Accuracy in Media

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, gave President Obama four Pinocchio’s for once again claiming that, from the beginning, he called the attack on the American consulate in Libya last year an act of terrorism.

obama unhappyThe day after it happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.”

— President Obama, May 13, 2013

Here is what the President said immediately after the attack, according to Kessler:

“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.”

— Obama, Rose Garden, Sept. 12

“We want to send a message all around the world — anybody who would do us harm: No act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world, and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the United States of America.”

— Obama, campaign event in Las Vegas, Sept. 13

“I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world. No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America.”

— Obama, campaign event in Golden, Colo., Sept. 13

“Act of  terror,  “act of violence,” but no “act of terrorism.” as he has claimed he has been saying all along.

Kessler points out that in an interview on September 12 with Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes,” Obama admitted to purposely avoiding using the word “terrorism” when speaking about the Libya attack.

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.”

OBAMA: “Right.”

KROFT: “Do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?”

OBAMA: “Well, it’s too early to know 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.”

Obama also avoided the use of the word on subsequent appearances on Univision and “The View,” according to Kessler.

Kessler said that this past Monday’s statement by Obama was the first time that the President referred to Benghazi as an “act of terrorism,” that he could find leading to his four Pinocchio rating.

But the president’s claim that he said “act of terrorism” is taking revisionist history too far, given that he repeatedly refused to commit to that phrase when asked directly by reporters in the weeks after the attack. He appears to have gone out of his way to avoid saying it was a terrorist attack, so he has little standing to make that claim now.

As we have all learned, telling the truth is not one of Obama’s greatest virtues.

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