GOP Leaders Dismiss New York Times Benghazi Report

Lawmakers use Sunday shows to reassert that al-Qaeda was behind the 2012 attack

  • Share
  • Read Later

Republican House members argued that a New York Times investigation into the 2012 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, was inaccurate.

The report, published Saturday, contends that local militias — not al-Qaeda — were responsible for the attack that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Republican Representative Mike Rogers of Michigan told Fox News Sunday that the Times story was based on the wrong sources, while Republican Representative Darrell Issa of California used a Meet the Press interview to reaffirm his criticisms of how the Obama Administration handled the attacks.

Times reporter David Kirkpatrick, who authored the story, defended the monthlong investigation and blamed lawmakers for obscuring the facts. Kirkpatrick said there’s a semantic difference in identifying the forces behind the deadly attack.

“There’s just no chance that this was an al-Qaeda attack if, by al-Qaeda, you mean the organization founded by Osama bin Laden,” he said. “If you’re using the term al-Qaeda to describe even a local group of Islamist militants who may dislike democracy or have a grudge against the United States, if you’re going to call anybody like that al-Qaeda, then O.K.”

[MSNBC]

168 comments
CesarBorgia
CesarBorgia

This dog won't hunt.  Move along Republicans.

jmac
jmac

"But Republicans long ago abandoned common sense and good judgment in pursuit of conspiracy-mongering and an obsessive effort to discredit President Obama . . . "   (NY Times)


This was in full force under Bill Clinton when they covered Arkansas with a fine tooth comb and went for any conspiracy theory out there - Whitewater (where the Clintons lost money; unlike Bush who made a bundle on his business deal), the death of Vince Foster (investigated by no less than three agencies), drug running, sex, the travel agency, teas, the Lincoln bedroom, condoms on the White House Christmas tree . . .  impeachment.   


And they didn't learn their lesson.   Why in the world would they put someone like Issa as head of anything?   They deserve their fate.    

Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

GOP is not out to uncover facts but rather to smear Obama and Hillary

jmac
jmac

GOP leaders dismiss Benghazi report -


Who's surprised?  More than half of GOP supporters don't believe in evolution.   Tell us something new.  

reallife
reallife

Four Americans dead because Obama and Hillary had an election to win. 

Bottom line.


BonnieJohnson1
BonnieJohnson1

Republicans are sick and deranged.  They do nothing for this country and its citizens.  They just TAKE, TAKE TAKE !!!  I agree with HudsonValley.  They'd best leave Obama alone and get ready for Hillary and Bill, our next President.

HudsonValleyTim
HudsonValleyTim

Is there any question that this issue would have been put-to-bed were it not that the GOP is sh!t-scared of Hillary in 2016?  I don't mean to minimize the gravity of the event, but every time Darryl Issa opens his mouth about it, he just sounds like he is only interested in using it as a club to bludgeon with.  I get no indication that he is the least bit interested in getting to the truth, only that he is afraid that the story will die before the next election.

j45ashton
j45ashton

You need to get off the Fox News talking points & just answer one question:


Whose decision was it for Amb Stevens to go to an area that was known to be very dangerous, undefended and almost impossible to make immediately safe if trouble broke out?

quillerm
quillerm

What the NYT Omitted from their story:


The U.S. Mission in Benghazi convened an "emergency meeting" less than a month before the assault that concluded Al Qaeda had training camps in Benghazi and the consulate could not defend against a "coordinated attack."  The cable marked "SECRET" summarized an August 15, 2012 emergency meeting convened by the U.S. Mission in Benghazi. It states that the State Department’s senior security officer, also known as the RSO, did not believe the consulate could be protected.  

"RSO (Regional Security Officer) expressed concerns with the ability to defend Post in the event of a coordinated attack due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support, and the overall size of the compound," the cable said.

