Here’s the only place where the words “act of terror” appear to together in Obama’s Rose Garden announcement of the attack on the US Embassy in Libya (located near end of a lengthy statement):
“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for,” Obama said. “Today we mourn for more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done. But we also know that the lives these Americans led stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers.”
He didn’t call it a terror attack. But he also didn’t say it was the result of a riot over a film. The statement was wordy, but nondescript.
Part of the confusion, however, is that his statement came on the heels of statements made by Sec. Clinton in which she called the event a spontaneous act of violence related to anti-Islam propaganda produced in the US. Both Sec. Clinton and Ambassador Rice insisted the attacks were related to a riot for weeks afterward.
By the time of his speech to the United Nations in mid-September, Obama did blame the attack on the propaganda despite numerous accounts of security lapses, multiple threats and attempted attacks made by terror organizations, and lack of demonstrations outside the Benghazi diplomatic compound the night that Chris Stevens died. In that speech, he did not use those three words at all.
The man responsible for the propaganda has been arrested and held without bail by the US Attorney in Los Angeles for supposed parole violations after his parole should have ended. If the administration was not blaming the attack on the video, it does not seem likely that this man would be in jail.
If the administration wishes to grasp at straws and construe the context in which the words “acts of terror” were used in Obama’s Rose Garden announcement of the attack as labeling that event as a terror attack, it still has to contend with other inconsistent statements, speeches, and behavior that highlight problems in organization from knee-jerk reactions to deceive to holding onto deceptions until mounting evidence makes clinging to them untenable. And this, in itself, is more important than how the President characterized the attack.