Over the weekend the New York Times came out with an exhaustive investigation of Benghazi. The basic take-aways are:
First, there is no evidence al Qaeda or any other international terrorist group was involved. The perps were local militants.
Second, anger fueled by an American-made anti-Islam video really was part of the motivation for the attack.
Do I think the New York Times is infallible? Of course not. But they’ve done the legwork and make a persuasive case through, you know, evidence.
Righties have gone into full temper-tantrum mode, screaming about “revisionist history.” They do not want to hear that al Qaeda was not behind Benghazi. Because.
One of the better retorts comes from Thomas Joscelyn at The Weekly Standard. I say “better” because he at least makes an effort to blow enough smoke to bring the Times’s investigation into doubt, instead of just whining and stamping his feet like most of his fellow travelers.
However, Joscelyn’s retort relies rather heavily on dishonesty. For example:
Left out of the Times’s account are the many leads tying the attackers to al Qaeda’s international network.
For instance, there is no mention of Muhammad Jamal al Kashef, an Egyptian, in Kirkpatrick’s retelling. This is odd, for many reasons.
On October 29, 2012 three other New York Times journalists reported that Jamal’s network, in addition to a known al Qaeda branch (al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), was directly involved in the assault. The Times reported (emphasis added): “Three Congressional investigations and a State Department inquiry are now examining the attack, which American officials said included participants from Ansar al-Shariah, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Muhammad Jamal network, a militant group in Egypt.”
Wow. Except from what I can gather from the earlier story, the “officials” were mostly Republican senators and congress critters. Here’s the earlier story in the Times:
But the question on the minds of some lawmakers is why the declining security situation did not prompt a fundamental rethinking of the security needs by the State Department and the White House. Three Congressional investigations and a State Department inquiry are now examining the attack, which American officials said included participants from Ansar al-Shariah, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Muhammad Jamal network, a militant group in Egypt.
“Given the large number of attacks that had occurred in Benghazi that were aimed at Western targets, it is inexplicable to me that security wasn’t increased,” said Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the senior Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, one of the panels holding inquiries.
In other words, the New York Times was not reporting on what happened in Benghazi, but on what mostly unnamed people were speculating about what happened in Benghazi. It was merely reporting on suspicions being voiced by “officials,” and that the matter was under investigation. The New York Times is not contradicting its own reporting, as half the rightie blogosphere is claiming right now.
The Right has been implicating Muhammad Jamal and tying him to al Qaeda — and he may well be tied to al Qaeda, for all I know — but if they have any concrete evidence connecting him to Benbhazi, they’re keeping it hidden. Mostly they just quote each other’s implications as “evidence.” Everybody’s saying it, so it must be true.
Something we do know, and that the Times left out, is that The Benghazi Hoax was Spun up by the GOP to Protect Mitt Romney.