The reality behind the attack on American outposts in Libya is murkier and more complex than initially believed, but months of investigation turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda had any role in the assault.The hearty among us, or bloggers wanting to comment on it, will read the whole thing, only to find no mention of people on the ground in Libya who've testified before Congress, such as Greg Hicks. His testimony was in fact part of the what the Times is refuting in their story. Their newfound "reality" is that the video clip was a factor after all, something which can only help certain favorites. Gotta love how they pretend to set the record straight once and for all, shut up.
So, does it matter that their newly announced reality was largely gathered by talking to taxi drivers and street vendors with the occasional jihadi leader thrown in (who of course would never lie)? Does it matter that they mentioned, then discounted the Ambassador's own diary, found by CNN, which stated his fears over being on AQ 'hit lists'? Does it matter that jihadists had already hit the embassy months prior to the "Innocence of Muslims" clip being shown on Egyptian TV? Does it matter that Fox has already pushed back with a piece of their own, countering most of the fantasy contained in the new reality?
Not a whit.
This is about building an immunizing wall around Rice and Clinton to keep out the GOP Benghazi hoards by rebranding Benghazi as just another wild conspiracy theory. Rice herself was already featured on 60 Minutes just a few weeks ago, wherein she was asked about Benghazi and called it a "false controversy".
This is the same 60 Minutes who ran Lara Logan's piece then later pseudo-fired her due to a questionable source--questionable based on anonymous sources in the federal government who never released the FBI 302 forms to back up their claims. Meanwhile, CBS memory-holed an entire interview segment, which also included Lt Col Andy Wood, whose testimony suggested the administration was warned about attacks from jihadists well beforehand:
Andy Wood: I made it known in a country team meeting, "You are gonna get attacked. You are gonna get attacked in Benghazi. It's gonna happen. You need to change your security profile."
Lara Logan: Shut down--
Andy Wood: Shut down--
Lara Logan: --the special mission--
Andy Wood: --"Shut down operations. Move out temporarily. Ch-- or change locations within the city. Do something to break up the profile because you are being targeted. They are-- they are-- they are watching you. The attack cycle is such that they're in the final planning stages."The Times may counter that his comments above line up with their story insofar as the jihadists were warning the State Department as well (which begs a question of why CBS spiked them) but Wood did not equivocate about the nature of the enemy, even mentioning Abu Anas al-Liby (as core as one can be--wonder what our HIG team learned about Benghazi from him). So contrary to the Times view these were not just locals riled up by a video, they had an 'attack cycle' and some foreign backing, which lines up with Stevens' own fears. Yet Wood's testimony on the show has been thrown into the same trash heap as the presumed lies from Davies, never to be seen again.
Hey, this ain't rocket science. There is no bigger cause for concern on this for Media Matters. David Brock will be slinging poo on this til the votes of the last dead voters are counted--they know how serious this is.
It remains to be seen whether another Candy Crowley debate moment will occur in 2016, ie, a leftwing moderator holding up the NY Times article and waving it around on cue from Hillary or Rice when the GOP candidate brings up the subject (depending on the kind of nominee the GOP picks). It sounds unbelievable to think such a stunt would work a second time after four years, but we live in a new reality. If the left can effectively turn Benghazi into a weak GOP conspiracy ("false controversy") akin to birtherism then they've got a decent chance of burying it forever. Yes, that would be craven beyond imagination, but in our new reality, anything is possible.
Following the Times' historical revision nonsense the State Dept showed up today in their press briefing and said why no, we don't consider the Benghazi killers part of 'Core AQ'. So there it is again, the equivocation between AQ and 'core' AQ, which is supposed to be the people in the caves who attacked us on 9/11. In other words, this wasn't the real AQ because the real AQ is decimated. This despite the ties illustrated by Thomas Joscelyn between likely actors in the attack and Ayman al-Zawahiri, a founding member of 'core' AQ.
Clearly the Pajama Boys in the White House strategy room are using this sillyass distinction not for national security reasons, but to protect the 'we got bin Laden' legacy while maintaining the 'AQ on the run' narrative while trying to keep Hillary in play by tacitly supporting the New York Times. It means nothing as it relates to the Global War on Terrorism, but the Pajama Boys know that the Times and State are authoritative sources and will be used as benchmarks to knock down any GOP 'phony scandals' or 'false controversies'.