Defense & National Security

Benghazi lives

Benghazi lives

Here’s NBC News explaining why the media of course thinks bridge lane closings in New Jersey are a thousand times more interesting than four dead Americans in Benghazi, and the continued unraveling of the Administration’s endless lies about it:

As NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reported on “Nightly News” last night, “The Senate Intelligence Committee has categorically blamed the State Department for ignoring multiple warnings and failing to provide adequate security.” And here’s the New York Times headline: “Benghazi Attack Called Avoidable in Senate Report.” But there are some significant differences between the two stories as far as political implications go for the two potential candidates in question.

First, Benghazi has been litigated for almost a year and a half (in the 2012 election, in independent reports, at congressional hearings), while the bridge story is really just a week old. And what the Senate Intelligence Report found is pretty much what we thought we already knew — the State Department didn’t provide enough security, there was no advance knowledge of an imminent attack, and the U.S. military was not in position to respond in enough time.  But what this report didn’t find: evidence of a cover-up and more importantly for Clinton, evidence that she directed one.

A second difference is that Hillary Clinton has 20 years on the national stage (including a thoroughly litigated presidential bid in ’08) to balance out a bad story, while Christie is still making his first impression on the national stage. And of course, a third difference is that no Democrats believe the worst about Hillary (and might try to take advantage of it) when it comes to Benghazi, while the same isn’t true for Christie. Plenty of Republicans, particularly conservatives who were never enamored with Christie in the first place, do believe the worst about Christie and the bridge.

That’s an interesting mixture of gobbledygook and brutal honesty.  Much of it boils down to the authors admitting that the media has a childlike attention span, and really wants to cover shiny new stories, even when there are relevant developments in old ones.  In this case, Benghazi became “old news” about 24 hours after it happened, because Team Obama told his pals in the media it was an old story, and they vigorously agreed.

One of the people who wrote this NBC editorial is Chuck Todd, who last weekend remarked there didn’t seem to be any bad news about ObamaCare any more, even as major mainstream-media stories about the program’s failures were detonating around him like hydrogen bombs.  Hear no evil, see no evil, report no evil, ask why nobody’s talking about the evil any more.

It’s also amusing that NBC thinks its readers will believe Benghazi ever had anything remotely close to the intensity or tenor of the coverage afforded to Bridgegate.  Benghazi was never a 24-hour carnival of skepticism, in which everything the Administration said was treated as dubious and investigated like crazy.  Reporters were not floating theories about how the climate of falsehood and negligence created by the leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was worthy of condemnation, even if no documentation proving they directly ordered the cover-up could be found, the way they have grown obsessed with the “climate” of the Christie administration.  Evidently only Republicans can be held accountable for producing the nasty partisan emissions that lead to such climate change.

The media still isn’t interested in asking about the most closely guarded secret in the world, the activities of Barack Obama on the night of September 11, 2012.  You would think an inquisitive media would push hard to uncover that information, and make a big deal about the stubborn refusal of the White House to provide it.  But no, they’re quite happy to be blown off, because they very obviously don’t want to know the answer.  Imagine how they’d react if Chris Christie brusquely refused to discuss what he was doing while the bridge scandal unfolded.

Benghazi might have been “litigated for almost a year and half,” but I would remind the chronically news-ignorant Mr. Todd and his associates that absolutely no one has been held accountable for it, ever.  The sum total of housecleaning – which is not a matter of partisan score-settling, but a matter of improving the relevant agencies and preventing future abuse – was four State Department nobodies temporarily placed on administrative leave.  In contrast, Governor Christie identified and terminated responsible parties in the bridge scandal almost immediately.  If Benghazi is still being “litigated,” maybe that’s because there hasn’t been a verdict yet, the accused rarely bother to show up for the trial, and they don’t tell the truth when they do appear.

