Thursday, November 1, 2012

Benghazi: Incompetence or political smear?

This happens when the MSM doesn't cover a story--you don't know how big it is. We know that the conservative media isn't trustworthy in its assessment of how serious an issue is, since their prime criterion is how embarrassing it is to a Democratic target. A lot of their stories are molehills photographed through ground level microscopic lenses. This was the case when I looked into Fast and Furious (with its 1.5 years of Congressional hearings).

Now the RWM (right-wing media) and opportunistic politicians are doing the same with the attacks at Benghazi. It feels like another trumped-up GOP gripe, doesn't it?

That's because it is. When you read the actual reporting by David Ignatius (the reporter everyone ultimately refers to), the sense is of a fast-developing, minute-by-minute situation that overwhelmed the professional diplomatic staff. It's not surprising that we can't call down airstrikes in another country, and I'm not sure what else would have worked. But I try to be fair--rather than to look for an issue with which to beat my opponent senseless. So Benghazi is another dishonest issue that conservatives are ruthlessly trying to exploit. It would be nauseating except that we've become accustomed to these tactics and their stench.


Other sources:
Update 11/2/12. Spurred by Couves' comments, I've looked at more sources.
There's no sign of rank incompetence or a breakdown in foreign policy. This tragedy is being used opportunistically. That would be sickening except, sadly, I've gotten used to such poison.


Couves said...

I'm nauseated by being lied to by my government, no matter which party is implicated in the lie.

ModeratePoli said...

@Couves, How did you avoid becoming cynical? All the rest of us long ago learned that the government is going to lie and will always lie to one degree or another. So we have to judge the importance of the lie. I judge this as not a consequential one, it being mostly a matter of covering up how slow it might have been to realize and admit what actually happened in Benghazi.

If you think it's worse than that, I hope you can make a better case than the conservative media, which has thrown around a lot of dudgeon and trumped up speculation. Are you going to make a case?

Couves said...

MP, we were told a false story about a spontaneous protest over a movie that eventually turned violent. If this were simply due to confusion, that would be bad enough, but the State Dept. never had any reason to believe this happened. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but State still hasn’t told us what specific information lead them to believe the story we were told. They’ve simply made no effort to clear things up or to explain themselves. So all we’re left with is an untruth, and no plausible explanation for it other than that we were being intentionally misled about the cause of Stevens’ death.

ModeratePoli said...

As for the false story about the protest, please don't ignore that protests over a movie were happening in Egypt at the same time, perhaps in other Muslim countries, and certainly in the Arabic media.

What is the evidence that all levels of the administration KNEW the movie explanation wasn't true?

How quickly can you or news organizations cut through complex situations to understand what's happened? How much faster do you expect the government to be? Is it a fair standard, or are you so ready to throw the book at them that you didn't give them a fair shake for being human rather than superhuman?

I mean this--you seem to expect too much, so I think you need to review dispassionately what happened and what you think are reasonable expectations, and then judge how far short the Obama administration fell short.

Couves said...

They never had evidence to support the movie explanation to begin with, at least none that we've heard. So then where did it come from if someone didn't just fabricate it?

The best you can say is that they somehow confused Egypt with Libya, and that this confusion lasted for over a week. If that's really the claim you're making, I think that's totally absurd.

Dakarian said...

I swear, when I took a look at who said what back then, I don't see an entire administration saying that it was the video. What I do see is different people from the Admin contradicting each other when they do offer ideas and most of the rest saying "we're waiting for more information."

I also saw the same Republican sources declare that Obama was apologizing over the video for about a week, even though Obama's mention over the video came before the incident.

The message I got from Admin was 'we aren't sure." They wanted details first.

As Moderate said, though, it's hard to get info since so much of it is coming from VERY radical sources. The information I'm finding doesn't get close to matching what's being called out. I can't tell if I'm out of the loop or everyone else is.

ModeratePoli said...

@Couves, I still don't understand your level of outrage over your sense of being "lied to." What you label as being "lied to" I see as not-surprising errors and misstatements in trying to figure out a complex situation concerning opponents who aren't exactly making themselves available for a full debriefing.

You really seem to jump to the conclusion that it was intentional deception, as though it was crystal clear what happened, but the administration instead decided to lie. Does your scenario really make sense--that the administration lied intentionally and set itself up to be found out as liars? What would have been the motivation to lie? "Oh, let's lie about this and shoot ourselves in the foot." That's much LESS BELIEVABLE than a riot that turned violent in an underprotected compound, and less believable than what seems to be the truth: that it took several days to figure out what happened when there were riots and attacks on several diplomatic posts on the same day.

Couves said...

Dakarian, the President told Letterman the Benghazi attack was about the movie. See Sept. 18:

MP, I’m just following the facts where they take me. Again, if this were an honest mistake, then what evidence moved Susan Rice to tell her story to the world? There is none. The best you can say is that maybe they got Libya confused with Egypt and they couldn’t untangle the confusion for over a week. Sorry, but that’s a completely unbelievable story.

ModeratePoli said...

@Couves, you don't explain what motive they'd have to lie. If it was a lie, and not merely an error, what was the reason to lie? Isn't there usually a reason? I'm awaiting a good explanation from anyone on this point.

Couves said...

I think it’s reasonable to infer that someone could be motivated to make the American people believe that a movie by a shadowy filmmaker was to blame for the 9/11 attack, rather than a failure by those charged with protecting us. That would pretty much let everyone off the hook, at least in the way these narratives play out in the public square. Of course, some Republicans are trying to say Obama was misleading people just to get reelected. The truth is, we need to know exactly who concocted the whole “movie story” before we can determine motive.