The administration is still waffling on whether or not the anti-Muhammad film had a hand in the attack on the Benghazi consulate. They're already on record as having referred to the video as 'disgusting' and 'reprehensible', regardless of whether they settle on the video's ability to incite riots and murderous attacks. Therefore, regardless of whether Barack, Hillary, et. al. finally and conclusively decide that the attack was planned and coordinated, they still must believe that a movie could theoretically cause such an attack. Here we are more than a month later and they're still not sure.
Enter National Geographic, which is apparently being inundated with threats because of a film being distributed by major Obama supporter Harvey Weinstein, that is set to air on that channel two days before the election.
Via New York Post:
The National Geographic Channel has beefed up security at its Washington headquarters after being “bombarded” by threats over its upcoming film, “SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden,” a source said yesterday.This is quite the conundrum for the administration. If violence follows the airing of the Osama movie, will said movie also be 'reprehensible' and 'disgusting'? Will the onus then be placed squarely on the rioters? If yes, then such an onus should be placed squarely on the attackers in Benghazi and the administration should stop waffling.
The movie has prompted enough threats from what one source called “Muslim extremist groups” that the network felt it had to take the action.
“They have been bombarded with phone calls and blog posts, saying that anyone airing a film like this is asking for trouble,” the source added.
“Enough threats have come in that the network is on higher security alert. They have a huge public building, with a museum and 1,600 people working.”
The network was already receiving sharp criticism for its decision to debut the feature-length TV movie Nov. 4, two days before the presidential election. Critics charged the timing was calculated to boost President Obama’s campaign.
The Daily Mail adds this:
A spokesperson for National Geographic told the Post that the channel will air the film 'no matter what,' adding, 'we are big believers in the First Amendment.'So, the cable channel that is airing the pro-Obama / anti-Osama film two days before the election, which is being distributed a huge Obama donor, is citing its first amendment right to air the movie, regardless of whom it offends. Presumably, so is Weinstein. In this case, threats are preceding the airing of the movie. If we are to believe the Obama administration when it comes to Benghazi, either it didn't know about any such threats to attack over Innocence of Muslims or it ignored them.
The movie will be available on Netflix streaming 24 hours after its TV premiere.
Nat Geo CEO David Lyle insists that the timing of the pro-Obama / anti-Osama film has nothing to do with politics, despite Weinstein's status as a huge Obama donor.
Concerns on the right are not about whether Weinstein or Nat Geo has the first amendment right to distribute / air the film. They do. The concerns are about politicizing an event that could have national security implications. SEAL Team Six prefers needs to operate under the radar for a reason.
Responsibility for any riots or violence that takes place will fall solely on the perpetrators but for the Obama administration to be consistent, it will have to waffle on such a conclusion.
That said, any attempt by the administration to assert that the U.S. Government had nothing to do with this film will be a much tougher sell given the content, the timing, and relationship of the distributor to the President.