Long Read: “A Deadly Mix in Benghazi”

Another excellent multimedia piece from the NYTimes that will be widely discussed, and yet liable to change exactly nobody’s mind:

The United States waded deeply into post-Qaddafi Libya, hoping to build a beachhead against extremists, especially Al Qaeda. It believed it could draw a bright line between friends and enemies in Libya. But it ultimately lost its ambassador in an attack that involved both avowed opponents of the West and fighters belonging to militias that the Americans had taken for allies.

Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.

A fuller accounting of the attacks suggests lessons for the United States that go well beyond Libya. It shows the risks of expecting American aid in a time of desperation to buy durable loyalty, and the difficulty of discerning friends from allies of convenience in a culture shaped by decades of anti-Western sentiment. Both are challenges now hanging over the American involvement in Syria’s civil conflict….

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61 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    JPL says:

    Chris Wallace mentioned it on Fox Sunday. Mike Rogers said it was hooey and Wallace’s follow-up had to do asked if it was a political piece, written to help Hilary. Is that what you mean about it being widely discussed?

    also, too. Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda

  3. 3
    raven says:

    What kind of ink do you recommend?

  4. 4
    Cassidy says:

    These people can’t help but hope Americans are killed to make the blah guy look bad.

  5. 5
    some guy says:

    takfiri’s aren’t our friends? why would Prince Bandar lie to us? he assured us that the takfiris he funds are all pro-Western moderates.

  6. 6
    raven says:

    TOUCHDOWN CHICAGO BEARS!!!!!

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    I’m glad the NYT debunked some of the lies. But I’m still disgusted that a tragic incident that would have been a blip on the radar in any other administration is still considered worthy this much media attention.

  8. 8
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Dancin’ Dave didn’t push very hard of course but Daryl Issa looked like he was squirming a little bit here to me. (Scroll down for video)

  9. 9
    srv says:

    They NYT’s and others are still towing the gov’t line – practically everyone in Benghazi was CIA, with a literal handful of State folks providing faux diplomatic cover. One might ask what all these dozens of spooks were/are doing, who might not like that, and why they might respond they way they do.

    It’s like how Hezbollah rolled up the CIA/DoD in Beirut multiple times in the 80’s, bombed the Marines, two embassasies (one timed for ME pow-wow of CIA station staff), captured a station chief.. they cleaned our clock.

    It does help Hillary, but this really shouldn’t have been her responsibility – Patraeus really gave everyone the shaft.

  10. 10
    JordanRules says:

    Cynical me says they do this type of story so long after the ship has sailed because they think it makes up for the fact that they’ll be making up or fluffing the next bullshit story thats fed into the outrage machine.

  11. 11
    raven says:

    @srv: I dunno, they made a big point on MTP that the government was trying to avoid letting anyone know it was a CIA op.

  12. 12
    dp says:

    The next NYT Benghazi, Benghazi!, BENGHAZI!!! story will set forth the facts they found, and present the Republican objections to those facts as reasonable differences of opinion.

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    @dp: Bullshit should not be viewed as a reasonable difference of opinion but of course, it’s all the repubs have.

  14. 14
    raven says:

    @JordanRules: Yea, they should have had an in-depth 18 month investigation ready to go in 8 weeks.

  15. 15
    some guy says:

    @srv:

    Hezbollah bombed the Marine barracks before Hezbollah existed as an organization? quite a neat trick. is this like when Kaiser Wilhelm aided the Japanese at Waterloo?

  16. 16
    Davis X. Machina says:

    If you go down to the VFW, you can hear the real Benghazi story, like I did.

    How Obama was panic-stricken by a surging Romney, and had CIA black-ops assets tasked to ‘kidnap’ Americans in Benghazi. The ‘hostages’ were then going to be put on ice somewhere in the Middle East, and then ‘rescued’ by Seal Team Six, and produced with great fanfare — and a bounce in the polls — a week or so before the election in November.

    But someone didn’t stay bought, and besides Democrats just can’t do military stuff, and yada, yada, yada, so the whole thing went pear-shaped. As a result the ‘hostages’ turned out dead, either by accident (Obama incompetence), on purpose (Obama’s damn Muslim friends) or they were killed to hush up the scheme and keep the truth from coming out (which would have cost Obama the election.)

