Thursday, April 03, 2014


Two major stories yesterday, one superseded by the other.  The Morell Benghazi testimony was set to makes some news, at least on Fox and some AM stations, but once again a Benghazi story about the "talking points" was trumped by a bigger story, this time at Fort Hood.

Just a word on the shooting.  Early reporting indicated multiple shooters, as happens in almost every such event, but later updates clearly pegged Lopez as the proverbial "lone nut".  It was reported he killed himself, and jihadists don't normally kill themselves unless the act will take a whole bunch of innocents with them.  But the early explanation of this self-induced demise was a little perplexing:
He was eventually confronted by a military police officer in a parking lot. He put his hands up but then pulled a gun from under his jacket. “She [the officer] engaged,” Milley said, and then the soldier put the gun to his head and shot himself.
The word 'engaged' was ambiguous as it wasn't at all clear whether she fired.  In the midst of an active shooter it would make little sense for an MP, with gun drawn, to stand there idly and let Lopez go from raised hands to grabbing his weapon and firing, even at himself.  But today that record was corrected:
He declined to identify the MP or the chaplain, but said the military police officer was within 20 feet of Lopez when he put up his hands, and then reached for his gun. "She engaged him with small arms fire at which time the shooter fire a self inflicted gunshot wound," he said. "She did fire her weapon," Milley said at another point.
Which makes more sense.

But it also leaves hanging as to whether she hit him or not.  Not sure it would make a difference since it still looks like Lopez was a lone nut either way, but it might say something about motive and intent.  It certainly might say something about the heroism of the MP's actions.  It does not appear the military is trying to hide anything but they could have reported that she had fired last night. 


As to the Benghazi story, for some people the only possible scandal left is whether the administration tried to cover up AQ involvement in a terrorist attack a few weeks after the Democrats told America that bin Laden was dead and AQ was on the run. Sharyl Attkisson is writing on her own now (still like a journalist) and provides some testimony highlights. This stood out:
“I did not take al Qaeda from the talking points,” Morell said. When asked who did, he answered, “The group of officers from our office of Congressional affairs and our office of public affairs.” Previously, government officials had vehemently denied that any public affairs officials made any edits to the talking points.
Morell did acknowledge personally removing the word “Islamic” from the phrase “Islamic extremists” in the talking points and says he did it for two reasons: so as not to further inflame passions in the Islamic world and because “what other kind of extremists are there in Libya?”
There you go--the text was changed by a 'congressional' and 'public' affairs squad, no doubt based on pressure from State cough Hillary.  Since these people were technically "CIA", they can say the CIA changed their own talking points.  Technically we're no closer to who made any ultimate calls. 

Attkisson also mentions the curious power of Morell over Petraeus, the former who seemed to be calling the shots on the talking points.  That does sound weird.  As if the general was compromised or something.  Anyway, it appears that the Democrats have dodged another bullet on this event.  The more they dodge, the longer they survive.  Unlike female investigative reporters at CBS News, for instance. 

MORE  4/3/14

Fortunately the two excellent female investigative reporters for Fox News haven't been run off their own airwaves for aggressive fact-finding.  This story by Catherine Herridge is a must-read synopsis of Morell's testimony, including the BLOCKBUSTER admission that yes, AQ was involved in the attack and they knew it almost right away.

Morell claims that because their sources were classified they couldn't publicly release it, which doesn't sqaure with some other testimony, but the bigger question is why the administration--knowing this about AQ--allowed Susan Rice and Jay Carney to weave their fables about the protest.  And that, my friends, is where the scandal lies, if there is a scandal here.  

But again, just like Jon Karl's exclusive on the talking points was eclipsed by the IRS targeting story, the Fort Hood shooting has eclipsed what should have been a big story here.  As Herridge points out, Morells' testimony completely shoots down the New York Times story from a few months ago stating that AQ had no part in the attack. 

1 comment:

Debbie said...

The reporting on Fox has been great, and Attkinson also.

I'm not so concerned about who sent out Rice as I am why there was not enough security there, why no help was sent when requested, why no extra security was sent when requested.

I heard someone say this was only about 4 people, no it is about a lot more than that, some who may still be in recovery, we don't know.

Hillary cancelled an appearance in San Diego because a Benghazi protest was planned. May this be her downfall.

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