In the second presidential debate this past week, one of the pivotal moments occurred when Mitt Romney suggested that Barack Obama took two weeks before labeling the murders of four Americans in Libya as terrorism. Obama refuted that suggesting by stating that he had stated that they were an 'act of terror' during a brief speech in the White House Rose Garden on the day after the killings.
This is an excerpt of what Obama actually said that day:
Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe. 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. Today we mourn four 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.
So according to Obama, referring to 'acts of terror' is the equivalent of saying that these killings were terroristic acts. This assertion has also been made by W.H. Press Secretary Jay Carney, campaign surrogate David Axelrod and even the moderator of the debate, Candy Crowley - who decided to give up her role as moderator and become a fact-checker against Romney right in the middle of the debate.
What is interesting about Obama's statement, though, is in wondering about how he would interpret similar types of statements. For example, right now in the middle of the swing state of Florida there is an attraction at the Disney World amusement park called the 'Tower of Terror'. So based on Obama's semantic use of the term 'of terror', would he believe that this 'Tower of Terror' represents a 'terroristic tower' that is potentially dangerous to those who experience it? And if so, then should he not be fulfilling his presidential duty of protecting Americans by warning people not to go Disney World (like he did when he suggested that people should stop traveling to another swing state - Nevada)?
Just something to ponder...