According to a review of the cable, the Emergency Action Committee was also briefed "on the location of approximately ten Islamist militias and AQ training camps within Benghazi … these groups ran the spectrum from Islamist militias, such as the QRF Brigade and Ansar al-Sharia, to 'Takfirist thugs.'" Each U.S. mission has a so-called Emergency Action Committee that is responsible for security measures and emergency planning. 

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

I watched Meet the Press yesterday and saw Rep. Issa pursue the current political plan of the GOP which is to do and say anything that will embarrass the Obama administration.  David Gregory did in fact corner Issa on past statements he made regarding Benghazi which the honorable representative dodged with softer worded "explanations" of what he "actually" meant.

Issa mentioned the fact that F-16's weren't deployed during and shortly after the attack.  It is well known now that these planes stationed in Italy simply did not have the range to make it to Benghazi without tanker support.  And, what would they have done once they got there?  Use smart bombs to do what exactly?  The honorable representative needs to understand that even a quick response that he is asking about needs time to put together, time to plan and time to prepare for.  By then it's all over.

I'd say that the New York Times story is probably the best rendition of events on that day we currently have.  Given the fact that over a year later we have now accumulated more information from more resources to put together a better scenario.  So, the GOP can dismiss it all they want.  They aren't interested in getting at the truth anyway.  Their sole motivation is to smear this president.

My only question on this issue is in the run up to the attack why didn't our government improve security for that facility?  There is ample evidence that Ambassador Stevens was clearly concerned.  And had clearly and repeatedly requested additional security measures.  For me all else is irrelevant.

quillerm
quillerm

“Full Hillary Quote: "With all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead Americans! Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again." – Clinton shouting over Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson.


If you had approved the Security Ambassador Stevens had requested, the Ambassador, his staff and the Navy Seals would be alive today. That is why it matters.”

j45ashton
j45ashton

Whose decision was it for Stevens to go to an area that was known to be very dangerous, undefended and almost impossible to make immediately safe if trouble broke out?

grape_crush
grape_crush

> "GOP Leaders Dismiss New York Times Benghazi Report"

Gotta do that damage control thing, I guess. Not that any inquiry led by Darrel Issa has an iota of credibility anymore after the whole 'Fast and Furious' congressional investigation debacle/witch hunt, but it's something for the Sunday morning spin shows the media to put on for us to laugh at.

> David Kirkpatrick, who authored the story, defended the monthlong investigation and blamed lawmakers for obscuring the facts.

That's a nice way of saying that 'lawmakers' are misrepresenting or flat-out lying about what happened, isn't it?

> Kirkpatrick said there’s a semantic difference in identifying the forces behind the deadly attack.

Right-wingers don't do nuance. Goes hand in hand with denying reality that doesn't fit whatever narrative is being pushed at the moment.

DanielBonacum
DanielBonacum

This tells you everything you need to know about this bogus NY Times hack piece - 


“There’s just no chance that this was an al-Qaeda attack if, by al-Qaeda, you mean the organization founded by Osama bin Laden,” he said. “If you’re using the term al-Qaeda to describe even a local group of Islamist militants who may dislike democracy or have a grudge against the United States, if you’re going to call anybody like that al-Qaeda, then O.K.”


The attack was carried out by a terrorist organization (Ansar al-Sharia ) that has publicly pledged it allegiance to al-Qaeda.. The NY Times is playing word games and semantics and needs to be called out for it. 



ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@jmacFor the nth time, release those witnesses to testify, release those documents requested and have an open and transparent hearing. Period. This will put all speculations to rest. But if Obama is stonewalling what will people do but suspect him as a spineless, dithering, cowardly indecisive incompetent man posing as Commander in Chief ? Which is the most plausible answer.

grape_crush
grape_crush

@@reallife > Bottom line.