How on Earth could any sensible, informed person claim that Hillary Clinton’s 20-year career somehow balances out Benghazi?  On the contrary, her career is filled with evasions, the destruction of documents, cover-ups, and abuses of authority.  Her tenure at the State Department produced precious little in the way of actual achievements, but a jaw-dropping number of concealed scandals.  She’s spent a lifetime studying the dark art of finger-pointing, and her kung fu skills were fully in evidence when she blamed that YouTube video for the Benghazi attack and vowed to take down the video maker, right into the faces of the slain Americans’ grieving families.  And the latest Benghazi revelations prove beyond all doubt that she knew she was lying when she said that.  All of which is very, very, very relevant information for voters to consider when the 2016 election rolls around.

That seems far more newsworthy than the New Jersey story, which the media is already laboring mightily to keep on life support.  They’re furiously digging to find something, anything, they can cite as a new development to keep Christie on the front pages, while ignoring real news coming out of these declassified Benghazi reports.  And there is real news here, despite the NBC team’s breezy dismissal.  There might not have been “knowledge of an imminent attack,” but Clinton and Obama’s refusal to take even the most minimal precautions is more astounding than ever, because our knowledge of how dangerous Benghazi was on 9/11/12 is more acute than ever before.

We now know there was never anyone in the military or intelligence communities who thought the attack was a protest spun out of control.  The media recently tried to help Hillary Clinton out by creating a cloud of disinformation around the events that night, claiming there was also unrest over the “Innocence of Muslims” video in Libya, so maybe it was kinda-sorta understandable that Team Obama thought it was relevant.  Nonsense – the Senate Intelligence Committee report makes it clear there was no “protest” near the Benghazi consulate at all.  

The New York Times’ bizarre in-kind contribution to Hillary 2016 also lies in ruins this week, as contrary to the paper’s false and misleading assertions, the Senate report makes it clear that al-Qaeda members played key roles in planning the attack.  Fox News has another report that Chuck Todd had better get busy ignoring, if he wants to keep his “no news on Benghazi” talking point alive:

The former Guantanamo detainee Sufian bin Qumu, first identified by Fox’s Bret Baier as a suspect 16 months ago, at the very least helped lay the groundwork for the operation.

“Certainly Qumu was involved in planning in this…he is a member of a group that is affiliated with Al Qaeda so in my mind that makes him Al Qaeda,” said Chambliss, R-Ga.

The report, which took 16 months to complete, has teeth because the findings were agreed to by both Republican and Democrats on the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee.

It concludes that the Benghazi attackers came from two official Al Qaeda affiliates, bin Qumu’s Ansar al-Sharia, and a fourth group, the Jamal network, whose leader is connected to the Al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan.

“Individuals affiliated with terrorist groups including AQIM, Ansar al-Sharia, AQAP and the Mohammad Jamal Network participated in the September 11, 2012 attacks,” the report said.

Wouldn’t you say it’s pretty big news that a major media organization’s attempt to confuse voters about an important story lies in ruins?

The State Department had a meeting about al-Qaeda training camps in the Benghazi area, and the vulnerability of the consulate to terrorist attack, fully one month before the assault took place.  State fought like wildcats to keep the details of that meeting away from the Senate committee, and somehow Obama and his minions forgot to mention it when they were busy spreading their disgusting “spontaneous video protest” lie in a successful bid to keep the President’s re-election campaign going.

Ranking Senate Intelligence Committee Republican Saxby Chambliss gives us an idea of why Benghazi is still being “litigated” a year and a half later:

Chambliss said that was part of a pattern – in which the State Department continues to block access to witnesses and documents. He said the committee also wanted to know whether a White House meeting on the day of the assault – believed to include then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta,Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the vice president and, briefly, President Obama – set the marching orders for explaining the attack.

“We’d been stonewalled on that question.  We’ve asked time and again who was in the meeting and what was the substance of that meeting and we have not gotten answers on that,” Chambliss said.

