Benghazi: The New York Times vs. the Truth

They never give up at the New York Times.If at first they don’t succeed in twisting the truth to fit the Newspeak fit to print, it’s try, try again.  Their latest exercise in mendacity is “A Deadly Mix in Benghazi,” an elaborate essay that substitutes a plethora of irrelevant details and animated graphics for historical truth. The long essay takes up an event which, in a rational world, would have led the to resignation of former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and the impeachment of President Barack Obama. I mean the terrorist attack on our consular facility at Benghazi, Libya.

You remember Benghazi: a U.S. ambassador and his security detail were ambushed by Islamic radicals and, after an hours' long firefight, Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were brutally murdered. By Islamic radicals.

The cataract of misinformation that gushed out of the Obama administration about that event, a mephitic current of lies and half truths streaming from the cloaca maxima in Washington, D.C., was stunning even by the low standards of “the most transparent administration in history.” I wrote about the events here several times, as did several of my PJM colleagues.

The administration’s line was that the savage ambush that left four Americans dead was part of a “spontaneous uprising” by adherents of the Religion of Peace, goaded to murderous fury because of a hitherto obscure internet video that portrays Mohammed as a corrupt sexual predator. It’s a silly film.  But, however silly, however offensive to Muslim sensibilities it may be, is it grounds for mayhem and murder? And, more to the point, did it in fact have anything at all to do with the events in Benghazi of September 11, 2012? 

The short answer is:  No. The internet video had nothing to do with that terrorist attack. The date, however, — September 11 — probably had a lot to do with the timing of the attack.

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.