New York Times: No Al Qaeda link evidence in Benghazi attack (but will it matter?)
A New York Times investigation has found no link that Al Qaeda of any other terrorist group had a role in the attack on Benghazi — and that the attack was indeed sparked by fury over an American-made video seen by some as insulting Muslims. Talking Points Memo has the best summary:
A months-long investigation by The New York Times “turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role” in the assaults last year on a U.S. diplomatic mission and a C.I.A. compound in Benghazi, Libya.
The attack on Sept. 11, 2012 resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
The Times’ investigation relied on “extensive” interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack. The report concludes that the attack was led by local fighters who “had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi.” And — contrary to claims made by Republicans — the Times also reports that the incident “was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”
This most likely won’t change the partisan attacks on Fox News, in Congress and most assuredly on conservative weblogs. Our politics now operates on rejecting polls, investigations, etc that don’t fit into a partisan narrative. This will be dismissed as the mainstream media deciding in some little room to whitewash what really happened. Our politics increasing resembles a bunch of people at a retreat doing re-affirmation mantras: you say it over and over and over and it MUST be true.
And that’ll be enough for the partisans who already see it that way, but the Times report will carry much more weight with swing voters and Democrats who may have defended the Obama administration but had their doubts.
And — most assuredly — investigations will still continue to take place on this issue which will become like the Vince Foster supposed murder that dogged the Clintons until they left the White House.
Charles Johnson writes: “There’s much more to this multi-part article, and you should, as always, read the whole thing. But it shows unequivocally that the reality in Libya is far more complex and murky than the simplistic anti-Obama talking points pushed relentlessly by the right.”
Some of the tweets are predictable. Here’s a cross section:
Because as we all know, The New York Times is an authority on #Benghazi…
— IrritatedWoman™ (@irritatedwoman) December 29, 2013
New York Times Investigation Brings Bad News For Benghazi Hoaxers http://t.co/6tGCdkSmpZ
— Media Matters (@mmfa) December 28, 2013
Shortest memo Roger Ailes ever sent out: "Mention the New York Times Benghazi story and you're fired."
— Bill Harnsberger (@BillinPortland) December 28, 2013
New York Times piece, deeply reported and disputing many claims by critics, certain to renew Benghazi debate. http://t.co/AVvM95QAOQ
— David Colton (@DColtonNow) December 28, 2013
Safe bet: Right will attack NYT rather than admit mistake: A Deadly Mix in Benghazi – The New York Times http://t.co/ULjhNWOs0L
— Chemi Shalev (@ChemiShalev) December 28, 2013