Sunday, December 29, 2013

Benghazi Caused by the Video? Wait, That Can't Be Right...

"Admit it, Sec. Clinton, this is a document I'm holding, isn't?!?"

The obsession with the ugly attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, has been a lingering if incoherent narrative bridging the two Obama administrations, and no one pursued it more vigorously than House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa.

The controversy cost Susan Rice her shot at Secretary of State -- though she recovered nicely, getting appointed National Security Advisor -- when she appeared on Meet the Press and indicated the attack was a spontaneous reaction to a crude video that put the prophet Muhammad in a bad light. The problem was that everyone knew it was a well-planned attack by elements of al Qaeda in Lybia, and Ambassador Rice was fully discredited.

Funny thing. It turns out, after a long investigation by the New York Times that the attack was, in part, a spontaneous attack prompted by the video, with an assist from local militias that weren't as friendly toward Americans as they had hoped. What's more, al Qaeda wasn't involved.

I don't need to list all the Republican politicians or the endless list of Fox News anchors, pundits, and correspondents that look pretty stupid after this story has appeared, but they were legion. Of course, they've all emerged in the past few days to apologize, right?

And Fox wasn't alone in the madness. Media Matters for America has released its Misinformer of the Year award for 2013 and it's not a person this time but the entire CBS News division for, among other things, its brutally botched blockbuster 60 Minutes report on what really happened at Benghazi, botched because none of it was true except that it was Benghazi where none of it really happened. Top-notch journalism!

CBS News was responsible for other breaches of journalistic practice -- read the whole piece -- but none was so embarrassing as the Benghazi fiasco hosted by Lara Logan, war correspondent extraordinaire.

Lara Logan doing her impression of someone apologizing.

Logan remains on leave from the show.

Now that the Times report is out, this little scene from a Senate committee looks pretty unnecessary, don't you think?

In all fairness to CBS News, Fox News spent months saying Benghazi Benghazi!!! at the top of their voices. Here author Tom Ricks puts them in their place:

Ouch! Can we move on now?

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