Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
A day after the punditocracy effectively declared Willard "Mittens" Romney unfit for the presidency after he imploded his campaign by making false claims over the embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya before all the facts were even known, the fact-checkers are equally unforgiving.
FactCheck.org FactCheck: Romney gets it backward on embassy attacks:
Mitt Romney claims the Obama administration issued an "apology for American values" after U.S. embassies were attacked. Not true. Romney refers to a statement issued before mobs attacked either in Egypt or Libya, and faults U.S. diplomats for failing to condemn actions that hadn't yet happened.
Furthermore, the word "sorry" or "apologize" doesn't appear in the statement. Under the headline, "U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement," the embassy in Cairo said, "Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy."
Romney has falsely accused Obama of "apologizing for America" many times before. The line has been a dependable applause-getter with conservative audiences. But we found no basis for this claim in Obama's previous speeches and remarks. And other fact-checkers [Washington Post] came to similar conclusions [PolitiFact.com].
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Romney got his sequence of events backward.
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Romney was wrong about the statement from the embassy coming in response to the protest. Nor do we see any basis for Romney's claim that the embassy statement was "apologizing for free speech" and "appeared to be an apology for American principles."
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Romney's claims about the administration "apologizing for American values" fits an ongoing theme of his campaign: accusing Obama of beginning his presidency on an "apology tour" in foreign countries. In fact, that meme informed the title of Romney's book "No Apology."
We looked into the Obama speeches that Romney cited as evidence and concluded that nowhere did we see that the president "apologized" for America. In some speeches, Obama was drawing a distinction between his policies and those of his predecessor, George W. Bush. In other instances, Obama appeared to be employing a bit of diplomacy, criticizing past actions of both the U.S. and the host nation, and calling for the two sides to move forward.
Then, as now, Romney's claim of Obama "apologies" falls flat.
Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post, An embassy statement, a tweet, and a major misunderstanding:
We have looked in vain for an “apology” in the Cairo statement, as well as significant differences between that statement and earlier ones. One could criticize the Cairo statement for lacking a meticulous defense of freedom of speech. But that is not the same thing as an apology — especially since the embassy clearly issued the statement long before the protests began.
This all started because some people got the timeline wrong. In the fog of war and protest, it often helps to get the facts straight before you act — or speak.
You really should read the first part of this fact-check wherein Kessler squarely lays the blame for all the misinformation on bad reporting by FAUX News Fraudcasting, in particular the Post's own Neoconservative war monger columnist who is a contributor at FAUX, the craptacular Charles Krauthammer.
The Associated Press (AP) FACT CHECK: Romney misstates facts on attacks:
The gunfire at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, had barely ceased when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney seriously mischaracterized what had happened in a statement accusing President Barack Obama of "disgraceful" handling of violence there and at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
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In fact, neither a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo earlier in the day nor a later statement from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton offered sympathy for attackers. The statement from the Cairo Embassy had condemned anti-Muslim religious incitement before the embassy walls were breached. In her statement, issued minutes before Romney's, Clinton had offered the administration's first response to the violence in Libya, explicitly condemning the attack there and confirming the death of a State Department official.
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It's a theme Romney has hammered against Obama throughout his presidential campaign, including in his campaign book, "No Apology."
But the embassy's condemnation of religious incitement hardly amounted to an apology.
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In Washington, Republican foreign policy veterans called Romney's initial statement premature and rushed, with limited facts and an incomplete understanding of what was happening in Egypt and Libya. Romney's team also was unclear about the timeline of when the Obama administration weighed in.
One Republican official advising Romney's campaign on foreign policy and national security issues painted a picture of a Romney campaign more focused on ensuring Romney's evening statement made it into morning news stories than on waiting for details about what had happened.
PolitiFact.com continues its "WTF?" fact checking in Did the U.S. embassy in Cairo make an apology?, but concludes from three "apology experts" it consulted that it was not an apology.
UPDATE: Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post is back with another fact check on Friday. The Romney campaign’s repeated errors on the Cairo embassy statement:
The continued reference to the embassy statement as “an apology” was clearly an effort by the Romney campaign to fit the statement — written by a career staffer deep in the bowels of the State Department — into the campaign’s narrative that President Obama apologizes for America. But it is too much a leap. In any administration, the statements that count are the ones issued by the political appointees.
Earlier in the week, we hesitated about handing out Pinocchios because not all of the facts had been established. But now it is pretty evident that the Romney campaign misstated the facts on Tuesday, on Wednesday — and then again on Thursday, even after the peculiar circumstances of this embassy statement had been made abundantly clear.