BENGHAZI BANANAS: Helderman on wheels!


Sixth grade meets the Post: On the front page of the Washington Post, Rosalind Helderman pens a loving portrait of Kelly Ayotte, Saint McCain’s new third amigo.

Kelly Ayotte is the best! That said, we were puzzled by this pronouncement:
HELDERMAN (12/1/12): Ayotte’s partnership with McCain and Graham on Benghazi began shortly after the attack, which is now understood to have been an al-Qaeda effort to kill Americans. Ambassador J. Christopher Stephens and three others died in the attack.
Say what? The Benghazi attack “is now understood to have been an al-Qaeda effort to kill Americans?”

By whom is the Benghazi attack now understood that way? Pitifully, Helderman didn’t feel the need to say.

Where do they find these people?

Just for the record, the attack doesn’t seem to be understood that way by the editorial board of Helderman’s paper. One week ago, the editors said the following, in an editorial defending Susan Rice:
WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL (11/23/12): Though the Benghazi attack involved clear failures of U.S. security, Republicans have concentrated on a dubious subsidiary issue: the alleged failure of the administration to publicly recognize quickly enough that the incident was "a terrorist attack." In fact, Mr. Obama has acknowledged that "the information may not have always been right the first time." But if there was a White House conspiracy to cover up the truth, Republicans have yet to produce any evidence of it—much less a connection to Ms. Rice, who had no involvement with the Benghazi attack other than those television appearances.

Nor was her account of what happened as far off the mark as Republicans claim. Though investigations are not complete, what has emerged so far suggests that the attack was staged by local jihadists, not ordered by the al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan. Officials believe that it was inspired in part by demonstrations that took place that day in Cairo...
Is the deadly attack “now understood to have been an al-Qaeda effort to kill Americans?” Not everywhere, it would seem!

Helderman wrote with the skill of the average sixth-grader. In a sadly typical act, her pronouncement was waved into print.


  1. Hopefully, this morning's Gail Collins column is the final time she'll mention Mitten's dog. One can hope.

  2. You know, the new "all-Benghazi, all-Susan Rice, all the time" direction of The Daily Howler makes me long for the days when he tried to turn this into an "education" blog but was reduced to writing the same long-winded posts about Michelle Rhee day after day after day until he finally gave up.

    1. What's the matter, pal, you want your money back?

    2. Hey Anon 11:11- Somerby still posts on education issues, and quite trenchantly IMHO. And he hasn't mentioned Michelle Rhee for a very long time, which you would know if you weren't here just for the trolling. I mean, where do they find you people?

    3. Uh, he's the same guy who ALSO complains that Somerby only talks about Maddow...

      He's got a few other well-worn shticks as well.

      He's the Anonymous idiot -- surely you recognize him???

    4. Um, who invented the all-Benghazi, all-Susan Rice feeding frenzy? Who continues it and who enables it? When the enablers stop, your torment here will stop.

    5. Susan Rice is possibly the next Secretary of State--she is not a minor or irrelevant figure. So it's a legit news subject...and will continue to be.
      Somerby's take on what Rice knew and how she presented it could be right. Seems to me to be very unlikely, but more importantly, it only made sense to 100% Obama backers. If you are a fan of Greenwald, now at the Guardian, then you know that it is possible to have voted for Obama while still being very critical of Obama's policies and staff choices.

      Certainly TDH would have had more impact had it focused on something like press coverage of the fiscal cliff for the past several months.

  3. I'm reading this,

    All the graphs are worthy of a look.

    It's a long read, but the result of a lot of research.

    Cal Tech and MIT have 40% East Asian student representation while the Ivy schools hold a steady 16%.

    The history of Jewish attendance, administration and success at the Ivys wasn't what I expected.

  4. Bob asks: "Say what? The Benghazi attack “is now understood to have been an al-Qaeda effort to kill Americans? By whom is the Benghazi attack now understood that way?...."

    This is fairly simple to proffer an answer to. I don't think I have seen any news reports directly asserting AQ's involvement.

    Now, if one wants to get into the 'qualifying business' I think it fair to say SOME news reports assert that Rep King, and others, including Dems on the 'Intel Committee' that former CIA Director Petaraus testified in front of, behind close doors, assert that Petaraus concluded it was AQ 'affiliated' groups.

    And that, according to these same news reports, Petaraus testified that the AQ affiliated language was subsequently 'edited' by someone for some reasons. One proffered reason being 'to hide, from the bad guys, the fact that we suspected who was behind the attack'. None of these reports or articles has been commented on by Petaraus. Nor have they been officially denied by the CIA or the Admin. I have no idea if the reports or article are accurate. But IF they are to be believed...and they have not be denied, I repeat, IF they are to be believed it is then a fact that the AQ language, however qualified, was created by the then Director of the CIA. The then Petraus the Great, before his social fall. This can all easily be resolved....get the present Director of the CIA to state on the record whether or not any of these reports is accurate. And to state, on the record, whether the CIA ever concluded these attacks, or attack, was carried out by an AQ affiliated" groups. This would be a very simple way of the Admin could clear up this aspect. I am all too aware that even if the Admin did this it would not shut up McCain or Graham. But it would go a long way towards clearing up the 'was AQ involved' dispute in any way, or, more precisely, did anyone or any agency within the Intel Community ever reach such conclusions. Further, I think Bob knows all this as well.

    1. Peter King's disgraceful behavior is a perfect example of someone twisting and distorting and obscuring what was said in order to keep the pot boiling and make it look like Rice had obscured the facts. He comes out of that classified hearing with Petraeus and clearly understood from the testimony that intelligence agencies reviewing the classified talking points removed the reference to al-Qaeda, yet he immediately ran to Sean Hannity and kept repeating, paraphrasing, "nobody knows who changed the talking points", clearly trying to imply that it just might have been Ambassador Rice or maybe even the WH and thereby getting Hannity all excited. While Petraeus may not have known specifically who changed the language it was clearly understood by all that it was the Intel community and it was not done for political reasons. So I really have no interest at all in whatever the fk Peter King, fervent supporter of the terrorist IRA, has to say.

    2. Mattel is offering a digital Peter King doll for Christmas. In its back is a key pad that allows the owner to punch in 5-digit codes on over a hundred topics. Plug in the code, hit the play button, and the King doll will blow hard on the selected topic for 5 minutes non-stop. There is a warning attached: If the word "IRA" is mentioned while the doll is in play mode, the doll will immediately shut down.