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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777
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Crowley’s Interference Saved Obama From Another Shellacking

Crowley loudly supported President Barack Obama's version of reality, and contradicted Governor Mitt Romney's recollection of Obama's post-Benghazi comments.

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Candy Crowley, the moderator of the presidential debate at Hofstra University on October 16,  interfered in this U.S. presidential race in a way no one ever has before and – let’s hope – no one ever will again. Crowley loudly validated President Barack Obama’s version of reality – and contradicted Governor Mitt Romney’s recollection of actual reality – regarding what the president said in the Rose Garden about what happened in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2011.

During the debate President Obama said he called the murder of four Americans an act of terrorism.  Romney said he didn’t.  Crowley said he did.  And Crowley told them they had to move along.

And then the debate did, in fact, move on. And the one opportunity during this debate that voters had to understand what Obama knew, when did he know it, and what did he call it, was lost.

So what did the President say to the American people about the tragedy in Benghazi when he spoke to them from the Rose Garden on September 12?

Obama referred to the violence that killed our compatriots as “an attack.”  He said it three times, “an attack,” and then he referred elliptically – but unmistakably –  to a movie that “denigrated” the religion of Islam, as the cause of that attack.  Four paragraphs into his address, the President said,

Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.  We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.  None.  The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

The words “terrorist acts” were not mentioned until much later, until after the president talked about what happened on “9/11,” the first tragic September 11 in our nation’s history: “Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks.”

Not until the tenth paragraph of a 13 paragraph address did the President say anything about terror.  That was when he said, “no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”

So, the president repeatedly described what happened to Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Dougherty and Tyrone S. Woods as “an attack,” and he clearly and publicly connected the cause of that attack with a movie, The Innocence of Muslims, that enraged some Muslims because they believed it denigrated Islam.

And while the President may have referred to the the murder of Americans in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, as “an act of terror,” his use of the word “terror” was not used to mean terrorism as we have come to understand that term:  as “senseless violence intended to lead to death because of a difference in world view.”   Instead, the President used the term terror, when he finally did, in his address in the Rose Garden on that day because the violence occurred not during a war, and because it was directed against non-combatants.

Is it fair to make that distinction?

That might depend on what you think the meaning of the word “is” is.


Here is the transcript from Obama’s now famous Rose Garden speech:

Remarks by the President on the Deaths of U.S. Embassy Staff in Libya

Rose Garden

10:43 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning.  Every day, all across the world, American diplomats and civilians work tirelessly to advance the interests and values of our nation.  Often, they are away from their families.  Sometimes, they brave great danger.

Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi.  Among those killed was our Ambassador, Chris Stevens, as well as Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith.  We are still notifying the families of the others who were killed.  And today, the American people stand united in holding the families of the four Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers.

The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack.  We’re working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats.  I’ve also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world.  And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.

Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.  We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.  None.  The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

Already, many Libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya.  Libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans.  Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador Stevens’s body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died.

It’s especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a city that he helped to save.  At the height of the Libyan revolution, Chris led our diplomatic post in Benghazi.  With characteristic skill, courage, and resolve, he built partnerships with Libyan revolutionaries, and helped them as they planned to build a new Libya.  When the Qaddafi regime came to an end, Chris was there to serve as our ambassador to the new Libya, and he worked tirelessly to support this young democracy, and I think both Secretary Clinton and I relied deeply on his knowledge of the situation on the ground there.  He was a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.

Along with his colleagues, Chris died in a country that is still striving to emerge from the recent experience of war. Today, the loss of these four Americans is fresh, but our memories of them linger on.  I have no doubt that their legacy will live on through the work that they did far from our shores and in the hearts of those who love them back home.

Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks.  We mourned with the families who were lost on that day.  I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed.  And then last night, we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi.

As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it.  Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.  Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.  We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.  And make no mistake, justice will be done.

But we also know that the lives these Americans led stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers.  These four Americans stood up for freedom and human dignity.  They should give every American great pride in the country that they served, and the hope that our flag represents to people around the globe who also yearn to live in freedom and with dignity.

We grieve with their families, but let us carry on their memory, and let us continue their work of seeking a stronger America and a better world for all of our children.

Thank you.  May God bless the memory of those we lost and may God bless the United States of America.

END   10:48 A.M. EDT

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

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  1. Sisi Ville says:

    She only confirmed that the transcript did indeed corroborate what the President had said. And why does anyone think that the President should name the perpetrators that they are trying to catch before the investigators permit it? He has to protect the security of this country and our officials abroad, and he has high level military investigators to advise him on when and how to reveal such information.

