White House Downplays Link Between Libya Attack, 9/11 Anniversary

September 19, 2012 - 8:57 AM
Jay carney

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday downplayed the fact that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya happened on the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on the U.S.

Carney said the evidence points to an American-made, anti-Muslim film as the cause of the Benghazi attack, adding, “There are certainly groups that carry those weapons and look to take advantage of circumstances, as there are around the region and the world.”

The attack in Benghazi left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

A Sept. 10 White House press release said the administration had “taken steps to protect Americans” at home and abroad.

Ed Henry of Fox News asked Carney on Tuesday, “Obviously, with four Americans tragically being killed, the steps were not good enough. So is there an inquiry going on here to figure out what went wrong?”

Carney responded, “Well, I think that you’re conveniently conflating two things, which is the anniversary of 9/11 and the incidents that took place, which are under investigation… and the cause and motivation behind them will be decided by that investigation.”

Carney noted that security measures – “both seen and unseen” -- are taken in advance “when it is judged that there might be greater threats.”

Carney continued: “What we have seen is broad unrest across the region and elsewhere in response to this video, which we have made clear we view as reprehensible and disgusting, and a video that is in no way connected to the United States government and does not reflect the values that we hold as a people.”

Henry asked, “Do you think the video led protesters to get rocket-propelled grenades?”

Carney answered in the affirmative.

“What I know, Ed, and I know you know, is that Libya, as I just said, is a very volatile place that has just gone through a revolution and a war, and where there is an abundance of weapons, including heaving weapons,” Carney said. “And there are certainly groups that carry those weapons and look to take advantage of circumstances, as there are around the region and the world.

“We have seen circumstances in the past, in other parts of the region, where incidents that inflame opinion are taken advantage of and exploited by groups that have an interest in creating chaos and destabilizing either a local government or attacking the West or the United States,” Carney said. “And that’s something we’ve seen certainly for the past number of years.”