The real scandal: Shouting al-Qaeda on a crowded TV news set

David Kirkpatrick’s great piece on Benghazi has Republicans and their talk-show pals in a state of panic. If you like that kind of thing – and I do – you should tune in.

You mean it wasn’t al-Qaeda that attacked and killed four Americans?

You mean it was the video that, in part, precipitated the attack?

You can see how these revelations from the New York Times would be a problem for Darrell Issa and the boys who have been screaming for months about a coverup, about Hillary Clinton’s involvement in the coverup, in Barack Obama’s decisions that allowed four Americans be killed because, well, who the hell knows why.  Benghazi was Fast and Furious times IRS squared.

And now?

Amy Davidson from the New Yorker has the best read on the situation. Republicans have solved the al-Qaeda problem by calling any and all Islamic militants — local, foreign, Syrian, Libyan, Sunni, Shia, you name it — al Qaeda. Because. You know. It’s the commies-under-the-bed strategy. Everyone’s a red.

Here’s what Kirkpatrick said about that on “Meet the Press“:

“There is just no chance that this was an al-Qaeda attack if, by Al Qaeda, you mean the organization founded by Osama bin Laden. Now, I’ve tried to understand some of the statements coming out of United States Congress blaming Al Qaeda for this, and the only way that they make sense to me is if you’re using the term Al Qaeda a little differently. 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 alQaeda, then O.K.”

As Davidson points out, it’s not OK. It’s far from OK. Calling everyone al-Qaeda not only delivers a complex story without a hint of nuance. It doesn’t begin to tell the truth.

Kirkpatrick spent months on the ground talking to people involved in the attacks and others who were there. There is a scandal here. It’s just not the scandal — coverup, Watergate, Obama didn’t care if Americans die — Republicans want.

According to Kirkpatrick, people who participated in the attack included so-called friendlies whom America had armed. Because we’d helped them during their campaign against Khadafi, we assumed they’d help us out if things got rough in Benghazi, where things were very rough, as Ambassador Christopher Stephens knew well.

So who were the attackers?

“They’re purely local people,” Kirkpatrick said on “Meet the Press.” “Their pasts are known, their records are known, when they were in prison, who they hung out with in prison, who their associations are.”

We know who they were, according to Kirkpatrick, who concedes that their motives are murky and that their connections are tenuous and that figuring out who is allied with whom and and when and why can all be more than a little mysterious. And that just shouting al-Qaeda does nothing to clear things up. But, of course, when the issue is casting blame rather than finding truth, shouting is always the best course.

Kirkpatrick says the attack was planned, but only for a day or two before. And that if it wasn’t quite spontaneous, it was close enough.

This is a guy you can trust. Kirkpatrick is a great reporter who is presently based in Cairo and spent months doing the investigation. Some in the right-wing media attacked the story because it conflicted with earlier Times reporting– as if that weren’t the point of the piece, to get at the truth as we can learn it now. Some Republicans chose to attack him and the New York Times as running a story (during Christmas time 2013) to help Hillary Clinton’s possible presidential campaign in 2016. It’s a joke.

But if you yell loud enough, you don’t actually have to have any of the facts on your side. It’s like shouting al-Qaeda on a crowded TV news set.






  1. Doesn’t matter which group attacked the Americans at Benghazi. What matters is they reached out to the Administration for assistance and the administration turned it’s back on our citizens and then tried to cover it up. Despicable, and so NOT the American way.

  2. David D. Kirkpatrick @ddknyt
    @RichardGrenell we had a reporter on the scene talking to the attackers during the attack- still invaluable

  3. Nice try, Patti, but not accurate in the least. You need to get your head out of Faux Noises butt.

    First, the ambassador there had specifically been asked whether he wanted more security there, about 3 weeks before the thing happened. He said NO. And if ANYONE knew how dangerous it was there, he would be it.

    Secondly, there was NO ONE NEAR the damned place when the thing went down. Our closest planes were over an hour and a half away, the thing was over with in less than half an hour. What good would showing up an hour late have done? NO troops in the area, who was there to help them anyway? Not to mention the air defenses the Libyans had at the time, it was a pretty good guess that those planes would never have gotten there.

    What you are responding to is a bunch of republican nonsense that has NO bearing whatsoever on reality. Darryl Issa is a scum bag and a crook who should be in prison, not in the house. He makes stuff up, and then goes out trying to prove that his imagination is real. It’s NOT.

