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CBS releases more video from 9/12 interview with President Obama: 'Too early to tell' if Benghazi a terrorist attack

By Doug Powers  •  November 5, 2012 02:48 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

During the CNN presidential debate, President Obama claimed in his Rose Garden remarks the day after Benghazi that he referred to the attack as terrorism. Mitt Romney begged to differ, which was when moderator Candy Crowley, in one of the more glaring examples of instinctive mainstream media chivalry in recent memory, jumped in and performed an ill-advised on-the-spot fact check backing up Obama’s side of the story.

After that debate, CBS released part of an Obama interview with 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft that wasn’t originally aired. The clip was recorded on 9/12, after Obama’s Rose Garden remarks. That clip seemed to more or less back up what Obama said during the debate. However, CBS had failed to include the first part of the unaired segment leading into the clip they released. CBS has finally released that portion, and I can understand why they waited so long — because it validates what Mitt Romney said at the debate:

KROFT: Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word terrorism in connection with the Libya Attack, do you believe that this was a terrorism attack?

OBAMA: Well it’s too early to tell exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.

Why wasn’t Obama’s answer “I did refer to it as a terrorist attack, Steve… check the transcript”? A little help here please, Candy!

Fox News’ Bret Baier has a more extensive analysis of all this here. He concludes with a few questions:

Why did CBS release a clip that appeared to back up Obama’s claim in the second debate on Oct. 19, a few days before the foreign policy debate, and not release the rest of that interview at the beginning?

Why on the Sunday before the election, almost six weeks after the attack, at 6 p.m. does an obscure online timeline posted on CBS.com contain the additional “60 Minutes” interview material from Sept. 12?

Why wasn’t it news after the president said what he said in the second debate, knowing what they had in that “60 Minutes” tape — why didn’t they use it then? And why is it taking Fox News to spur other media organizations to take the Benghazi story seriously?

Whatever your politics, there are a lot of loose ends here, a lot of unanswered questions and a lot of strange political maneuvers that don’t add up.

That’s what reporters should live for, but this time they’re not. We will.

Which leads us to the cartoon of the day.

(h/t Ace of Spades)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Categories: 2012 Campaign, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Media