Showtime starts tomorrow, gentle reader. That's when the House Committee on Government Oversight hold its hearing about the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi last September. And to make sure we’re properly pumped up and ready for this partisan puppet show bold attempt to get at the truth, Republican stalwarts were tirelessly making the rounds of Fox News yesterday and today, in the hopes that maybe this time, they can make something stick on the Obama administration. For example, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared On the Record, last night, to inform Greta Van Susteren that “the dam is about to break” on Benghazi.
The official title of the Congressional hearing is: “Benghazi: Exposing Failure and Recognizing Courage”, which is about as Fair and Balanced as you'd expect it to be given who's plugging it. I don’t see anything like terms of reference or background documents on the Web site. Maybe they’re there but I don’t see them.
Anyway, here are some of the points Graham made in last night's interview:
- People from the CIA want to come out and testify, he said, but they've been told by the CIA director that they’ll be polygraphed if they are tied to this. Graham “believes” that at least one of them was on the ground in Benghazi that night but “time will tell.”
- Last March Graham wrote the State Department wanting to talk to five diplomatic security agents who'd survived the attack. He told Van Susteren he got a reply this week, to the effect that the department had serious concerns about these officials' welfare and didn't want to interfere with the FBI's investigation of the attack. Which explanation Graham pooh-poohed, saying these five people “have never been talked to by the Congress. It's our job to oversee and provide oversight to the executive branch.”
Graham was particularly puffed because Gregory Hicks, the number two diplomat in Libya at the time of the attack, is scheduled to be a witness at the hearing, and will tell Congress that everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the get-go. To her credit, Van Susteren didn’t give Graham a totally free ride on the Greg Hicks issue. Why did Hicks wait until March to come forward? she asked. Because the government is stonewalling, Graham replied. "I've been asking for survivors to come forward, people who were involved, not just survivors....These guys are whistleblowers. They came forward out of conscience.”
Well, said Van Susteren, according to one of her notes, Gregory Hicks has an axe to grind with the State Department and that’s why he’s coming forward. Graham brushed that off: “I think Greg Hicks is going to tell a story consistent with what we now know to be the truth. And the only axe to grind I think anybody has here, including me, is that you can't let your government lie to you. You have four Americans died, and the stories told by the highest levels of our government about how they died was a bunch of garbage.”
Graham also addressed the “why bother at this date?” issue as follows: “if the truth had come out seven weeks before an election this was an al Qaeda-inspired pre-planned attack, it would undercut the narrative, politically that bin Laden's dead, we're all safer.” (Really? Seems to me Fox News tried pretty damn hard to “get the truth out” last fall. Trouble is, no one cared.)
(By the way: Graham used the “dam’s about to break” phrase not only on this interview, but in a Facebook post, and also, reportedly, on Mike Huckabee’s radio show. And probably elsewhere. Can’t let a good phrase go to waste, can you, gentle reader?)
I agree with Aria that the people who attacked the Benghazi consulate were happy to piggy back on the riots breaking out all over the region. And while the attack was going on, Fox News was spending that time to use the riots as a way to denigrate President Obama. (“The entire Middle East is on fire today! Where’s President Obama?”) It was only after the consulate attack became clearer that Fox News switched up their attacks to say that the video was unimportant and somehow just a free speech matter.
Bemused: Exactly. I’ve seen “The Innocence of Muslims,” and it’s straight up religious propaganda. Supposedly, it was a prequel for a much longer movie that was supposed to end with all the Muslims becoming Christians and the middle east instantly becoming a civilized society.
If someone made a video like that about Jesus, Christians in the united States would be forming militias, and- Oh, wait… they’re doing that just from thinking people are making videos like that, and that it’s being allowed, due to hate speech loopholes.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of hateful satire of Christianity, but those are no more mean-spirited or disparaging of religion than the “Movie Movie” genre is of A-List actors and popular trends. Not on the same tier as a movie like “The Innocence of Muslims.”
The fact is exactly what I’ve been saying all along, in that respect: The assassination isn’t over that video. The rioting was. It’s a great (and probably accurate) guess that Stevens’ assassins just saw the events as the perfect cover for an impromptu plan that trumped anything they were already setting up. If Bill Looman went through on his threat to kill everyone at Obama’s re-inauguration, he would have paid handsomely for a distraction like that.
And I can’t help but notice that the more you support Fox News, the more you’re defending that movie. All our major trolls, from Bob, to Koldys, To Sewell, to Mad… defended that movie at some point. Hey, didn’t Fox defend it their first two weeks of coverage? I think they did…
Ok, rant off.
Let’s dispose of this quickly. Regardless of right wing talking points, nobody has decided anything about this matter, other than Fox News frantically trying to present the umpteenth discussion about it as some kind of bombshell.
If we’re going to talk about Americans being murdered, then I assume that Darlene is just as concerned about why Fox News did not cover hearings about the multiple attacks on US Embassies and Consulates during the George W. Bush presidency. As for what happened in Benghazi, it’s been discussed over and over again, usually in light of Fox News and Mitt Romney’s unfortunate attempts to use the deaths of our people as campaign props.
There is no “agenda for taking our guns away” unless you’re referring to NRA talking points or AM radio hosts trying to rile up gullible listeners on the subject. But you’re welcome to believe those guys if you wish.