Yes, we know where you pulled that line from. Your bottom.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@reallife3000 Americans died because GWB was too busy looking for a reason to invade Iraq to pay attention to the 30 plus CIA warnings.

barneydidit
barneydidit

@reallife Bottom line- there is no scandal....other than in the minds of Tea Partiers. 

cuchulain999
cuchulain999

@quillermYour point is a complete non-sequitur and intentionally ignores the context, just as GOP Senators did.  They were harping on the argument that the administration, in their view, had misled the public by implying it was the video that had caused the riot.  (They were further implying that this was done knowingly and cynically for crass political purposes, but that is another debate.)  She was simply stating the incontrovertible fact that it isn't relevant whether the cause of the attack was a video or simmering anti-Western hatred, and the point is to fix it going forward.


One further note, if the GOP was so concerned about the tragedy they would have focused their inquisition on how to fix it.  They did not.  I watched much of that and the GOP spent nearly all it's time on the very issue that Clinton was addressing.  Crass politicization of a tragedy? 

grape_crush
grape_crush

@quillerm > If you had approved the Security Ambassador Stevens had requested

Whole lotta ifs there, actually, like if Clinton knew there was a request and if Stevens actually requested heightened security...but there's a lot neither you or I know.  

"Without access to the actual cable, it’s difficult to determine whether this was a routine reporting cable — which explains the sluggish State Department response — or if Stevens himself drafted the cable and expected more immediate action. From the testimony of both Clinton and Dempsey, it appears key decisions about what sort of additional security was needed were still pending in Tripoli — where Stevens was in charge.

Still, it is certainly interesting that defense officials say they appeared more aware of the security situation at U.S. diplomatic facilities than the secretary of state. That either says something about Clinton’s management style — or about more efficient communications within DOD.

In any case, we find ourselves checking an opinion. Ayotte does appear to be skating close to the edge in attributing what appear to be the comments of the regional security officer to the ambassador."

Of course, if Dems were running Congress when this all happened, you would still be hearing about this:

"But a 2012 Government Accountability Office report suggested that embassy security remains vulnerable so long as the State Department maintains missions in dangerous locations amid staffing shortages. President Obama’s new budget includes $4 billion to improve security at America’s more than 270 diplomatic posts worldwide. That includes a $2.2 billion boost–proposed by the Accountability Review Board–in State’s embassy security construction budget to fund new facilities in high-threat areas. (Congress has yet to approve the funding.) "
(Italics added by me)

So if House Republicans were willing and able to compromise on a budget instead of voting for the nth time on repealing Obamacare, "the Ambassador, his staff and the Navy Seals would be alive today," right?

quillerm
quillerm

@j45ashton The reason Ambassador Stevens is dead, along with the Navy Seals and his staff was the denial of Security he requested from the State Department.  He made several requests based on previous attacks on the compound.  Had Hillary Clinton bothered to review the Top Hot Spot Embassy areas, as do most competent Officials, she would have known Stevens was in trouble.  But she is so intelligent that minor issue like keeping her Ambassadors alive are of no consequence.  Who cares,  is the total of her opinion on the subject.

quillerm
quillerm

@grape_crush How many spontaneous mobs have heavy weapons on vehicles, highly trained mortar teams and intelligence on US Embassy areas?  If you think Al Qaeda wasn't involved then it must have been the Tooth Fairy.  Stevens made several requests for security which were denied.  That is why he, his staff and the Navy Seals are dead.  Death by Incompetent Politicians that cover their tracks through subservient media hacks.  

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@grape_crushOf course these are the same GOP Leaders that raved about the 60 minutes Benghazi Report and quoted it verbatim as proof that they were right in the first place.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@DanielBonacum  

An illegal immigrant can be patriotic towards the United States and proudly pledge their loyalty, but that immigrant isn't a part of the United States until the United States says it is and the Republicans would gladly kick that immigrant out of the United States

Pledging support to Al Qaeda doesn't mean you are part of Al Qaeda.  It requires Al Qaeda being of the opinion that you're part of Al Qaeda.  They might be allies, but if that is the argument, that's like saying Britain is part of the United States and every action they take is on the behalf of the United States.

jmac
jmac

@DanielBonacum  "Get used to seeing it on social media, and in the media more and more as 2016 approaches."


