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Note to AP: Don't Be Dupes


It's seems like old news now after the beating and almost universal condemnation Romney has received for his actions. But just to review: Romney came out late Tuesday evening with a scathing press release accusing the administration of offering sympathy to the attacks as its initial response to the attacks on US diplomatic compounds in Egypt and Libya. Of course, the statement referenced was issued by the Cairo Embassy before the attacks started. So the whole thing was a falsehood from the git-go -- not even getting into the preposterous claim that the embassy's press release constituted an apology.

From the AP ...

With limited intelligence information, Romney struggled this week to respond in real time to a violent clash in Libya that left four Americans dead, including an ambassador. Before the deaths were confirmed, Romney mischaracterized the incident in his initial statement and accused President Barack Obama of a "disgraceful" handling of violence. [emphasis added]

I don't know if this is the line the Romney camp is feeding the AP or whether they came up with it on their own. But it is sadly mistaken in either case.

The story goes on to say that ....

Romney has been relying on his foreign policy advisers and published news reports to inform his positions on world affairs.

No one needed a security briefing to know what had happened here. All the contemporaneous press reports (some noted here), which preceded Romney's statement, noted that the statement came before the attacks.

Initial press reports can turn out to be wrong, of course. But you can't claim that you were misinformed by press reports that didn't exist. The only place you could hear this was in some slapdash conflations on right wing blogs where the order of events was either ignored or purposely inverted.

The 'fog of war' refers to the chaotic, disordered and frequently unreliable nature of information emerging from a battlefield, which often leads to errors. Conjuring facts out of whole cloth because they're convenient or helpful is not the same thing. It's just lying. Which doesn't need a battlefield. It happens everywhere.