Mitt Romney has recently made the administration’s response to the attacks in Libya a centerpiece of his campaign. Romney and his campaign allege that the Obama administration “covered-up” the facts about the attacks for their political benefit. Romney’s core message is that: 1. The attacks were linked to al Qaeda, and 2. The attacks had nothing to do with an anti-Muslim video on YouTube. Here’s an excerpt from Romney’s major foreign policy address on October 8:
The attack on our Consulate in Benghazi on September 11th, 2012 was likely the work of forces affiliated with those that attacked our homeland on September 11th, 2001. This latest assault cannot be blamed on a reprehensible video insulting Islam, despite the Administration’s attempts to convince us of that for so long.
A new report this morning from the LA Times casts serious doubt on Romney’s claims:
The assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi last month appears to have been an opportunistic attack rather than a long-planned operation, and intelligence agencies have found no evidence that it was ordered by Al Qaeda, according to U.S. officials and witnesses interviewed in Libya.
…[I]n in Benghazi, witnesses said members of the group that raided the U.S. mission specifically mentioned the video, which denigrated the prophet Muhammad.
This is a problem for Romney, since the final debate will be devoted to foreign policy. Other than Libya and some simpleminded crap about talking tough with China and Iran, all he’s got is a trade deal talking point that’s already been shown to be bullshit. He’s already had one massive, televized flub on Libya, he can’t afford another.
Mitt’s not heading into this debate with any sort of wind at his back.