President Barack Obama failed to take responsibility for his administration’s failures in the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya yet again during a pre-taped interview with Jon Stewart that will air tonight during The Daily Show.
According to reporters privy to the taping, Obama claimed the deaths of U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were “not optimal,” and Obama promised his administration would “fix it.”
Stewart, who has been unusually tough on the administration over its bungled response to terrorist attack, reportedly asked Obama what was entailed in the administration’s ongoing investigation into the issue.
“Is part of the investigation helping the communication between these divisions? Not just what happened in Benghazi, but what happened within?” Stewart asked, referencing the miscommunication or lack of communication between the White House, the State Department and the CIA that led to both White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and the President himself mistakenly telling the American people that the attack was the result of a “spontaneous” riot that occurred in response to an offensive YouTube video.
“Because I would say, even you would admit, it was not the optimal response, at least to the American people, as far as all of us being on the same page,” Stewart added.
“Here’s what I’ll say. If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal. We’re going to fix it. All of it,” Obama reportedly told Stewart. “And what happens, during the course of a presidency, is that the government is a big operation and any given time something screws up. And you make sure that you find out what’s broken and you fix it.
“Whatever else I have done throughout the course of my presidency the one thing that I’ve been absolutely clear about is that America’s security comes, and the American people need to know exactly how I make decisions when it comes to war, peace, security, and protecting Americans. And they will continue to get that over the next four years of my presidency.”
Obama’s comment that the deaths in Libya were “not optimal” has rightfully set off a firestorm of criticism online among conservatives. Not only were the deaths of the four Americans “not optimal” they were completely unnecessary. Had the State Department not ignored additional requests for security, they might still be alive.
Furthermore, how the Obama administration thinks it can “fix” the situation is a mystery. Unless the federal government has attained the power to bring back the dead, it’s unlikely that it can “fix” any of it or “all of it.”
It’s true, as Obama says, that major blunders can occur in such a big government (which is one of the reasons why it should be reduced and size and scope), but rather than write it off as a “screw up” Obama ought to follow Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s lead and take responsibility for the horrifying incident. The American people and the families of those who were killed deserve that much.