    The Truth is out there, people. You just need to go find out where The Truth is watching football.

  17. 17
    Patrick says:

    @JPL:

    Chris Wallace mentioned it on Fox Sunday. Mike Rogers said it was hooey and Wallace’s follow-up had to do asked if it was a political piece, written to help Hilary. Is that what you mean about it being widely discussed?

    Can I assume that the fact that the Republican Congress hardly had any hearings at all into all the attacks on US embassies during the Bush era was designed to help Bush? What do you say Mr Wallace?

    And maybe Mr Wallace can answer as to why in the world does FoxNews think the four victims of Benghazi are more important than all the other embassy victims during the Bush era.

  18. 18
    Betty Cracker says:

    So basically, Susan Rice’s talking points were accurate: The video was a factor, and al Qaeda wasn’t. Kay made the point in this morning’s open thread that Jake Tapper bears a lot of responsibility for pimping the phony scandal angle. Not that this will have the slightest impact on his career, the fucking hack.

    @raven: I wish I could watch that game. Our options are Saints-Bucs and Pats-Bills. The Bucs are my team, but I’ll be rooting for the Saints in the playoffs, so I don’t have much heart to root against them now.

    I hate the Pats and Bills equally, so I don’t give a crap who wins. I’m rooting for the Packers because I can’t stand that crybaby Cutler and like Rodgers + Green Bay’s socialistic franchise model.

  19. 19
    srv says:

    @some guy: Whether they’d adopted the name yet, it was the same folks funded by the Iranian IRG. Or did you think it was UFOs?

  20. 20

    ICYMI Robin Roberts just came out.

  21. 21
    srv says:

    @some guy:

    Hezbollah emerged in South Lebanon as a consolidation of Shia militias and standing as a counterpart of the more mature Amal movement. Hezbollah had a significant role in Lebanese civil war, acting against American forces in 1982–83

    Whether the Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO) was a nom de guerre used by Hezbollah or a separate organization, is disputed. Hezbollah leaders reportedly admitted their involvement in IJO’s attacks and the nominal nature of “Islamic Jihad” – that it was merely a “telephone organization,”[44][45] and[46] whose name was “used by those involved to disguise their true identity.”

    But go ahead and be a pedantic idiot about it.

  22. 22
    JordanRules says:

    @raven: Yes, you make a valid point. My point about them giving us a thoughtful piece because they will likely let the ghosts of Judith Miller roam again, still stands.

    And, could you have made that point without being a smartass?? I’m seriously asking because you pop off at the mouth more than a fucking sociopathic orthodontist.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    Bears forgot about playing to the whistle.

  24. 24
    Corner Stone says:

    And, could you have made that point without being a smartass?? I’m seriously asking because you pop off at the mouth more than a fucking sociopathic orthodontist.

    Somebody got fucking doped!

  25. 25
    Gravenstone says:

    So they ask Peppers to step up and make a play. And when he does, the rest of his teammates dog it and let the weirdest damn play I’ve seen all year unfold into a gimme GB touchdown. The Bears still suck!

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @some guy:

    is this like when Kaiser Wilhelm aided the Japanese at Waterloo?

    Didn’t he? I mean, didn’t he, though?

  27. 27
    Corner Stone says:

    Apparently TB never heard of covering a WR over the middle deep before.

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    I think Drew Brees may throw the prettiest spiral in the history of the NFL.

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    And to the NYT story, well damn. Who could’ve guessed the people we had just armed would come around to try and fucking kill us?

  30. 30
    Anoniminous says:

    This is the journalism I’ve come to expect:

    1. Some doofus makes stuff up

    2. The various Mediums clamber around shouting and screaming, pundits pontificate about what they know wot of, the SeriousPeople are Serious

    3. We find some doofus made stuff up

    (Rinse, lather, repeat.)

    It’s not all bad. If the stuff made up hits big in the US the Medium companies can sell more advertising.

  31. 31
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Corner Stone: The lady the receiver handed the ball to sure was excited, though.

  32. 32
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Anoniminous:

    the Medium companies can sell more advertising.

    Large companies too probably.