Keep it up Bonacum!   Maybe you can even throw in impeachment, it worked so well the last time.   After all, there was already an organization out to impeach Hillary AS SHE RAN in the primaries.    Who knows, keep it up and maybe you won't even take a couple of measly seats in the mid-terms.  One thing is for certain, the GOP is a slow learner. 


quillerm
quillerm

@DanielBonacum Wonder how many spontaneous mobs have heavy weapons on vehicles, mortar teams, and intelligence on US embassy's?  The NYT's should beg forgiveness from the families of the dead.

quillerm
quillerm

@DanielBonacum The deaths of Ambassador Stevens, his staff and the Navy Seals was directly attributed to the State Departments failure to approve his requests for Security.  Had Hillary approved the request, Stevens, and the rest would be alive today.  That is why it matters, Ms Clinton.  Decisions have consequences, your failure to exercise your responsibilities caused these needless deaths.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@DanielBonacum  

Actually the one playing word games is Issa, as can be seen by his dodge on TV Sunday.

 

UPDATE: 12:15 p.m. -- Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), another fierce critic of the Obama administration's handling of the Benghazi attack, was asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" to respond to the New York Times story.

Although he said The New York Times "did some very good work," the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform questioned the story's assertion that the attack was largely fueled by anger about the anti-Muslim video cited in early administration comments.

“We have seen no evidence that the video was widely seen in Benghazi, a very isolated area, or that it was a leading cause," Issa said. "What we do know is that September 11 [the date of the 2012 attack] was not an accident. These are terrorist groups, some of them linked to or ... self-claimed as al-Qaeda linked. ... Before I go on, I wanted to make a very good point that [reporter David D. Kirkpatrick] put out. Look, it is not about al-Qaeda as the only terrorist organization."

"Meet the Press" host David Gregory pointed out that Issa had repeatedly contended that al-Qaeda was behind the attack but that President Obama did not want to acknowledge it for political reasons.

"There was a group there that was involved that's linked to al-Qaeda," Issa replied. "What we never said -- and I didn't have security look behind the door, that's for other members of Congress. ... Those sources and methods I've never claimed. What I have claimed, and rightfully so, is Ambassador Stevens [who was killed in the attack] and others alerted, well in advance, that they had a security threat."



jmac
jmac

@ReneDemonteverde @jmac For the ninth time, tell it to the CIA.  (Or do you want the 'witness' who lied on 60 minutes to show his head again?  He's beyond discredited.   Even Issa wouldn't touch him).   

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@mantisdragon91

Someone in the administration is, that's for sure.  Can't understand why repeated requests for added security were denied or ignored.  In fact, I believe that security was downgraded prior to the attacks.

Gotta wonder what is behind this issue.  To date I have yet to see a plausible explanation.  And I also wonder if cuts in Federal spending didn't contribute.

Still lot's of unanswered questions. 

grape_crush
grape_crush

@quillerm@grape_crush  > How many spontaneous mobs have heavy weapons on vehicles, highly trained mortar teams and intelligence on US Embassy areas?

Quite a few, if said mobs had recently participated in bringing down their own heavily-armed government.

>  If you think Al Qaeda wasn't involved then it must have been the Tooth Fairy.

Given the conspiratorial bent of the right, it's surprising that Issa hasn't opened an investigation of the Tooth Fairy's involvement.

> Stevens made several requests..

Did he, now? Given the secure nature of those cables, it's not for you to say what was or was not requested, when, or by whom.

> That is why he, his staff and the Navy Seals are dead.

No. Those people made a choice to continue to operate in an area they reportedly felt posed a high risk to their own personal safety. If they were unwilling to take that risk, they should not have accepted it...the reason why those deaths occurred is that a semi-coordinated mob hostile to an American presence in the area decided it was an opportune time to attack that compound and the personnel inside.

> Incompetent Politicians that cover their tracks through subservient media hacks.

