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Monday, December 30, 2013

The Benghazi Cover Up---Why It Matters

On Saturday, the NY Times published a report finding no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had a role in the 9/11/12 attack in Benghazi  that killed four American heroes, and the attack was fueled in large part by anger at an anti-Muslim video, as the Obama administration first claimed. 

The liberal media has been aggressive in their using this article to attack Republicans, stating that A) the earlier reports of the that al Qaeda was involved and he video wasn't were all part of a GOP plot to slander Obama and/or B) the only people objecting to the Times report are Republicans.  Both charges are untruthful, and beyond that distract from the real questions, was the story told to Americans by their government true, and even the even bigger question do the Americans deserve to know whether or not they were told the truth?

I submit that when the Administration clung to the story that the attack on Benghazi was not an act of terrorism but was the fault of an anti-Muslim video they were lying to the American people, and Saturday's Times article promotes that lie and even runs contrary to their own reporting on Benghazi.

NY Times coverage of al Qaeda involvement prior to Saturday's report was pointed out by the Weekly Standard:
Left out of the Times’s account are the many leads tying the attackers to al Qaeda’s international network.

For instance, there is no mention of Muhammad Jamal al Kashef, an Egyptian, in Kirkpatrick’s retelling. This is odd, for many reasons.
On October 29, 2012 three other New York Times journalists reported that Jamal’s network, in addition to a known al Qaeda branch (al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), was directly involved in the assault. The Times reported (emphasis added): “Three Congressional investigations and a State Department inquiry are now examining the attack, which American officials said included participants from Ansar al-Shariah, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Muhammad Jamal network, a militant group in Egypt.”
Eli Lake of the Daily Beast adds:  
The Jamal network:  Some fighters who attacked the U.S. diplomatic compound and CIA annex in Benghazi are believed to be from a group headed by a former top lieutenant to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al Qaeda. When Egyptian authorities raided the home of Mohammed al-Jamal, who was an operational commander under al-Zawahiri’s terrorist group in the 1990s known as Egyptian Islamic Jihad, it found messages to al Qaeda leadership asking for support and plans to establish training camps and cells in the Sinai, creating a group now known as the Jamal Network. In October, the State Department designated Jamal Network as a terrorist group tied to al Qaeda. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the participation of the network in the Benghazi attacks, and the group’s participation in the attacks has also been acknowledged in the Times. The New York Times Benghazi investigation makes no mention of the Jamal Network in their piece.
People who were involved on the ground have stated it had nothing to do with a Demonstration.

Gregory Hicks, Ambassador Steven's #2 who called the Secretary of State the night of the attack testified that the video was a non-issue, and when he spoke to Clinton on 9/11,  no video was mentioned but terrorism was.

A statement made in July by ousted head of US Forces in Africa also disputes the Times account.  General Carter Ham was one of the speakers at the  Aspen Security Forum and said it quickly became clear the assault on the American consulate in Benghazi last year was a terrorist attack and not a spontaneous demonstration.
"It became apparent to all of us quickly that this was not a demonstration, this was a violent attack," Ham said.  
When asked whether he specifically thought it was a terrorist attack, Ham said, "I don't know that that was my first reaction. But pretty quickly as we started to gain understanding within the hours after the initiation of the attack, yes. And at the command I don't think anyone thought differently."
According to emails obtained by Reuters, a little less than two hours after the attack in Benghazi began the State Department received an email reporting that a terrorist group claimed credit for the attack.  Yet the President and his spokespeople went on claiming the attack was a protest over a You Tube video gone wild.

And then there was that independent analysis of social media:
From the data we have, it’s hard for us to reach the conclusion that the consulate attack was motivated by the movie. Nothing in the immediate picture – surrounding the attack in Libya -- suggests that,” Jeff Chapman, chief executive with Agincourt Solutions told Fox News.

Chapman says his analysts reviewed postings in Libya, including those from Benghazi, over a three-day period beginning on Sept. 11. After identifying a geographic area and isolating a time frame, Chapman says his analysts can then “vacuum” up all of the social media postings, which are then analyzed in the original language using mathematical models.
.....The first reference to the anti-Islam film, initially blamed by the Obama administration for provoking the violent attack in Benghazi, appears to be a retweet of a Russia Today story that was not posted until Sept. 12 at 09:12 a.m. local time. The translation reads, “U.S. ambassador killed in Libya during his his country's consulate in Benghazi - Russia today response to the film abuser.”
As for the Republicans as the only ones disagreeing with the only story, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), also a member of the intelligence committee, said on "Fox News Sunday"
"I don't think the New York Times report is designed to exonerate the security lapses within the State Department that left our people vulnerable," Schiff said. "I do think it adds some valuable insights. I agree with Mike [Rogers] that, however, the intelligence indicates that al-Qaeda was involved. But there are also plenty of people and militias that were unaffiliated with al-Qaeda that were involved."
Lets go back to the progressive points,

A) The earlier reports al Qaeda was involved and he video wasn't were all part of a GOP plot to slander Obama.  I would submit that there is plenty of evidence that attack was a terrorist plan, with al Qaeda involvement rather than the you-tube video...which leads to the conclusion that the reports weren't some sort of Republican plot but a revelation of facts.

B) The only people objecting to the Times report are Republicans-see Rep. Shiff's comments above.

The progressives will tell you that the reason to explore that horrible night in Benghazi is to prevent it from happening again.  I would suggest that is only part of the reason. Most important is that the families of the four fallen heroes deserve to know what and why the attack happened, and the other reason, is that Americans deserve to know if they were lied to and by who. Because if we were lied to, and any of the liars run for public office voters should have the option of considering that as part of their decision at the polls.

That is also why the progressive media is working so hard to sell the NY Times story because their goal is to continue the cover-up and protect future Democratic Party candidates.

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