  33. 33
    raven says:

    @Gravenstone: Yea and tell me all about that sissy ass personal foul the called on the Bears. Fucking asshole packers.

  34. 34
    some guy says:

    @Corner Stone:

    srv is an idiot, and idiot winds blow something something. How would the Japanese Imperial Army have been able to aid Napoleon at Waterloo without the help of Kaiser Wilhelm? srv can explain it all clearly in his newsletter.

  35. 35
    Anoniminous says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    There are only large Medium companies but they like to hide behind different names just like Pepsi, Frito-Lay, and Quaker Oats pretending to be different companies.

  36. 36
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @some guy: Right idea, wrong specifics. The Kaiser used the Bedouins, trained by Lawrence of Arabia, who then got revenge for the Battle of the Nile. No need for Imperial Japan — at least not until the Boers got bogged down with the Ghurkas…

  37. 37
    Brian R. says:

    Can a decent reporter corner Issa and ask him to comment?

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @some guy:

    How would the Japanese Imperial Army have been able to aid Napoleon at Waterloo without the help of Kaiser Wilhelm?

    With phasers!

  39. 39
    Gravenstone says:

    @raven: Funny, I don’t think the teams can call penalties upon each other. Perhaps you might to reserve your opprobrium for the officials? Oh yeah, and fuck the fucking Bears.

  40. 40
    raven says:

    @Gravenstone: Eat shit and die motherfucker.

    eta. looks like we may be hijacking the next thread for football.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brian R.:

    No.

    Because there are no decent reporters in the Village.

  42. 42
    Mike in NC says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    If you go down to the VFW, you can hear the real Benghazi story, like I did.
    Oh yeah. Did the VFW thing one night several months back with a Vietnam vet neighbor and they had FOX News blaring over the bar. Wanted to take a nice long shower when we got home.

  43. 43
    debbie says:

    @Brian R.:

    I just heard a report. He’s not buying it.

  44. 44
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: That’s how the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

  45. 45
    debbie says:

    @JordanRules:

    They do it so long after the ship sailed because legitimate journalism takes time. Facts don’t just grow themselves in fairy gardens. Oh, wait…

  46. 46
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Patrick: Do you really believe that Republicans give a ____ about the four Americans who were killed in Benghazi? Did they care about the scores of Americans killed overseas under Bush’s administration?

    Republicans are like vultures — they fly around looking for corpses and then pick apart dead bones. Thankfully, the Benghazi “scandal” just didn’t catch on with the majority of Americans. Just like the other “scandals”.

  47. 47
    Chris says:

    @some guy:

    takfiri’s aren’t our friends? why would Prince Bandar lie to us? he assured us that the takfiris he funds are all pro-Western moderates.

    Ah, our “too fucking weird to’ve been made up” relationship with the Saudis…

  48. 48
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    So basically, Susan Rice’s talking points were accurate: The video was a factor, and al Qaeda wasn’t.

    I wonder how much of the dust they all kicked up was to protect General P and/or the CIA. It was like they were all screaming “State Department! State Department! Look over there!” and then the truly bizarre focus on Susan Rice, when what she said was basically a recitation of talking points. What she said was completely unremarkable, when you read it.

    I know Clinton’s outburst wasn’t really articulate and (honestly) didn’t make a whole lot of sense but I completely got her frustration. I have no earthly idea what any of this was about, really.

  49. 49

    @Betty Cracker:

    So basically, Susan Rice’s talking points were accurate: The video was a factor, and al Qaeda wasn’t.

    And yet I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that the NYT story never gets around to mentioning that Rice was correct. Space limitations, don’t’cha know.

  50. 50
    Corner Stone says:

    Wow, the KC kicker just missed a 41 yd FG to get the Stillers in the playoffs.
    This is gold, Cole, gold!

  51. 51
    Chris says:

    @Kay:

    Susan Rice was part of the State Department.

    The State Department (and a few others like USAID) is the go-to scapegoat for conservatives when it comes to foreign policy. It’s a government agency with a job description other than killing, beating or jailing people, so it’s worthless to begin with. But to make matters worse, they’re diplomats whose entire job is to talk to people and deal with foreign policy options other than killing people or threatening to kill people, which is appeasement and makes them all Munich advocates and Objectively Pro Terrorist, argle bargle.

