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Currently there is a front page article pondering why Romney has been silent on Benghazi, while some aides are pressing for more media coverage. I don't think it has anything to do with Romney getting thumped at the 2nd debate over the acts of terror fact check.

Checking the timeline, the Romney campaign was still working the Benghazi angle immediately after the second debate. But sometime between the second debate and the third debate Romney and Ryan went mute with regards to Benghazi. This is counterintuitive since the third debate was a foreign policy debate and the media presumed that the Benghazi attack would be a major focus of Romney in that debate. We now know that Romney punted on Benghazi during the third debate and has been silent ever since.

So the question is why the sudden shift in the Romney strategy. My guess is that is was this (from the Boston Globe):

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — The Tunisian government has confirmed it has arrested a 28-year-old Tunisian reportedly linked to the U.S. consulate attack in Libya.

Tunisian Interior Ministry spokesman Tarrouch Khaled said Wednesday that Ali Harzi was in custody in Tunis. Khaled tells The Associated Press ‘‘his case is in the hands of justice.’’ He did not elaborate.

In Washington, the State Department had no comment. Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the U.S. has been looking into the arrests of two Tunisian men being detained in Turkey reportedly in connection with attacks on a consulate in Libya last month.

Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died in the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in the Libyan capital of Benghazi on Sept. 11.end of story marker

If you dig deeper, you find that the Tunisian suspect in question was caught last week trying to enter Turkey, by a joint effort led by Turkish, Tunisian and US Intelligence agencies. The suspect was held in Turkey for about a week before he was returned to Tunisia yesterday. I guess we can assume that the suspect was interogated during this past week.

Now last night, we come across this story coming out of Egypt (courtesy of the Guardian):

A Libyan militant suspected by Egypt of involvement in last month's attack on the US consulate in Libya has been killed in a raid by Egyptian security forces in Cairo, according to security officials. The Libyan was killed on Wednesday in a raid that targeted him and other militants with suspected links to al-Qaida in Cairo's eastern district of Nasr City, the official said. Four Egyptian militants were detained in the operation, he added.

The Libyan, identified as Karim Ahmed Essam el-Azizi, was killed by a bomb he had tried to use against the security forces during the raid, the security official said. It was not immediately clear what role Azizi had played in the assault on the US consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on 11 September, in which the ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans were killed.

The security official, who asked not to be named, said Azizi had been living in a rented apartment in Nasr City for the past three months. He said police had found 15 bombs and various weapons, including assault rifles, in the Libyan's flat.

My guess is that the first suspect started talking while being interogated and this is leading to information on the whereabouts of the other attackers.

Now Romney has National Security advisors who have had to been aware of the situation developing with regards to the apprehension of the first suspect in Turkey. Romney's team had to know that if they went out there and blasted the President with regards to Benghazi, they were going to get humiliated again when information regarding the pursuit, apprehension or justice being meted out to the attackers came to light. What we know now is that not only are the attackers being tracked down, the US is receiving significant help from the intelligence and security agencies in Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt. This fact pulls the rug out from beneath Romney also with regards to his attacks regarding the situation in Egypt.

Interestingly enough, the White House has been curiously silent regarding the events occuring in Turkey, Tunsia and Egypt.  I think there is also a possibility of a deal being struck be the Romney and Obama camps agreeing not to politicize Benghazi while the intelligence/security agencies were so hot on the tails of the attackers. If some Romney aides are pestering reporters regarding Benghazi, my guess is that they are low level and don't have the security clearance necessary to be in the know.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A Donald Trump style takedown of Romney (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is on the horizon.

    For Trump's decision to fire actor Busey instead of rock singer Meat Loaf from his TV show earlier this month, Obama quipped: "These are the types of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir."

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 12:07:27 PM PDT

  •  Way to connect the dots (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juca, gfv6800

    would explain mittens backing off of the situation and not even mentioning it at all during the last debate.

    think even mittens is smart enough (maybe not) to know not to bring it up when he knew what was happening (assuming he did) and had he done so, he would have been skewered and rightfully so.

    my money was always on them figuring it out and those who were involved brought to "justice". I am not much for indiscriminate killing but do believe in "an eye for an eye".

    again, great post.

    •  And the reason the Administration isn't... (0+ / 0-)

      ...taking a "victory lap" is that the episode isn't over. The various resources used to bring these handful of attackers/operators might well have turned over a rock that revealed more information and connections.

      The really important thing here is that we have some functional "understanding" with Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya to work long term on this and probably other focused operations. This sort of focused, cooperative action is what we should have been doing immediately after 9/11, and a President Gore would have probably attempted this sort of response instead of Invasion and Occupation of Afghanistan.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 02:41:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now Syria is also involved . (0+ / 0-)

    as well as Iraq.

    Romney originally stumbled into a major ef-up with his premature comments which he supposed were concerning the response to the video.

    This whole exercise by the gop on Benghazi in essence was "cover-fire" for Romney so that he could escape that stupid failure and jiu-jitsu Benghazi into a Rovian victory on foreign policy.


    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 12:12:01 PM PDT

    •  mittens campaign is all about... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      .....creating "gotcha" moments.

      I want the sonovabitch to lose badly just because of that smirk he had on his face when he left the stage the night he held his "press conference".

      personally, I think Colin Powell had much more to say but he was being a gentleman.

  •  It wouldn't surprise me a bit if some of Romney's (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    people didn't pay these terrorists to attack the Embasy and now that at least one person in the plot has lost his fingernails in Turkey, these people have got to be sweating blood.

    Just a thought

    •  No, it's real...somewhat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Actually, far right radicals here paid for the production of the movie, which was intended to create an October surprise.

      There's written evidence of some folks trying to "make Obama into Carter" in October with the film.

      Now, the movie didn't create this radical group. It did, however, create enough smoke th make them a bit more confident that they could have a successful attack.

  •  Very intriguing! (0+ / 0-)

    And I thought Romney went silent because he blew it during the second debate and didn't want to take that chance again. But I was wondering about how the investigation was going, and how it showed Obama was on the trail of the attackers. I think, too, that Romney's team is probably sensitive to the problem of criticizing a sitting President while the nation is under attack. That also blew up in their faces.

  •  I think you're right. They know the intelligence. (0+ / 0-)

    Remember, Romney gets intelligence briefings now.

  •  Maybe, just maybe, (0+ / 0-)

    when Romney brought up Syria he was talking about something he was not supposed to divulge and was told to shut up and sit down or suffer the consequences.

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 01:38:00 PM PDT

  •  Making sense (0+ / 0-)

    Seems like a logical line of thinking.  Romney doesn't need anymore egg on his face over the whole situation.

  •  Liked. TnR (0+ / 0-)

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 03:39:35 PM PDT

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