AP ‘Facts Checks’ Romney With Zero Facts – Sweetness & Light
From the increasingly brazen liars at the Associated Press:
FACT CHECK: Romney misstates facts on attacks
By KASIE HUNT | Thursday Sept 13, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) – The gunfire at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, had barely ceased when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney seriously mischaracterized what had happened in a statement accusing President Barack Obama of “disgraceful” handling of violence there and at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
You will note that this article does not cite a single fact that was misstated. But this is what passes for fact checking from today’s journalists.
“The Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks,” Romney said in a statement first emailed to reporters at 10:09 p.m. Eastern time, under the condition it not be published until midnight.
In fact, neither a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo earlier in the day nor a later statement from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton offered sympathy for attackers.
This is simply a lie. Both offered sympathy for the attackers’ point of view:
The statement from the Cairo Embassy had condemned anti-Muslim religious incitement before the embassy walls were breached. In her statement, issued minutes before Romney’s, Clinton had offered the administration’s first response to the violence in Libya, explicitly condemning the attack there and confirming the death of a State Department official.
“I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today,” Clinton said in a written statement received by The Associated Press at 10:08 p.m…
Again, look at Hillary’s tweets above. Her tweets above are dated 10:54 and 10:55 pm. So Mrs. Clinton was still deploring free speech even after she had condemned the attacks.
Early Tuesday morning, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo got word that demonstrators, angry about an anti-Islamic film produced in the U.S., were gathering in the streets. It issued a safety warning to Americans: Stay out of the streets.
So the embassy knew that attacks were possible and even imminent. So why weren’t they better prepared?
As the situation became increasingly tense- but while the crowd was still peaceful – the U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a statement condemning what it called “religious incitement” as it worked to calm the tensions.
“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions,” the embassy said at 6:18 a.m. EDT, shortly after noon Cairo time.
And this is what as known as appeasement. Which is what Mr. Romney was criticizing.
That’s the statement that Romney referred to as the administration’s “first response.” By Wednesday morning, the Republican nominee was at a podium in Jacksonville, Fla., saying that statement “appeared to be an apology for American principles.”…
But the embassy’s condemnation of religious incitement hardly amounted to an apology.
That’s right. It was worse than apology. It condemned Americans’ right to free speech.
Romney also said Wednesday that the Cairo Embassy “put out a statement after their grounds had been breached. Protesters were inside the grounds. They reiterated that statement after the breach.”
Not quite. Almost five hours after the Cairo Embassy issued its statement – at about 11:15 a.m. EDT – Associated Press images show protesters atop the Cairo Embassy’s walls. At about 11:33 a.m. EDT, the American flag there had come down.
The embassy did use its Twitter account to say, at about 8 p.m. EDT, that “this morning’s condemnation… still stands.” The tweet was later deleted.
So Romney was factually correct. Again. And the AP is misleading its readers. Again.
The Obama administration later backed away from the embassy’s statement entirely. “That statement was not coordinated with Washington. It was taken down,” a senior administration official said…
Then how come the Secretary Of State tweeted almost exactly the same thing?
Just minutes before Obama appeared in the Rose Garden [Wednesday morning], Romney spoke to reporters at a hastily arranged news conference at his Jacksonville campaign office, walking to the podium at about 10:15 a.m. What was supposed to be a small rally was abruptly turned into a statement of condolence for the deaths in Libya – and a doubling down on the previous night’s criticism of Obama.
Romney was pressed about whether he would have made his Tuesday night statement if he’d had complete information about the situation in Benghazi.
“I’m not going to take hypotheticals about what would have been known what and so forth,” Romney said. “I – we responded last night to the events that happened in Egypt.”
But his statement had referenced both countries, referring to “attacks on our diplomatic missions.”…
What a contortion from the AP. It is clear that Mr. Romney was talking about the press release issued by the US embassy in Cairo. Why is the AP trying to muddy the waters? (That is a rhetorical question.)
One Republican official advising Romney’s campaign on foreign policy and national security issues painted a picture of a Romney campaign more focused on ensuring Romney’s evening statement made it into morning news stories than on waiting for details about what had happened.
This official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering Romney’s campaign, said that as word of violence spread, campaign aides late Tuesday watched tweets coming out of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo that were criticizing the filmmaker rather than condemning the attackers, and saw an opportunity to criticize Obama.
It wasn’t until Wednesday morning, when the U.S. confirmed the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, that Romney’s team recognized the severity of the situation – and that, the night before, it had opened itself up to criticism for politicizing a diplomatic crisis.
Notice that these last three paragraphs are based on an anonymous Republican official who could not wait to tell the AP what opportunistic and craven creatures the Romney campaign is. That is, if this source even exists outside the imagination of the AP.
But whatever it is, it is not a fact. And it has nothing to do with a ‘fact check’ in any sense of the phrase.
But our news media has perverted ‘fact check’ to mean ‘a truly brazen collection of lies that we hope to foist on the low information voter.’
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