You mean like Issa was doing with Gregory this past Sunday? Sure.

grape_crush
grape_crush

@mantisdragon91@grape_crush

Yup. It's only the 'lamestream media' when it puts out something that's inconvenient to the right-wing storyline. When the news report seems to validate the underlying narrative - Obama bad, government bad, conservatives good - then they're all smiles and kudos.

quillerm
quillerm

@mantisdragon91 @DanielBonacum We must remember that the mythical spontaneous mob didn't exist.  If it did, then the video might have some legs.  This diversion from the NYT's is to cover up the fact that Hillary Clinton's failure to approve Ambassador Stevens requests for security was the main factor that lead to the deaths of the Ambassador and Navy Seals.

DanielBonacum
DanielBonacum

@mantisdragon91 @DanielBonacum The bigger question though is exactly what was the CIA doing in Benghazi?  Gun running? This is all a smoke screen to cover the illegal activities (once again) of the obama administration. I for one, will not let this issue die until there are answers. Get used to seeing it on social media, and in the media more and more as 2016 approaches. 

DanielBonacum
DanielBonacum

@mantisdragon91 @DanielBonacum  @mantisdragon91 - Did you even bother to read what you posted? 

Lets See - ISSA: What we do know is that September 11 [the date of the 2012 attack] was not an accident. These are terrorist groups, some of them linked to or ... self-claimed as al-Qaeda linked"
What Issa said - and YOU posted it, is that the organization was "self-claimed as al-Qaeda linked"
But the question then comes, (to paraphrase Hillary Clinton) - 'Who cares if it was al Qauda or an al-Qauda affiliate?! WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?! 
It was still an organized terrorist attack. NY Times LIED again, and even the author admits it - 
KIRKPATRICK : “There’s just no chance that this was an al-Qaeda attack if, by al-Qaeda, you mean the organization founded by Osama bin Laden,” he said. “If you’re using the term al-Qaeda to describe even a local group of Islamist militants who may dislike democracy or have a grudge against the United States, if you’re going to call anybody like that al-Qaeda, then O.K.”

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@DanielBonacum@mantisdragon91 

They were there trying to recover surface to air missiles that were looted from the Libyan arsenals during the uprising.  If you really want answers on a government coverup, find out why GWB had 28 pages of a Congressional report showing Saudi involvement in 9/11 redacted and helped their national out of the country.  Seems to me covering up the identity of the nation that helped in an attack that killed 3000 Americans is a much bigger crime, than anything surrounding Benghazi

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@DanielBonacum@mantisdragon91 Actually they are claiming that local militias were responsible and they are correct.



But the Republican arguments appear to conflate purely local extremist organizations like Ansar al-Shariah with Al Qaeda’s international terrorist network. The only intelligence connecting Al Qaeda to the attack was an intercepted phone call that night from a participant in the first wave of the attack to a friend in another African country who had ties to members of Al Qaeda, according to several officials briefed on the call. But when the friend heard the attacker’s boasts, he sounded astonished, the officials said, suggesting he had no prior knowledge of the assault.

Al Qaeda was having its own problems penetrating the Libyan chaos. Three weeks after the attack, on Oct. 3, 2012, leaders of the group’s regional affiliate, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, sent a letter to a lieutenant about efforts to crack the new territory. The leaders said they had sent four teams to try to establish footholds in Libya. But of the four, only two in the southern Sahara “were able to enter Libyan territory and lay the first practical bricks there,” the letter said.

DanielBonacum
DanielBonacum

@mantisdragon91 @DanielBonacum  Stop kidding yourself - Ansar al-Shari'a, is a Yemen-based umbrella organization which includes units from several militant Islamic groups, including Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. This is not a secret. 


The NY Times is claiming there was NO Terrorist organization responsible, that this was the work of protesters based on watching some stupid video. That's been proven to be a lie by Congressional investigations and agreed upon by members of congress on both sides of the isle. 


Wake up.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@DanielBonacum@mantisdragon91 

Self claimed? There were no links to Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda knew nothing about the attacks until after they occurred. If we simply attribute the claim of every group to stand than we will always be chasing ghosts.