  52. 52
    Patrick says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Do you really believe that Republicans give a ____ about the four Americans who were killed in Benghazi? Did they care about the scores of Americans killed overseas under Bush’s administration?

    I have no idea. I also have no idea why they could care less about all the embassy personnel murdered under Bush. It’s just bizarre. But it is no different than other issues, such as the deficit. They could care less about the deficit until January 20, 2009. Then all of a sudden it would be the end of the world if we didn’t become debt free by tomorrow.

    It is hard to take people like that seriously when they lack such credibility.

  53. 53
    Kay says:

    @Chris:

    I get that. I read the WSJ for years. The WSJ was really warmonger central for the decade or so that I read it. I know they hate the State Dept. I know all their horrible arguments on “sovereignty!” and on and on.

    But, ideology aside, I felt as if they deliberately turned what was a fairly routine cover your ass interview with Rice into this huge screeching deal, and I don’t mean Republicans, I mean media. What did they think she was gonna say?

    I just thought the whole thing was conducted in a very odd manner. For one thing, IF Rice had been lying, why just stay with her? They beat that “lie” theme for weeks. I get it, it was supposed to be the “coverup that was worse than the crime” but at SOME point don’t they have to start looking for the crime she was covering up? They never did.

    It’s like they skipped a step. They made the “coverup” the crime. That isn’t how it works. Lying is certainly a bad thing to do, but the lie has to lead somewhere or it’s not a coverup. Her (supposed) lie led nowhere, and no one seemed at all interested in even pursuing what she was “covering up”.

    Just weird as hell, that whole thing.

  54. 54
    agrippa says:

    @JPL:
    Chris Wallace?
    A mere cynical hack

  55. 55
    agrippa says:

    The GOP in the HoR knew all this.
    Issa, and his handlers, milked it for what it was worth.

    When it played out, the GOP dropped it. Just as they dropped the IRS ‘scandal’ et al.

    The MSM, of course, went along. It was. after all, a ‘big story’.

    The press are like birds on a wire.
    When one comes, they all come.
    When one leaves, they all leave.

  56. 56
    agrippa says:

    @Kay:

    Correct.
    The MSM never looked into the ‘crime’ that Rice was lying about.

    There was no way that the MSM was ever going to do any such thing.

  57. 57
    Kay says:

    @Chris:

    This stuff drives me bananas.

    I was reading about Christie. So they know Christie commissioned this bizarre traffic study. That happened.

    But they are pursuing this idea that he did it for revenge, when Christie’s whole career is, he’s a privatizer. He privatizes everything. He’s like the star of CATO. You name it, he wants to or has privatized it; education, child support, disabled children, the lottery, whatever.

    Wouldn’t it be worthwhile to find out WHY he commissioned a top-secret traffic study? I would think he commissioned a top-secret traffic study so could shop around a contract to somehow privatize or monetize that road in a way that benefits his horrid cronies. It’s what he does! He doesn’t pass out government jobs as political graft. He’s much more ambitious than that. He passes out privatization contracts, excuse me, portfolios:

    http://reason.org/news/show/1012836.html

  58. 58
    efgoldman says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Did they care about the scores of Americans killed overseas under Bush’s administration?

    Scores? Nay, thousands.

  59. 59
    efgoldman says:

    @Kay:

    Wouldn’t it be worthwhile to find out WHY he commissioned a top-secret traffic study?

    Kay, who beside Christie and his lackeys has even inferred that there ever was a “traffic study?” Did I miss something on the morning shows (which I gave up decades ago)? As far as I know, it’s just the quickie excuse with which they came up.

  60. 60
    RaflW says:

    As was widely pointed out on the Twitters yesterday, all the right wing nut jobs have spun up their wurlitzers and can’t hear a damn thing the NYT has to say.

    For the middle 40%, this reporting might matter. Lets hope some of them go vote in 2014.

  61. 61
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    The people who believe Bengzi was some kind of conspiracy by Obama and Al Quida reject Evolution by overwhelming margins. Belief trumps factual evidence in their minds and that’s the end of it.

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