According to the New York Times, the perpetrators of the attack were not elements of al-Qaeda and kindred radical groups but disaffected members of the Arab street who were distraught by Innocence of Muslims, the sophomoric internet video on which President Obama and Hilary Clinton blamed the attack. My own view is that if a group of people is so criminally puerile that they can can be roused to murder by a video, then they deserve to be treated as mental incompetents. But in this case, the question doesn’t really arise because the Times offers no evidence that the video had anything to do with the murderous attack.
As a House Intelligence Committee report concluded, pace the Times, the Benghazi attack was “an al Qaeda led event.” The culprit was “not a video,” Rep. Mike Rogers observed — “that whole part was debunked time and time again.” It was not a “spontaneous uprising,” as was put about by the administration at the time and is now reprised by the New York Times, but rather a “pre-planned, organized terrorist event,” orchestrated by al-Qaeda.
How are we to understand the Times’s latest entry into the contest to rewrite history for ideological fun and profit? My own sense is that it has less to do with salvaging President Obama’s tattered reputation — he is well on his way to winning the prize for the least competent and most destructive president in the history of the republic. No, Barack Obama is yesterday’s news, and unless and until he is impeached and removed from office he will be pretty much forgotten by purveyors of all the Newspeak fit to print. They have their eyes on another player in the Benghazi scandal, namely Hilary Clinton. If anyone emerged from that shameful episode more discredited than Barack Obama, it was Ms. Clinton. But time is passing fast, and there is a lot of remedial work to do if Hilary Clinton is to be suitably repackaged as the Democratic candidate for president. That ambition, I believe, stands behind this elaborate, breathtaking exercise in journalistic mendacity.