And now Obama’s court media happily informs us that the stonewall tactics worked great!  They’re really tired of talking about the story they never bothered to investigate, and the cover-up they didn’t trouble themselves to complain about.  Maybe they’ll rouse themselves again if someone can produce a hand-written, signed letter from Hillary Clinton personally ordering an illegal operation, but only if there’s a lock of her hair Scotch-taped to the letter, to provide corroborating DNA evidence that she really wrote it.

As for NBC’s point about how “the U.S. military was not in position to respond in enough time,” that’s not quite what the Senate report says.  It remains a point of great interest that absolutely no contingency plans were made to rescue a U.S. ambassador sent into a terrorist hot zone on the anniversary of 9/11 – a failure so huge the media pretends they can’t see it – but Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) of the House Oversight Committee made a very interesting point about possible rescue operations while talking with radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday.  Obama apologists tell us there was no mid-air refueling capability available to support air cover for the embattled Ambassador, but in fact there were refueling resources that could have been tapped, especially if the tiniest bit of foresight had been exercised.  (Hat tip to Yid With Lid for the transcript.)

Hugh Hewitt: And I am curious especially, Mr. Chairman, about finding number 7 – There was no U.S. military resources in position to intervene in short order in Benghazi to help defend the temporary mission facility and its annex. But then it goes on to quote Major General Darryl Roberson as saying the Strike Eagles that were loaded at Djibouti, it would have taken them the distance of Washington to L.A., but it doesn’t say they couldn’t have gotten there by the time the second battle was over.

Rep. Issa: Well, you’re exactly right that he, they were not launched. And of course the question isn’t could they have gotten there in time, because at the beginning of this, no one knew how long it was going to last. For those of us young enough or old enough to remember that famous scene from Top Gun where he’s on his way in and he says I’ll be there in two minutes, and he says well, this firefight will be over by then. Well, you don’t know that. You don’t know how long one is going to go on. It went on eight and a half hours. The truth is they didn’t know.

The only launch that occurred was that Marines were prepped to come in to represent backup security in Tripoli. They took 23 and a half hours to get in, because they weren’t provided military lift. And eventually, the lift they got was C-130s that had come down, I believe, from England.

But Hugh, I want you to understand that this statement may be technically true, but let me tell you what isn’t in there. We have three allies in the region that are supplied with KC-135s. We sustain the fleet by us at no cost to them. That’s Egypt, Turkey and Israel. Israel has, I believe, seven KC-135s, and as you know, the Israelis are always available in a matter of minutes. They’re always aware that their attackers doesn’t give them any standoff. So the real question is if you know you have refuelers that could take care of our F-16s and make them able to get in from Italy, did you call Bibi Netanyahu? And the answer is no. So did you do everything you could do with our allies to attempt to prepare a relief effort of some sort? The answer is no. And that’s not in the report.

Issa had this to say about the critical tone of the Senate report:

It makes it very clear that assets that should have been put on high alert for September 11th weren’t. It makes it clear that it wasn’t an intelligence failure that the recognition of the threat of al Qaeda and al Qaeda-sympathizing organizations in the region was there. It makes it very clear that the State Department and DOD didn’t do their jobs. And I think that’s all you really could do from an intelligence standpoint, is make it clear that assets were not where they should have been based on threat assessment that was properly provided, and I think that’s the message coming out of Senate Intelligence is, and particularly, the recognition is that had the Ambassador been given the kinds of assets that he asked for, the attack may well never have occurred.

That’s the exact opposite of the story Obama and his media courtiers presented to the American people.  Instead of fussing endlessly over Chris Christie, isn’t it time for the media to apologize for their dereliction of duty, their willingness to be duped by a President they desperately wanted to re-elect, and offered us some proof that they won’t repeat the same behavior when they’re trying to elect Hillary Clinton to succeed him?  The Benghazi story is alive for as long as anyone involved with that outrageous dereliction of duty has a career that brings them anywhere near Washington.

 

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