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The President thinks the Libya attack was terrorism because I say so, says WH press secretary Carney

For now, Americans will just have take him at his word that President Barack Obama thinks the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya was in fact terrorism, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force one today.

Carney said that as the President’s spokesman the fact that he has labeled the attack as terrorism should be good enough. He also accused Republicans and GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney of trying to politicize the issue “to try to score political points.”

“And that’s unfortunate,” Carney said.

The Obama administration has been under scrutiny this week for its ever-changing story on whether the attack in Libya that resulted in the death of U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was or was not a terrorist attack. Obama administration officials – including Carney – initially claimed that the “spontaneous” strike was the direct result of an offensive YouTube video that depicted the Prophet Muhammad as a pedophile. A week ago, however, Carney told reporters it was”self-evident” that the incident was a terrorist attack. But President Obama again blamed the video for sparking the attack in his speech to the United Nations on Tuesday.

Carney told reporters on Thursday that it had been “the President’s position that this was a terrorist attack” since he said so last Thursday.

“I think you’re misunderstanding something here. I’m the President’s spokesman, ” Carney said, attempting to convey that whatever he says is the President’s opinion should serve as if it were the President’s own words.

“And I think it’s important to note, I mean, definitionally, what a terrorist attack means, and that’s why I say it was self-evident when you have an armed assault on a diplomatic facility that results in the death of four Americans. That’s definitionally a terrorist attack,” he said, reiterating his previous claim.

 Carney’s insistence that he is the President’s mouthpiece raises the question, however, of whether the policies and opinions of the President’s advisers can or even should be taken as the direct opinion of the President of the United States himself. The fact remains that the President has an opportunity to call the terrorist attack on U.S. citizens abroad exactly what it was – terrorism –  that was caused by anti-American sentiment in the Middle East, and he declined.

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