I thought in light of today’s hearing before House Intelligence Committee, I would go back and look at the ‘video/protest v. terrorism’ issue. Note that President Obama mentioned the video even after the Letterman appearance notes below: (Sept. 20, 2012 on Univision, Sept 25, 2012 on THE VIEW, and before the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, 2012.)
September 18 , 2012 – Obama on David Letterman
Letterman asked Obama specifically about the Benghazi attack, and the president responded by bringing up the video. Here’s the exchange:
LETTERMAN: Now, I don’t understand, um, the ambassador to Libya killed in an attack on the consulate in Benghazi. Is this an act of war? Are we at war now? What happens here?
OBAMA: Here’s what happened. … You had a video that was released by somebody who lives here, sort of a shadowy character who — who made an extremely offensive video directed at — at Mohammed and Islam –
LETTERMAN: Making fun of the Prophet Mohammed.
OBAMA: Making fun of the Prophet Mohammed. And so, this caused great offense in much of the Muslim world. But what also happened, extremists and terrorists used this as an excuse to attack a variety of our embassies, including the one, the consulate in Libya.
A bit later in his answer, Obama referenced the video again as the proximate cause for the attack in Benghazi. “As offensive as this video was — and obviously, we denounced it, the United States government had nothing to do with it — that’s never an excuse for violence,” he said.