Just as the White House admit sthe attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya was an act of terrorism and not the spontaneous protest of an anti-Islamic film, it is airing a video announcement in Pakistan which essentially apologizes for the film.
White House press secretary Jay Carney on Thursday for the first time called the Benghazi attack and act of terrorism.
"It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack," Carney said. "Our embassy was attacked violently and the result was four deaths of American officials. That is self-evident."
It wasn’t self-evident to the White House as late as last Sunday, however, when United Nations' Ambassador Susan Rice said on talk shows that the attacks were spontaneous and resulting upset about the film. Here comments contradicted the head of the new Libyan congress, Mohamed al-Magariaf, who said the attack was planned by al Qaida-linked terrorists before the protests began.
Now, the White House is airing a $70,000, 30-second announcement in Pakistan, subtitled in Urdu, showing President Barack Obama saying the U.S. rejects “all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others” and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shown saying, “The United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its content and message.”
A second message featuring clips, drawn from YouTube, of ordinary Americans condemning the film is also being shown in countries around the world, the U.K. Daily Mail reported.
Taken together, the two actions seem to be a contradiction, leaving one to wonder, if the Benghazi attacks were not prompted by a reaction to an anti-Islamic film, then why is the U.S. airing pseudo-apology ads showing its leaders denouncing the film?
The advertisement comes as more protests are planned in Muslim countries across the globe, with a “special day of love” for the Prophet Mohammed on tap in Pakistan.
Pakistani officials are blocking cell phone service in major cities to prevent militants from using phones to detonate bombs, the Daily Mail reported.
Obama on Thursday ducked an opportunity to clear up the confusion about the fast-shifting narrative. At a town hall hosted by the Spanish-language Univision, he declined to get into specifics, and instead explained how offensive videos or drawings have been used in the past "as an excuse by some to carry out inexcusable violent acts" against the U.S., Fox News reported.
Obama said the U.S. was "still doing an investigation" and said he didn't know whether Al Qaeda was involved, Fox News reported. He did not answer the question posed about why security wasn't tighter at diplomatic posts.
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