The Benghazi attack was not “all about not offending the Muslim world”. You’re confusing this matter with the work done at the time that the offensive “Innocence of Muslims” was broadcast to the world. At that time, the Obama Administration properly noted in public that offensive and deliberately provocative things like that were absolutely not something that the US endorses. This statement was an attempt to SAVE lives, given that people were dying across the Middle East over this video. If you truly care about the innocents who died during that time, you’d step up and affirm the beliefs of the Obama Administration statement.
I do agree that Fox News and AM radio’s coverage of the Benghazi matter has been “media bias at its worst”. You’re absolutely right about that, and it’s healthy that you’re acknowledging that in your post.
As we’ve noted elsewhere, this obsession by Fox News on trying to smear the Obama Administration has been the kind of thing that totally disproves the “fair and balanced” canard in a big way.
As for the Gosnell trial, you seem to not know the actual history about it. If you did, you’d realize that the matter was covered extensively in 2011, with Fox News covering it less than anyone else at the time. It was only when the matter came to trial this year that Fox News suddenly decided it was a major issue and began beating the drum about it. The other networks had already covered the matter when it was news in 2011, and they’ll cover the verdict once we get it. But responsible journalists have been listening to the judge in the case, who issued a gag order, trying to not have the matter adjudicated in the media. Fox News and AM radio deliberately ignored that order and began making a big deal out of it. The result may wind up being a mistrial as a result of Fox News’ behavior. If that happens, Fox News will be forced to explain why they interfered in the matter. Which will be yet another exhibit in why this network is anything but “fair and balanced”. And either way, it shows an extreme irony – that Fox News, while condeming Gosnell’s behavior, would be the vehicle for him not being convicted of his crimes.
Come on Lindsey, let’s use a better metaphor than that! How about we turn to the masters of rock, Led Zeppelin with “When the Levee Breaks”. Afterall crying won’t help you, pray won’t do you no good.
The most reliable source of information on how much firepower and troops should be deployed to any given country or region is determined by the information that is provided by them. Even the CIA and FBI rely on the intelligence that comes FROM/THROUGH the embassies. Regardless of what one sees on the teevee or in films, the CIA and the FBI in Washington also rely mainly ON the embassies for their information (often gathered by their own operatives in supposed incognito).
Bottom line: the persons most likely to be best informed on what was or would happen in Benghazi were Ambassador Stevens and his staff and they found out about that stupid video AFTER it had gone viral. Expecting the riots to be linked to that was an informed guess and a perfectly logical one to anybody who actually knows something about intelligence.
Ambassador Stevens was NOT one of the “wet-behind-the-ears” diplomats who are assigned to the cushy capitals like Paris and London. Far from it. And, yet, what happened happened.
tic toc tic toc : awaiting the “troll du jour” to interpret the above as blaming Ambassador Stevens for whatever.
Which it is not. But, then, bare facts are not a strong point with the haters of all things linked to President Obama.
How about we look at what was actually happening at the time of the Benghazi attack? Such as the fact that entire region was up in arms about the offensive “Innocence of Muslims” video that had gone round the internet and set off riots all over the place. This was a time when 75 people were killed and hundreds were injured and the US had just seen its embassy in Cairo overrun and the flag pulled down and burned.
The discussion we’ll see in the morning at Darrell Issa’s committee in Congress, which has been noted for its extreme partisanship, will not be a search for the truth. It’s a search for some way that the Republican House members can try to point fingers at the Obama Administration for the deaths that happened in Benghazi. And we should note that the GOP in Congress had no such issues with the multiple Embassy and Consulate attacks that occured under the George W. Bush presidency.
Your assertion that the military option was doable presumes that you know what the US military capabilities were in the area at a time when we had riots going on everywhere. I don’t know that anything “weird” is going on here other than the desperation of the GOP and Fox News to try to find yet another way to pillory this President.
But let’s hear what these three guys have to say tomorrow. I tend to think it will just be the typical policy differences between various officials. The primary guy in the room has already been noted as having an axe to grind with the Obama State Department. The grievances have already been aired in the ARB. Unless one of these guys is about to stand up and say that he saw the President or the Secretary of State personally dismiss the attack, all we have here is the usual political noise. Terrorists attacked a US Consulate in Libya at the exact moment that the entire region was up in arms about an offensive video that generated death and destruction.
That’s not the same thing as the very real misconduct and malfeasance proven to have occurred within the White House during the presidency of George W. Bush. Things like the deliberate outing of an undercover CIA agent to punish her husband for telling the truth about the Bush lies about Iraq. Or the firing of US attorneys. Or the warrantless wiretaps of US citizens. Those were only a few of the criminal matters that happened under the prior administration’s watch – and all were dismissed in a sneering manner by Fox News and AM radio. But now we have all those people up in arms about a situation in which they’re mad that the military didn’t respond fast enough after an attack. Really?
Flash back to Clinton’s 2nd term, m’dear. They tried repeatedly to get him impeached, and all they did was give him a short-lived unpopularity. Now, Americans who aren’t Foxies regret falling into the right’s hype on that, while the best reception Bush got post presidency was comedians celebrating the return of an easy A game.
“For all my liberal friends shaking in your boots over tomorrow’s hearings: I hope your families are brutally raped and murdered and the 911 operator hangs up on them without sending help. After you bury your family you demand an inquiry and the chief of police tells you “They’re dead, what difference does it make?”. When you further persist, he tells you to get over it because it happened “a long time ago”.
I only took one grab, but they’re cut-pasting that like the world will end if it’s not on there 10,000 times by 10 PM.