Before the election.

“ – President Barack Obama has described al Qaeda as having been “decimated,” “on the path to defeat” or some other variation at least 32 times since the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, according to White House transcripts.

This comes despite Libyan President Mohamed Yousef El-Magarief, members of Congress, an administration spokesperson, and several press reports suggesting that al Qaeda played a role in the attack.

Recently, on Nov. 1 in Green Bay, Wis., Obama said, “Thanks to sacrifice and service of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over, the war in Afghanistan is winding down, al Qaeda has been decimated, Osama bin Laden is dead.”

Well they’ve apparently revived themselves. Today it was learned that 23 hostages – some American – were killed in a botched Algerian military rescue.

“Twenty-three hostages and 32 militants were killed in the attack on a natural gas plant deep in the Sahara, the Algerian interior ministry said on Saturday, according to news services.

The official also said 107 foreign hostages and 685 Algerian hostages had been released, several news outlets reported.
Earlier, British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said, speaking on information received by the British government, that the hostage crisis had “been brought to an end.”

The militants took over the In Amenas plant on Wednesday, but Algeria’s military launched a rescue attempt on Thursday.
The Algerian Press Service reported that a during a final attack by Algeria’s military, the militants killed seven hostages, whose nationalities were not revealed. All of the remaining militants were reported killed.

At a joint press conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Hammond described the loss of life as “appalling and unacceptable.”

And Obama?

“In a statement Saturday, President Barack Obama said: “The blame for this tragedy rests with the terrorists who carried it out … This attack is another reminder of the threat posed by al Qaeda and other violent extremist groups in North Africa.”