “the fog of war.”

With this clarification I can no longer claim that an complete sense of confusion was being experienced by everyone.  It is safe to say that only the Romney team was unclear as to the timing of the release and was, perhaps, relying on the Twitter feed from the Cairo embassy.

This leads me to add an additional critique to Romney’s team; get the facts right.

 

6 responses to “Embassy Attack Timelines

  1. I think Romney blew a chance to show foreign policy credibility. He should have been Presidential the first day, avoided any attack, and should have said that he wanted to assess all the information. Then a few days later he could have laid out a sober, reasoned critique of Obama’s foreign policy, connecting it to the kind of instability that aids the extremists. I would have disagreed with his approach, but it could have been effective. In all, though, I think he’s really coming off as a weak candidate. In part he seems to be running a campaign that looks more like a GOP primary. Where’s the pivot to the center? I really want to read the books about the campaign that come out after the election. I think his team (and Romney himself?) have run a really sloppy and ineffective campaign and frankly, that surprises me. Thanks to the economy he could still bounce back.

    By the way, I have you down for a “Sunshine award” on my blog. One reason is your thoughtful honesty — something you display again in this post!

    • He should have been Presidential the first day, avoided any attack, and should have said that he wanted to assess all the information.

      In my line of work, I deal mostly with having to answer to people why things didn’t go right. I agree with you. The cardinal rule is to make sure that what you are saying is true.

      Then a few days later he could have laid out a sober, reasoned critique of Obama’s foreign policy, connecting it to the kind of instability that aids the extremists. I would have disagreed with his approach, but it could have been effective.

      Obama’s error isn’t that the Mideast is unstable, rather that he thought his actions would stabilize it.

      By the way, I have you down for a “Sunshine award” on my blog. One reason is your thoughtful honesty — something you display again in this post!

      I saw that; I’m still trying to think of a way to thank you.

      But until then – Thank You!

  2. What a day. First you agree with a post on my blog and now I agree with a post of yours on your blog.

    The strange thing about the whole incident is that, putting aside the early Romney attempt at point-scoring, there’s not a whole lot of difference between Romney and Obama’s views of the video or the First Amendment. Look at Romney’s statements about the video in the days since and it sounds nearly identical to everything that’s been said by Obama/Clinton. I think he made two mistakes. One was not waiting until the smoke cleared (in which event he would have learned that the State Department didn’t approve the message). The other was the implicit suggestion that Obama was defending the people who murdered the ambassador.

    • On behalf of Poison Your Mind, I’m willing to trade you dedc79 for two pounds of carolina bbq. He’s apparently a perfect fit for a conservative blog!

      • On behalf of Poison Your Mind, I’m willing to trade you dedc79 for two pounds of carolina bbq. He’s apparently a perfect fit for a conservative blog!

        I’ll double that to 4 lbs if you throw in a salmon!

    • First you agree with a post on my blog and now I agree with a post of yours on your blog.

      Well, to be fair, your post is based in Libertarian fundamentals and mine is critical of the republican candidate 😉

      But yes, it’s nice to agree to agree.

      there’s not a whole lot of difference between Romney and Obama’s views of the video or the First Amendment. Look at Romney’s statements about the video in the days since and it sounds nearly identical to everything that’s been said by Obama/Clinton.

      I agree. Which contributed to my mistaken thought process that Obama thought Cairo issued their statement AFTER the attack. But you are right; they both are on the same page.

      I think he made two mistakes. One was not waiting until the smoke cleared (in which event he would have learned that the State Department didn’t approve the message).

      I know agree with you.

      The other was the implicit suggestion that Obama was defending the people who murdered the ambassador.

      He’ll never win this, but the argument goes like this:

      I thought you issued the statement after the attack. And because of that, I’m right.

      Romney largely botched this.

      The chi has left the board so it doesn’t matter, but I’ll say this. Cairo IS the administration and what they say DOES represent the government. If an employee of mine says something I don’t agree with, I take responsibility for that statement, admit it was wrong and then work to correct the paradigm that we’re all working under.

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