    Furthermore, Romney behaved like an ill mannered brute. The moderator was actually way too nice to Romney. He stood up while the President was talking, interrupted and several times didn't even bother answering the questions he was asked. He was rude. period.

    Even when the President went to shake his hand after the debate he rudely turned away. Why are Jews promoting him anyways? This is a man who PAID to send his kids on missions all over the world so that they could knock on the doors of unbelieving Jews and try to convert them. This is a religion that converts Holocaust victims in creepy proxy conversions. He donates millions to an business aka religion that would rejoice at our extermination. Lovely. I bet if President Obama wasn't black you guys wouldn't be so opposed to him. After all his policies will help the Frum community. Extending health care coverage means that your kids will still have coverage in Yeshiva, universal coverage would be even better. The tax breaks for the wealthy that the GOP wants to extend and the inheritance tax for estates with over 2 million in cash assets would not benefit very many Frum Jews. But, tax breaks for the Middle class would.

    Romney even wants to take away child tax credits. So when you have your 2nd, 3rd,…. 10th child your take home income will not reflect the fact that you have an extra mouth to feed.

    Voting Republican when you are an Orthodox Jew is cutting off your nose to spite your face. Its voting against your own best interests.. And why? Because you are anti-abortion? If you don't like abortion don't have one. Its that easy!

  2. Anonymous says:

    You're an ignoramus. Your entire argument is based on you not bothering to know the facts, or knowing them and willfully lying. And for what purpose? To destroy Israel? Is that your true goal, troll?

  3. Somebody that doesn't respect the office doesn't deserve it. BTW- RMONEY'S sole interest in Israel is Shel Adelson.

  4. and OBAMA WON. what debate was the author watching? how much tea was she drinking?

  5. Lori – When in the transcript of the Rose Garden address President Obama clearly referred to an act of terror, only a journalist with your well documented lack of objectivity would pretend he did not. Act of terror is hardly an "elliptical" phrase. That this of yours is listed as a "news article," rather than an "Opinion Piece," is not elliptical, but it is truly pathetic.

  6. Charlie Hall says:

    Sorry, Lori, you and Mitt screwed up on this one big time. The transcript proves Obama and Crowley right.

    Furthermore, the very next day, the State Department told Congress that the attack appeared planned, and intelligence officials were quoted that it looked like they had an idea who might have planned it:


    The Obama administration can be criticized for its back and forth on this. And both the administraion, and congressional Republicans who tried to cut the State Department security budget, can be faulted for not taking diplomatic security seriously enough. But the idea that it did not immidiately consider that it might be a terrorist attack is probably the most shameless lie of the campaign. And Lori, you have bought into it.

  7. For days the Obama admin blamed riots,saying it was not a pre-planned attack. Spin is on! How about the UN rep, and the speech she gave about the video, rep Rice I believe is her name…

  8. Mark Pelta says:

    Charlie, I continue to be awed by your patience.

  9. Where does he blame Al Quaida in a pre-planned attack? Does mention, refer to video,the disrespect of religious beliefs of others. They saw what was happening in real time video,no riots for video,just terroists on 9-11………

  10. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Charlie – nice effort, just wrong. Obama and Clinton made a video for which our taxpayers spent $70,000, in which they apologized for the ridiculous video in an effort to prevent "further" Muslim violence in Pakistan, following the Benghazi attacks. US Ambassador Susan Rice said the following Sunday, on three different talk shows that it was a "spontaneous" eruption from the anti-Innocence of the Muslims movie that lead to the deaths of Stevens, Smith, Dougherty and Woods. Mitt screwed up, but only in not continuing in the face of Crowley and Obama's efforts to obfuscate the truth. Ambassador Rice and President Obama and the State Department spokespeople continued blaming protests against the movie for the violence for weeks after the tragedy. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-ambassador-susan-rice/2012/10/15/c5a9fe04-16d9-11e2-8792-cf5305eddf60_story.html Check the press conference transcripts, check the reports from the State Department news advisory before the Oversight Committee hearing, and check the documents and the transcripts from the Oversight Committee hearing. What's more, President Obama continued to blame the video for the Benghazi murders in his speech to the UN on Sept. 26th.

  11. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    And, really, Charlie, of course the suggestion is not that the administration did not "immediately consider" that what happened on September 11, 2012 was a terrorist attack is not what is in dispute, what is in dispute is how they publicly characterized it in an effort, at least as Lara Logan put it, to make it seem as though the Arab Spring has brought about positive changes, that we are winning the war in the Middle East, and that we can pull out with our tails wagging behind us because happy days are here again.

