Americans reject Obama’s explanation for Middle East protests

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

President Obama and his administration say that an anti-Islam video started the recent wave of Middle East protests and embassy assaults, but the American people don’t believe that.

“Most voters think the recent protests at U.S. embassies in the Middle East were pre-planned and not a reaction to an anti-Islamic video on YouTube,” Rasmussen reported today, saying that only 23 percent buy the anti-Islam video theory. Another 57 percent of Americans surveyed think that the protests, which began on the 11th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, were pre-planned.

“This is a fairly volatile situation and it is in response not to United States policy, not to obviously the administration, not to the American people,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters two weeks ago.  “It is in response to a video, a film that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting.  That in no way justifies any violent reaction to it, but this is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy.  This is in response to a video that is offensive to Muslims.”

Carney conceded last week that the deadly attack on the embassy in Libya was carried out by terrorists. “It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack,” he said. “I will simply point you to the testimony of Mr. Olsen and he says based on the information that they have now, and this is an ongoing investigation, their judgement is that it was an opportunistic attack in which elements, including possible elements of al-Qaeda in the Magreb, participated.”

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