By Andrew Johnson, The National Review
In his first television interview since being released, the filmmaker who produced the YouTube video blamed for inciting the 9/11 attacks in Benghazi urged the Obama administration to be more careful in its assessments in the future. He was released from a Texas jail last week after serving an eleven-month sentence and is currently living in a halfway house, where he said the government is currently “hiding” him.
“Before you do anything, please give yourself time to think about it,” Nakoula Basseley Nakoula advised the administration on Tuesday in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Nakoula said he was “shocked” when he first heard reports that his film had triggered riots, but added that he does not blame the president for alleging that his film incited protests outside of the American diplomatic facility in Benghazi that preceded the attack on the building and the murders of four Americans. “We need to make [a separation] between the president and the administration,” he said. When asked if held a grudge against former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, however, or whether the administration’s claims, now widely debunked, put his life in danger, Nakoula declined to comment.
Just days after last year’s September 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, Nakoula was arrested and charged with a parole violation for a bank-fraud conviction. President Obama, Clinton, and then–U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice blamed Nakoula’s film for the attack.