  12. Lori, Shame on you. If you are reporting an event tell the truth. Obama di well. Romney was stopped from doing what he did in the first debate, run roughshod over the moderator. Obama did say it was an act of terror. The filmmaker that caused the outrage said it was paid for by a "Wall Street Jew" Why aren't you attacking that attempt to create more hate towards Jews. There is a tendency by some Jewish press to be upset about Obama's less then warm relationship with netanyahu. Could this be behind your rough treatment of Obama. Obama does support Israel, but US foriegn policy must be made in Washington not Jerusalem. Romney was treated the way he was because he broke the rules.

  13. Yori Yanover says:

    Charlie — Even the very article you linked to states the White House narrative: "They died amid a protest outside the U.S. Consulate over a film that ridiculed Muslims and depicted the Prophet Mohammed as a child molester, womanizer and ruthless killer."

    U.S. presidents call every murder a terrorist act. That's no big deal. He did not acknowledge publicly that this was an organized attack rather than angry mob turning murderous. Romney recalled the gist of the Obama message, even if Obama actually used the T word.

  14. Yori Yanover says:

    William A. McLaughlin — Hold your horses a minute. Never mind the makers of the tape — the idea is the tape had NOTHING to do with the murder of the ambassador. Two separate, parallel events.

    Lori (and Romney) are right in arguing that even if the president mentioned the word terror on the first day, it was nevertheless within the context of the angry mob erupting in murder — which is a false narrative. What really happened was a military attack by Al Qaeda to avenge the drone killing of their No.2 man in July.

    Both Crowley and Obama lied about the spirit of what the president said. Presidents call everything an act of terror — he was saying the mob did an act of terror. Reality is — there was no mob.

  15. The infamous film was the cause of protests in many places including Benghazi. The fact that there was a simultaneous terror attack didn't become clear till later on. The initial reaction was that it was a protest that turned violent. It was not clear that it was a premeditated terror attack so what's all the fuss about? The word "terror"? I wonder why so many guys who think they got the truth by the balls are not running for President. You all surely would do a much better job!

  16. And Romney didn't when he shot his mouth off and tried to turn it political The point is Obama said it and Romney lied. Spirit is not an aspect of the argument Truth is.

  17. Yori Yanover says:

    Of course it is. The question is, did the Administration disseminate a false and misleading narrative about the attack in Benghazi, not whether or not it used the word Terror while misleading the public.

  18. Yori Yanover says:

    Wrong again, Michael. There's a world of difference between an act of terror emanating from a mob angry at a You Tube tape, and an act of terror designed to take place on 9/11, with the direct goal of murdering a U.S. ambassador. Obama and Clinton were pushing the former–and it was a lie.

    It's OK, they all lie, but in this case the idea was to pin the total intelligence failure and the collapse of embassy security on a You Tube clip. They got caught red handed and Crowley helped cover it up.

  19. Yori Yanover says:

    Alexander Popivker — Wrong. The final report is that there were NO demonstrators outside the consulate in Benghazi. It was a stealth attack by Al Qaeda, which has its camp 50 miles north-east of Benghazi, near the Egyptian border. The attack had been planned to avenge the drone killing of the Al Qaeda #2 man, and scheduled for 9/11.

  20. Karen Berger says:

    Regardless of the issue, Me, referring to someone as an ignoramus and a troll is not nice. Name-calling is not nice and there is no place for it in civil discourse. As soon as you call someone a name, you've lost the argument.

  21. Wrong again Yori. An act of terror is what it was and an act of terror is what he called it. You seem to forget that Romney didn't believe that Obama said that, and wanted to make a huge deal of it. Unlike you and Lori, he has quietly dropped the point. Please stop shilling for Romney.

  22. This is all FOX News Hogwash. The talking heads guarding the inhabitants of Bullsh*t Mountain from rejoining the world of the sane just won't budge. Fox News is a propaganda machine which dumbs down America by the day through disinformation and their slanted agendas. See their anchors spewing forth feces from their mouths in my visual homage to the network on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-fox-news-scylla-guardian-of-bullsht.html.

  23. Jubba the Hut ciuldn't save him.

  24. Did Fox Noise write this column? So objective Jewish Press! Most admirable……liars in the Jewish world.

  25. Janice Keil Epstein says:

    AGH! Never a fan of THE Jewish Press, just the Omaha Jewish Press.

  26. Jack Chomsky says:

    Wikipedia: The Jewish Press is an American weekly newspaper, geared toward the Orthodox Jewish community. It describes itself as "America's Largest Independent Jewish Weekly." The newspaper has a politically conservative viewpoint and editorial policy."

