Thursday, May 9, 2013

Short: Missing piece of the Benghazi puzzle

Wow. Now I understand why the Benghazi cover story was exposed so quickly. The original story was that there were demonstrations over a nasty anti-Muhammad video, and these turned violent. It sounds plausible because that was happening in Egypt on the same day. But how did Fox News know to push back against this story?

I hope you're curious. Still time to put down a bet...

At the same time in Egypt...

OK, here it is, per Marc Ambinder:
"Republicans got briefings, classified briefings, attesting to the evidence the al Qaeda-linked militants were ready to strike... The briefings were accurate. Republicans knew. And indeed, they began to speak out almost immediately..."
Some the GOP knew that al Qaeda groups were poised to make attacks in Libya. State knew, Hillary knew, Dems in Congress knew, Obama knew, etc. They all knew that this was a strong possibility, if they had been paying attention to those briefings.

That seems significant to me, but I haven't worked out the implications. For example, was Obama unprepared with an explanation for why he didn't prevent the attack? Did he use the video cover story to buy time?

I suspect that spin for the election drove reactions all around, with Dems trying to minimize damage and the GOP trying to maximize it. Is there anything that isn't treated as a zero-sum game in this country? Did all administration response have to go through the election filter first? Ugh.


Dangerous said...

New information now indicates that the "spin" angle pushed by the GOP and much of the media was overhyped.

As you might expect in the aftermath of something like this, there was confusion and some concern for politics, but mostly a desire to get to the truth and provide the talking classes with something to say that was as close to the known truth at the time without inflaming the issue with inaccurate statements or speculation. Not everyone was on the same page and many parties -- on both sides of the political divide -- were attempting to set the stage for later attacks or defenses.

As of now, it looks more and more like GOP political sour grapes at NOT being able to use Bengazi to hammer Obama during the election cycle, so they are trying to have a "SEE WE TOLD YOU SO!!" moment that isn't really there.

ModeratePoli said...


I'm not sure how much of a motive getting "to the truth" is, but providing info to the talking classes is definitely a vacuum that must be filled.

I don't know why the Rice and the administration stuck so long with the video story. In a story with so many moving parts, I personally don't want to do the whole autopsy with breathless anticipation of some minor nugget. My brain gets too worn down, and I can't engage my motivation for picayune details.

I also don't suspend my belief that things don't go perfectly, so some screw-ups are to be expected and accepted.

I agree with you--Benghazi won't yield a "WE TOLD YOU SO" moment.