    You’re falling for nonsense, and it’s just pathetic. Stop watching the network that went to court to verify it’s right to LIE to you, there is NO reason waste your brain watching those LOSERS. They are lying every time they open their mouths, and even if they aren’t it’s just not worth trying to figure out when they AREN’T.

  4. Patti, I ENJOYED your comment and HOPE you will continue to CONTRIBUTE your thoughts and ideas. Don’t allow ANYONE to BULLY you into BELIEVING your views aren’t VALID.

    When Mr. Littwin is finished high-fiving himself because a New York Times article absolved al-Qaeda of responsibility in the Benghazi attack he’ll realize that, as then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton famously whined, “What difference at this point does it make?”.

    Four Americans were killed at Benghazi and, although Mr. Littwin mentions that fact only once and even then only in passing, the State Department failed to protect the lives of those four and Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, is ultimately accountable for that failure.

    American Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was one of those killed at Benghazi and while Mr. Littwin smugly deemed that fact unworthy of mention he does find the time and space to gush over the author of the NYT article several times, “This is a guy you can trust.” and “Kirkpatrick is a great reporter who is presently based in Cairo and spent months doing the investigation.” As if time spent on research is an indication of accuracy.

    Mr. Littwin candidly admits, “There is a scandal here.” but then buries that admission in the middle of a paragraph in the middle of the blog entry. He goes no further in elaborating on how big that scandal might be or who that scandal might touch. He’s too busy celebrating.

    He also fails to mention that as reported in The Daily Beast “(Adam) Schiff, a Democratic member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said the intelligence indicated that al Qaeda did play a role in the attack.”

    Mr. Littwin is not mourning the unnecessary and tragic deaths of four Americans and seems more interested in establishing who didn’t kill those four than who did. Politics trumps compassion. Mr. Littwin believes that an attack planned for “only a day or two” qualifies as being “close enough” to be considered spontaneous. Politics trumps etymology.

    Mr. Littwin finds nothing wrong with the fact that the current NYT article conflicts with an earlier NYT report saying the article gets, “at the truth as we can learn it now” leaving open the possibility of a future NYT article that may be “truthier”. I wait anxiously.

  5. Lopez, the oracle of wing nut ooze, must have been on the scene. His pious litany of sophistry is amusing as he tries to better Mike with a barrage of prosaic chatter.

    Benghazi, the IRS, the Affordable Care Act. Take your pick. Issa and his crowd need something to improvise for their gullible patrons like Patti and Don.
    After all. It’s all about “Get Obama”.

  6. To Will and Recatcher: The facts speak Forrest themselves. You may not like the person(s) or network delivering those facts, but unlike some left-leaning networks and media folk trying to cover up the facts, they are what they are. Benghazi is a cover-up far worse than Watergate. Four Americans defending America and freedom are dead. Enough said.

  7. Sorry, Patti, but it’s not a matter of who is telling you things, it’s a matter that THEY ARE LYING. Why is that SO impossible for you to understand. Faux LIES. They went to court to prove that they had every RIGHT to LIE to you. They ARE LYING. And you are furthering those lies.

    BTW, studies have shown that those who watch Faux Noise are actually more incorrect in what they “know” than those who don’t watch news AT ALL. What does THAT tell you? That they are INTENTIONALLY MISINFORMING you. Don’t let them do that to you.

    Get your info from someone OTHER than confirmed, willing LIARS, and THEN I will discuss things with you. As it is, I’m debating LIES, and there is NO point in even trying to do that.

    Worse than Watergate? Why? Because it’s a NON EXISTENT scandal rather than an actual law breaking by an administration to steal an election? The very fact that you would say that shows that you are CLEARLY a Faux Noise watcher. Nearly no one else is FOOLISH enough to say such things. It’s a shame you are.

    If you REALLY want to talk about what is a scandal, talk about how the republicans TWICE went around the government of this country to screw up things to win an election for themselves? That, BTW, is called TREASON, and it’s YOUR party that has indulged in it for their own benefit. THAT is worse than Watergate, not a nothing scandal.


  8. Geez,
    Guess next Colorado will form a Brown Shirts movement, all in the name of Liberalism. The left is farther right than they can comprehend.
    Ahh, hell. Just go out and buy some juicy buds!!
    Colorado is America’s Second California-cation.

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