  27. Patricia Haase I agree. During the days following the attack the situation was confused. The President did mention Terror but He did not make the situation worse by pointing fingers, Yori Yanover The tape was a part of the problem in that it was an insult and inflamed hatreds. and demonstrations. These provided cover for the attack. Romney jumped on it when he attacked the press release in egypt before the attack. the Release state that the film did not represent the US.The US tolerates all religions. Romney called this an apology and capitulating to terrorist. Obama is a friend of Israel but American foreign policy must be made in Washington not Jerusalem or Tehran. Netanyahu is not in charge of our foreign policy.

  28. That's right. Keep excusing Obama. Four years, and nothing, nothing has been his fault. First it was Bush's fault, now it's Romney's fault. It's the YouTube film's fault. It's the Denver altitude's fault. Really, it's like listening to my teenagers argue about why the chores aren't done yet.

    I wouldn't vote for Obama for a host of reasons. But why would you support, let alone vote for a president that can't step up to the challenge of owning the problems he's responsible for? Appoint a commission or something! BE A GOD DAMN PRESIDENT!

  29. Yori Yanover says:

    Michael, do me a favor, honestly — which narrative was promoted by tha Administration, the one about a demonstration evolving into an attack, or what actually happened, a well designed Al Qaeda attack, which U.S. Intelligence failed to foresee and prevent.

    Take your time, look it up, go to all the major news outlet stories during the first 2 weeks after Benghazi and see for yourself.

  30. No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.

  31. "NO ACTS OF TERROR…………………………….."

  32. me, The president that you think is trying to destroy Israel has authorized the largest joint U.S.-Israel military maneuvers, scheduled to begin THIS MONTH! Read this news, in an Israeli paper, and WAKE UP PUTZ! http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4293714,00.html

  33. Lori Lowenthal Marcus, I sure hope no one thinks we're related. Our brains work very differently, and I don't like the way your works.

  34. Margo Portnoy Dinniman says:

    Makes you ashamed to be a Jew.

  35. Romney had every right in a political race to point out the BS Obama was speaking ,in a intense international situation.

  36. and in this case spoke the truth!

  37. Marc Gottlieb Step up. He has stepped up He didn't lie us into a war like Bush did. He didn't let bin Laden escape like Bush did. Gaddafi is gone and he didn't kill American troops doing it. bin Laden is gone. The headquarters of the terrorist organization that killed our ambassador in gone. The Libyans people did it themselves. We did not have send troops in.
    Ask yourself why do you hate Obama? Bush never stepped up to the Challenges he was responsible for. Romney never took responsibility for his actions. Ryan certainly doesn't. So why do you hate Obama? When you can take responsibility for your hate, tell us.

  38. Romney spoke truth,the attack was a preplanned Terrorist attack,not an act of terror by an angry mob over a film made by a coptic egyptian living in the USA,1st reported to be Israelie,and Obama said so for over a week,now spinning it.or should I say now being a liar.

  39. Yori – Tell me this, which candidate for president (hint: he's the older one) tired to make political points about the tragedy before the ambassador's body was cold? And also tell me when you think the administration knew all the facts?

  40. It seems the Obama administration was trying to hide the fact that it really was a terrorist act. Why else would Rice go on five different TV shows in the week following the attack to make the cause for a tape seen by so few people as being the reason for the attack?
    Obama is doing all he can to protect Islam no matter what they do. I wish his motives in regard to Israel were equally as clear.
    I also have to wonder how the constant interruptions by Obama and his left wing pal Crowley as well as Biden's interruptions, laughter and giggling would ever give anyone the idea that the Obama team won on any points in any of the debates.
    Seems Romney and Ryan wanted to address facts and the Obama team wanted to talk about the next four years as if we did not know already that the next four would be as devastating, if not more so, than the last four.
    Obama's reference to 'acts of terror' made in the Rose Garden were collective in term and not at all in regard to the singular act that just took place. I refuse to be fooled by the Obama propagandists.

  41. Shmuel Stephen Rockwerk Did he also speak the truth before the attack when he called the President an apologist for saying We are a nation that tolerates religious differences and spun it later. Obama called the attack an act of terrorism. It is still being investigated. It would be irresponsible to do what Romney did and shoot his mouth blaming everyone before the facts are in. You and others on this posting have a visceral hatred of OBama. Why? Why do you hate him so much? Is it his policy towards Israel or because he won't let Netanyahu and AIPAC set American Foreign Policy? Israel is in a more dangerous position today because ?Bush destroyed its buffer IRAQ. IRq is all but a client state of Iran, so is Syria because of the Iraqi War not because of Obama.

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